2014 marked the 30th Anniversary of Five Arts Centre and this year, 2015, marks the tenth
year since the passing of founder member Dato’ Krishen Jit. To mark these two significant
events, Five Arts Centre launched a two-year program called tenTenTEN. The tenTenTEN
program was launched at our 30th Anniversary Party which was held on the 29 March 2014 at
Five Arts Centre in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.
The tenTenTEN programme has 5 threads as follows:
PARASITES – is a monthly series of curated events with a particular focus on emerging
discourses, research and practices. In 2014 we conducted 14 events including workshops,
forums, talks, open rehearsals, readings and an exhibition. These events included
international guests as well. These events were mostly held in our space in Taman Tun Dr
Ismail, while a few were part of other events like the Cooler Lumpur Festival at MAP KL at
Publika. These events brought in new audiences to engage in critical discourse on various
areas of arts making.
Creative Lead: Mark Teh
CONFERENCE – From 9 -11 January 2015, we held a conference entitled Unfinished
Business: Conference on Krishen Jit’s Performance Practice and Contemporary Malaysian
Theatre. Held at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac), this Conference
brought together 160 participants including arts practitioners, writers and academics. The
Conference had a range of types of sessions including keynote addresses, academic paper
presentations, story-dialogues, workshop dialogues and performances. The Conference was a
resounding success gauging from the feedback and comments that we have been receiving.
Creative Leads: Charlene Rajendran and Ken Takiguchi
“A great dialogue about the legacy of one of the pillars of Malaysian theatre. For those like
me, who were not privileged to know the man or to have any direct relationship with him, it
was a fabulous history lesson, and an opportunity to ponder the impact of his work, future
directions etc. I was most touched to learn of his incredibly nurturing personality - which
seemed to be a recurring theme throughout the various sessions, and the porous transitions
between classical, contemporary, Malay, English, local, global, etc.... and rather than being
confined by specificity of genre, he chose (at the risk of being presumptuous) to use whatever
was needed to make interesting or meaningful art. Bravo Five Arts Centre!”
Joseph Gonzales, Dean, Faculty of Dance, Aswara.
PROCESS – is about observation, tracking and documentation of artists and their artistic
processes. This sees us looking at how and why we make art while documenting these
Creative Leads: Janet Pillai and Marion D’Cruz
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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PERFORMANCE – New projects that explore further experimentation and new strategies
for making meaningful performances.
Creative Leads: Anne James, Chee Sek Thim and June Tan
PUBLICATION – In August 2015 we will launch a book entitled Staging History: Selected
Plays from Five Arts Centre, 1984 – 2014. Edited by Kathy Rowland, this book will feature
10 – 15 of Five Arts Centre’s most landmark plays, 2 critical essays, photo essays and 2
edited transcriptions of roundtable discussions on theatre making.
Creative Lead: Kathy Rowland
tenTenTEN Team:
Executive Producer:
Office/Production Manager:
Conference Producer:
Publication Producer:
Management Team:
Grey Yeoh
Hoe Hui Ting
Lim How Ngean
June Tan
Members of Five Arts Centre
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------What we did in 2014
Kounsel Tetangga #1
11 January 2014
Five Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Kounsel Tetangga #1 was organised by Fikri Fadzil and supported by Five Arts Centre.
Working with independent Southeast Asian online music portal The Wknd and Kuala
Lumpur-based creative label Senipekik, Kounsel Tetangga #1 was an intimate neighbourhood
gig that showcased nine underground bands from Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Kuching and
Singapore. Over 200 people attended this gig, which featured bands such as Decades,
Dirgahayu, The Fridays, Johny Comes Lately, Maharajalela @ Raksasa, The Pinholes,
POLAR, Reset to Zilch and SOFT.
Bands in action
Concert crowd
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel/Fax: +6 03 77254858 Email: [email protected] / /
Study Group: Dan Lain-Lain Laboratory (Parasite Event 1)
February to May 2014
Five Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Drawing from personal research and his studies in the MA Arts and Politics programme in
Goldsmiths, University of London, Mark Teh led a 14-week course on contemporary arts
practices. Delivered via lectures, tutorials discussions, screenings, practical laboratory
sessions and presentations by the participants, the Dan Lain-Lain Lab introduced current
artistic and theoretical approaches in theatre and the visual arts, centred around themes such
as “Social Practices: The Art & Politics of Everyday Life”; “The Art of Walking, or JalanJalan Cari Makna”; “The City: Pranks, Protests, Interventions”; and more.
Participants included visual artist Wong Tay Sy, filmmaker Imri Nasution, producers June
Tan and Grey Yeoh and emerging designers, filmmakers and performing artists such as Faiq
Syazwan Kuhiri, Syamsul Azhar, Bryan Chang, Rahmah Pauzi, Sharifah Aleysha, Ali Alasri,
Robin Khor, Yiky Chew Tze Yi, Woon Siew Yin, Sean Lee, Fahad Iman, Tsubasa Nair,
Karen Hii and Hatta Yang.
Two results of the Dan Lain-Lain Lab included an intervention-documentation into the
historic Pekeliling flats (which are in the midst of demolition) on Jalan Tun Razak, and the
forthcoming publication of a series of unusual walks in Kuala Lumpur. The next step for the
participants is to continue collaborating to develop more creative research projects in Kuala
Networking: Making Connections Count (Parasite Event 2)
15 March 2014
Five Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
The Networking: Making Connections Count dialogue looked at how networking in the arts
could serve the needs of artists and organisations, i.e. connecting people with people, people
with opportunities, as well as networking that considers larger needs, i.e. connecting for
advocacy and the sharing of knowledge, experience, information and resources.
The dialogue-exchange featured Sadayuki Higuchi, a respected arts administrator from
Japan, and ProPAU, an informal collective of performing arts producers in Kuala Lumpur,
that was established in 2013.
Sadayuki Higuchi is an independent art administrator from Kyoto, Japan. He established Arts
Staff Network and since then has engaged in diverse art projects. He was appointed
Secretary-General of the first nationwide Arts NPO Forum in Kobe, Japan. The following
year, Arts NPO Link was created. As the founding member and presently the SecretaryGeneral of Arts NPO Link, he aims at advancing the agenda of the Forum. He also works
with the secretariat of the Namura Art Meeting 04-34 and serves as an official advisor for the
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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secretariat of the TOYOTA Children Meet Artists Program. He has also been a regular
member of various governmental and private committees.
Representatives from various arts organisations, intermediaries, private art sponsors and
official bodies participated in the dialogue, including Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian
Negara (Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia), Kakiseni, My Performing Arts Agency,
Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur, ASWARA, KLPac, MyDance Alliance, Lostgen, Gardner
& Wife, Kota Kita, Toccata Studio and more. The event was moderated by Grey Yeoh of
British Council Malaysia.
Sadayuki Higuchi presenting his talk
tenTenTEN Party
29 March 2014
Five Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
On March 29th Five Arts Centre held a big party at our space and on the street, to celebrate 30
years of the company and to launch our 2 year tenTenTEN programme. The tenTenTEN
party had entertainment by Rhythm in Bronze, Chin San Sooi, Ivy Josiah, Dato’ Ambiga
Sreenevasan, Pearlly Chuah, Kubhaer Jethwani, Leow Puay Tin and others. The party was
attended by 130 friends, sponsors, media and artists.
The space was decorated by artist Sharon Chin who chose lallang as her theme:
“I chose lallang as the symbol for Five Arts Centre's 30th Anniversary celebration. Actually,
it's a symbol of my utopian views for art and Malaysia - something wild and unpredictable,
not entirely desirable, destined to be chopped and yet grow back again and again. Burdened
with no other responsibility than to be and grow. Nothing to prove, nothing to gain. No
dominion over anything. In conversation with the soil, wind and rain, endlessly...”
Sharon Chin, Artist.
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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Rhythm in Bronze
Artist Sharon Chin
Party merry-makers
Ivy Josiah and Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan performing The Cord
Dialogue-Exchange-Exhibition: Cultural Mapping: Blueprints for Place, Community &
Continuity (Parasite Event 3)
5 April 2014
Five Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
The Cultural Mapping dialogue-exchange & mini-exhibition was organised for artists,
activists, planners and policy-makers. This dialogue-exchange invited diverse individuals and
organisations who were using cultural mapping, to interact and share concepts, data,
opportunities and challenges faced. This event looked at how bottom-up, creative mapping
initiatives can contribute to a community or city’s liveability, as well as connecting
stakeholders for advocacy and sharing of knowledge, experience and information. This event
was important especially to community and social practice artists, urban planners and
anthropologists, social activists and researchers, residential associations, local councillors and
A mini-exhibition of maps and info-graphics contributed by the dialogue participants was on
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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There were 2 panels as follows:
Panel on Cycling KL, Bicycle Map Project / PJ City Cycleways Network:
- Jeffrey Lim (mapper & cycling activist);
- Suzana Othman (MBPJ town planning development assistant director);
- YB Elizabeth Wong (Selangor Executive Council member in charge of Tourism, Consumer
Affairs & Environment).
Panel on Chowrasta Market Regeneration:
- Chen Yoke Pin (cultural worker, facilitator & mapper);
- Eleen Foo (architect from Arkitek LLA);
The event was moderated by Janet Pillai and Tricia Yeoh and was organized by Five Arts
Centre in collaboration with #BetterCities.
Maps and pamphlets
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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2 minute solos – art meets politics
12 and 13 April 2014
Damansara Performing Arts Centre Festival
DPAC, Kuala Lumpur
In April, Marion D’Cruz’s critically acclaimed 2 minute solos was presented as part of the
Damansara Performing Arts Centre Festival. The all new cast included Mark Teh, Fahmi
Fadzil, Marina Mahathir, James Lee, Umapagan Ambikaipakan, Ivy Josiah, Lee Ren Xin,
Hariati Azizan, Chuah Chong Yong, Ryan Bhaskaran, Ann Lee and Zainah Anwar – people
from the arts, politics, activisim, radio, film, journalism.
Umapagan Ambikaipakan
Faiqsyazwan Kuhiri performing
Mark Teh’s piece
Sharifah Aleysha performing Zainah Anwar’s piece
Marina Mahathir performing her 2 minute solo
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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11th Boh Cameronian Arts Awards
27 April 2015
Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur
At the 11th Boh Cameronion Arts Awards, Five Arts Centre’s production of Something I
Wrote, directed by Mark Teh, won two awards – Best Music and Sound Design and Best
Set Design (Technical Awards which were given earlier). The late Dato’ Krishen Jit was
honoured in the Tokoh Seni Tribute along with Dato’ Usman Awang and P. Ramlee.
At the Awards
Something I Wrote team
Talk: An-Other May 13: An Ongoing History of Artistic Research by Mark Teh
(Parasite Event 4)
10 May 2014 at Five Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
17 May 2014 at Reka Arts Space at Sinkeh, Georgetown, Penang
The “racial riots” of May 13, 1969 continues to be a defining episode in Malaysian
history. The May 13 event remains a paradoxical historical trauma – it has never been
commemorated officially, but persists as a powerful phantom that haunts the lived realities of
Malaysians through rumour, hearsay, speculation, myth-making, censorship, conspiracy and a
(con)fusion of fact and fiction.
This was a talk presented by Mark Teh on how Malaysian artists – ranging from Ibrahim
Hussein, Redza Piyadasa and Syed Ahmad Jamal to Yasmin Ahmad, Chee Sek Thim and
Shuhaimi Baba - have attempted to represent, remember, reclaim and reimagine the May 13
1969 event over the past four decades. Drawing from works in visual arts, theatre, literature
and new media, the talk looked at the political and aesthetic complexities in addressing
historical trauma in the Malaysian context.
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel/Fax: +6 03 77254858 Email: [email protected] / /
Mark Teh giving his talk at Five Arts Centre
Mark Teh giving his talk at Sinkeh, Penang
Viewpoints and Theatre Workshop by Anne James (Parasite Event 5)
7, 8, 14, 15 June
Five Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Anne James, one of Malaysia’s most accomplished actors and long-time Five Arts Centre
member, conducted this theatre workshop. ‘Viewpoints’ is a technique of composition that
provides a vocabulary for thinking about and acting upon movement and gesture. Originally
developed in the 1970s by choreographer Mary Overlie as a method of movement
improvisation, the ‘Viewpoints’ theory was adapted for stage acting by directors Anne Bogart
and Tina Landau. Anne James has trained directly with Anne Bogart in the United States,
and introduced these approaches to young and emerging performers.
21-22 June 2014
Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Five Arts Centre had two events in this Festival and Marion moderated another event.
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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Screenings: #FAST Films at the 2014 Cooler Lumpur Festival. (Parasite Event 6)
Filmmaker & regular Five Arts Centre collaborator Imri Nasution, piloted his Mamak Film
Fest concept in several food and beverage establishments in Publika during the weekend of
the multidisciplinary Cooler Lumpur Festival. Imri curated a selection of Malaysian short
films from 2000-2009, the first decade of local independent digital filmmaking.
Imri Nasution introducing the films
We’re all Beige: New Ideas in Cultural Identity – Panel Discussion moderated by
Marion D’Cruz
This panel discussion dealt with the issue of Cultural Identity. We are cultural consumers. We
are exposed to a glut of popular content that isn’t bound by geography, or language, or
ideology. We adapt and adopt these ideas freely. So much so that our new cultural identity is
something of a mishmash of global proportions. What does this mean for our notions of self?
What does it mean for conventional notions of nationality?
Panelists: Miguel Syjuco, Adam Foulds, Eka Kurniawan
Panel Discussion on Cultural Identity
#UNREALISED (Parasite Event 7)
This was a presentation of unrealised ideas, utopian blueprints, to be completed projects &
rejected proposals. This panel was on ideas that never saw the light of day – perhaps
resources, budget, support & tools were in short supply, or it simply wasn't the right time,
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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space, or context. This event, curated by Mark Teh, shone a spotlight on unfulfilled projects.
Three speakers from diverse fields (football / dance / architecture) shared personal and
professional projects from their past which remain unrealised:
1. Lucius Maximus, sports writer & author of the best-selling 'How Malaysia Never Won The
World Cup'.
2. Marion D'Cruz, radical dancer-choreographer-educator.
3. Taufiq Nazarudin, project/research/design architect at Veritas Design Group.
#Unrealised Panel Presentation
Yes, you CAN dance! Movement Workshop by Elaine Pedley (Parasite Event 8)
5 and 6 July 2014
Five Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
This workshop was conducted by actor, dancer, mover and facilitator Elaine Pedley. Using
games and breathing techniques, the workshop introduced movement and dance to dancers
and non-performers. The workshop used Elaine’s past experiences as well as Rudolf Laban’s
Effort Flow technique and Clive Barker’s Theatre Games.
Movement Workshop
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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Artist Talk by Chang Yoong Chia (Parasite Event 9)
9 August 2014
Five Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Artist Chang Yoong Chia gave a talk at Five Arts Centre on his use of stamps, bones and
teeth for creating his art. Yoong Chia is an award winning artist who graduated from the
Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA) with a Diploma in Fine Art in 1996. He has won several
awards and has done many group and solo exhibitions locally and internationally. Yoong
Chia’s work is extraordinary in many ways especially in his use of stamps, bones and teeth to
make art.
Jambatan Asmara by Chang Yoong Chia
Fahmi Fadzil and Azmyl Yunor perform at the Yayasan Sime Darby Festival
13 and 14 September
Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac)
Five Arts Centre member Fahmi Fadzil and Azmyl Yunor performed at the Yayasan Sime
Darby Festival. Fahmi performed 13 Objects which he first performed in 2 minute solos and
he also performed Wayang Buku with singer-songwriter Azmyl Yunor. In 13 Objects, Fahmi
gets the audience to pick an object from 13 that he has displayed. He then tells a short story
related to the object. In Wayang Buku, Fahmi has a conversation with a book….and then with
several books while Azmyl provides the soundscape.
13 Objects by Fahmi Fadzil
Wayang Buku by Fahmi Fadzil and Azmyl Yunor
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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Malaysia Day – Five Arts Centre receives The Bobo Award from Ed Soo
16 September 2014
Leonardo’s Dining Room and Wine Loft
Kuala Lumpur
The Bobo Underdog of the Year Award is bestowed on an individual or an organization, who
despite adversity and challenge, has contributed significantly to the betterment of Malaysia.
The Bobo Underdog of the Year Award is given by Bobo, the resident philosophizing dog of
Leonardo’s Dining Room and Wine Loft, who in addition to giving the award, fully sponsors
a fund raising dinner in aid of the cause the awardee has doggedly pursued. The inaugural
Bobo Underdog of the Year Award was bestowed on BERSIH 2, on Malaysia Day, 16th
September 2012.
The Bobo Underdog of the Year Award for 2014 was awarded to FIVE ARTS CENTRE, in
recognition of their 30 years of pioneering work in promoting Malaysian art forms.
The event was themed ‘Celebrating Many Malaysias’. Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan gave the
citation on Five Arts Centre, Ed Soo presented the award and Mark Teh gave the speech for
Five Arts Centre. The night was filled with food, drinks, friends, merry-making and
entertainment by Yudi Yap, Azmyl Yunor, Alia and the boys (Imri, Faiq, Mervyn and Sam)
and Fahmi Fadzil.
The Bobo Underdog of the Year Award is an initiative by Ed Soo, lawyer and avid supporter
of the arts and all initiatives towards a better Malaysia.
Ed Soo giving his speech
Dato’ Ambiga giving her speech
Azmyl Yunor performing
Alia and the boys performing
Alia and the boys performing
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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Gostan Forward, directed by Mark Teh, performed by Marion D’Cruz and Anne James,
Visual Design by Grey Yeoh
3 and 4 October 2014
JB Arts Festival
Johor Baru
Gostan Forward was first created and performed in 2009. Since then Gostan Forward has
been performed in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore (2010 and 2012), Penang and Japan. This year
Gostan Forward was performed in Johor Baru for the JB Arts Festival and in Finland.
Gostan Forward is an invitation to step into the mind and body of Marion D’Cruz and an
excavation of her memory of contemporary dance.
This solo performance-lecture traces
D’Cruz’s growth as a student, dancer, choreographer and educator, revealing her choices,
strategies and influences over the span of her 35-year dance career.
She shares with the audience heart-warming, bittersweet, inspiring and humorous anecdotes
and performs excerpts of her favourite and most significant dances, including Terinai, Swan
Song, Urn Piece, Bunga Manggar Bunga Raya, and more.
Before the performance in Johor Baru an open rehearsal was held in Five Arts Centre.
(Parasite Event 10)
The Making of Gostan Forward at Shifting Dialogues III: Documenting Asian Art and
Performance: Embodied Knowledge, Virtuality & the Archive
December 3-5, 2014 University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland
Marion was also invited to present Gostan Forward as a Keynote Presentation at a
Symposium in Finland. For this she talked about how Gostan Forward was made and
performed 4 segments.
JB Arts Festival
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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Rehearsals for Finland
Performance in Finland
12 Years of Visual Disobedience (Parasite Event 11)
An exhibition of Fahmi Reza's political posters, curated by Wong Tay Sy
18 – 28 October 2014
Five Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Featuring political posters, graphics and objects made by designer-activist Fahmi Reza since
2002, this exhibition brought together a wide collection of images that have been shown in
diverse contexts - ranging from guerrilla interventions to political protests, Facebook graphics
to designs in solidarity with Malaysian and international causes.
Fahmi Reza is a self-taught graphic designer, arts worker and political activist based in Kuala
Lumpur. As a political graphic designer, he has been openly critical of the government
through his work, and has been arrested and banned for his activism. In 2007, he directed the
critically-acclaimed historical documentary 10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka, which was awarded
the Most Outstanding Human Rights Film at the 2007 Freedom Film Fest. He was also a key
figure in the Occupy Dataran movement in Kuala Lumpur. He is currently banned by the
Sarawak government from entering the state because of his activism work.
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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Artist’s Talk
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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Borak Arts Series
22 – 23 November 2014
[email protected]
Kuala Lumpur
Marion D’Cruz, Mark Teh and Fahmi Fadzil were on two panels as part of the Borak Arts
Series organized by MyPAA – My Performing Arts Agency. Marion was a panelist on the
Value of Culture and Mark and Fahmi talked on The Art of Citizenship panel.
‘Value of Culture’ Panel
‘The Art of Citizenship’ Panel
To Be Completed – the Unfinished Business of Krishen Jit (Parasite Event 12)
Pre Conference Event
29 November 2014
Five Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
This event introduced the work of the late Dato’ Krishen Jit (1939-2005), pioneering
Malaysian theatre director, critic and educator. It discussed the significance of his
contribution as an artist and public intellectual, who examined what it meant to be Malaysian,
modern and multicultural in his work. The event aimed to suggest ways of thinking about
how theatre today could draw from some critical ideas and strategies he explored and
developed. The event had a talk by Charlene Rajendran who was the Convenor of the
conference Unfinished Business: Conference on Krishen Jit’s Performance Practice and
Contemporary Malaysian Theatre (9 – 11 January 2015). Her talk introduced ideas about
Krishen Jit’s directorial approaches and examined the significance of his work in Southeast
Asia. This was followed by a panel discussion on five of Krishen Jit’s works - The Cord
(1994), Family (1998), A Chance Encounter (1999), 7 TEN (2003) and Monkey Business
(2005). The panel comprised Fatimah Abu Bakar, Kathy Rowland, Margaret Martinez and
Mark Teh and was moderated by Ken Takiguchi. These works are now part of the National
University of Singapore (NUS)’s Theatre Performance Asia archive.
Through the discussions on the significance of Krishen’s methods and approaches, the
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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audience was prodded to further participate in Unfinished Business: A Conference on Krishen
Jit’s Performance and Contemporary Malaysian Theatre (9-11 January 2015).
Charlene Rajendran presenting
Panel Discussion
Performing Anis or The Attempted Canning of An Octopus (Parasite Event 13)
A Reading by Chee Sek Thim
10 December 2014
Five Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Performing Anis or The Attempted Canning of An Octopus is playwright Leow Puay Tin’s
latest work. It is a performance text developed from a workshop on research and
documentation by Professor Mohd Anis Mohd Nor. It takes the audience through a series of
text modules touching on history, culture, identity, self and nation. The 3 month rehearsal
process was an experimental laboratory where the performer/director gave a series of
readings to invited audience for feedback. This was one of the readings.
Chee Sek Thim and audience
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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Failed Asians & Critical Race Subjects: Leow Puay Tin & the Future of Dissident
Identity Politics in Malaysia. (Parasite Event 14)
A Lecture by Mohan Ambikaipaker
11 December 2014
Five Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Mohan Ambikaipaker is Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, African
Diaspora Studies, Asian Studies, Tulane University, USA. In this lecture, he examined the
work of the dissident ethnic minority Malaysian-Chinese playwright, Leow Puay Tin in order
to examine how identity politics is waged in Malaysia in response to the sustained
reproductions of racial hierarchies and the coloniality of capitalist developmentalism. The
lecture also presented a critique of the state of Malaysian cultural politics that has largely
been framed as the dogged 'plural society' problem involving the creation of some form of
Malaysian multiracial integration (via the acceptance of racial domination or through its
unrealized and also problematic alternative - post-racial egalitarianism). Malaysia's identity
politics and its futures need to consider new forms of cultural critique and social rectification
as exemplified in the ways that Leow also critiques the racist narrative of Asian cultural
ascendance on a global plane - or the 'Asian values' discourse that was prominent in the
Mohan Ambikaipaker
5 November 2014
Five Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Five Arts Centre managed the Krishen Jit Astro Fund for the 9th cycle last year. We
received 33 applications and the fund gave out 4 grants. The press conference to announce
the grantees was held at Five Arts Centre on 5 December 2014. The event was attended by
past grantees, friends and members of the media.
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel/Fax: +6 03 77254858 Email: [email protected] / /
The Grantees for 2014 were:
The Grant:
The Project: A Dance Performance with 14 mattresses that develops into an open-space
The Grant:
The Project: The Mengkerang Project: Home and Elsewhere – three video installations that
will culminate in one exhibition.
The Grant:
The Project: A Contemporary Dance Performance entitled Pakyung Revisited
The Grant:
The Project: In The Land That Never Was Dry – a series of graphic non-fiction stories
about water in Malaysia.
Ravi Navaratnam giving his speech
Lee Ren Xin, Sharon Chin, Marion D’Cruz, Au
Peng and Joseph Gonzales
Yayasan Sime Darby Press Conference
22 December 2014
Five Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Five Arts Centre received a grant of RM380,000 from Yayasan Sime Darby for tenTenTEN.
The press conference was held on 22 December 2014 at Five Arts Centre with speeches by
YBhg Datin Paduka Zaitoon Dato’ Othman, Yayasan Sime Darby Governing Council
Member and Marion D’Cruz. The event was attended by friends from Yayasan Sime Darby,
members of Five Arts Centre, members of the media and friends.
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel/Fax: +6 03 77254858 Email: [email protected] / /
Members of Yayasan Sime Darby, Five Arts
Centre and friends
Marion D’Cruz, YBhg.Datin Paduka Zaitoon Dato’
Othman and Pn. Hjh. Yatela Zainal Abidin
Besides all these projects and events…
Five Arts Centre members continued to work at full time jobs and did many individual
projects – much too many to list in this report!
We had many visitors from Japan, Korea, Shanghai and other places – artists and producers
looking at networking and future collaborations.
Five Arts Centre is a collective of artists and producers dedicated to generating alternative
art forms and images in the Malaysian creative environment. The collective’s scope of work
includes theatre, dance, music, visual arts and young people’s theatre.
Since it was formed in 1984, Five Arts Centre has been committed to articulating multiple
Malaysian identities and championing local creativity. Founded by theatre directors Chin
San Sooi and Krishen Jit, and dancer-choreographer Marion D’Cruz, Five Arts Centre has
been instrumental in the growth of a Malaysian identity in the arts.
For 30 years, Five Arts Centre has been at the forefront of creating experimental,
interdisciplinary and intercultural work, as well as providing platforms for the next
generation of arts practitioners. Contemporary social and cultural issues impinging on
Malaysian life are precipitated by the collective by way of exhibitions, performances, and
creative and research workshops.
The collective has performed and presented its work widely in Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea,
Hong Kong, India, Egypt, Australia, Canada, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Portugal,
Switzerland, Finland and the UK.
From 2004 to 2006, Five Arts Centre was the manager of Arts Network Asia, a regional
organisation supporting arts work in Asia. In 2006, ASTRO and Five Arts Centre launched
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel/Fax: +6 03 77254858 Email: [email protected] / /
the Krishen Jit ASTRO Fund to support artistic work by Malaysians and others committed to
the development of the arts in Malaysia.
Today, the collective includes 14 arts activists and practitioners from across the generations
and disciplines. Current members of Five Arts Centre include are Anne James, Chee Sek
Thim, Chew Kin Wah, Fahmi Fadzil, Ivy N. Josiah, Janet Pillai, June Tan, Kubhaer T.
Jethwani, Lew Chee Seong, Mac Chan, Marion D’Cruz, Mark Teh, Ravi Navaratnam, and
Suhaila Merican.
Anne James was trained in theatre at Universiti Sains Malaysia and Northwestern University
(USA). She is a much respected actor and dancer (Marion D’Cruz and Dancers) who has
performed both locally and internationally. She has worked with many directors including
Krishen Jit, Kee Thuan Chye, Richard Schechner, Ong Keng Sen, Joe Hasham, Will Gluth,
Hiroshi Koike, Ivan Heng, Zahim Albakri, Jo Kukathas, Natalie Hennedige and Chee Sek
Thim. Her appearances in film include Amir Muhammad’s Big Durian, Bernard Chauly’s
Gol dan Gincu, Nik Amir Mustapha’s award winning film KIL and Bikin Filem. Anne
teaches voice and acting at local institutions.
Chee Sek Thim started performing with Marion D’Cruz and Dancers in 1994 and has since
gone on to acting and more directing, having worked under Leow Puay Tin and Krishen Jit.
From 2003 to 2008, he founded and managed Reka Arts Space – a gallery that supported
young and alternative artists. During this period he also taught at the Department of
Performance and Media, Sunway University. He is currently based in Penang where he
continues with his work in theatre. He recently directed and performed Cakap Dapur: R& D
Stories (2015).
Chew Kin Wah is a versatile performer who has been performing on the Malaysian stage
since the 1980s. He has performed in numerous Five Arts Centre productions, including Yap
Ah Loy: The Play, Skin Trilogy, Family and Dumb Waiter. Kin Wah is one of the most wellknown faces on the Malaysian television screen, appearing in 3 of the most popular local
television shows, the long-running English Sitcom Kopitiam, Cantonese serial Homecoming
and Malay soap Astana Idaman 3. He now works mostly on films.
Ivy N. Josiah is a women’s rights activist being a pioneer member of Women’s Aid
Organisation (WAO) and the WAO Executive Director for over 15 years. She now works as a
Fundraiser for WAO. Ivy advocates for women’s human rights including civil and political
rights at the national, regional and international levels. Her theatre involvement includes
producing plays, costuming and the occasional acting. She was a dancer with Marion D Cruz
and Dancers and a theatre judge for the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards hosted
by Kakiseni.
Fahmi Fadzil is a performer and writer. He is the principal coordinator for a wayang
experimentation group Project Wayang and helps run Bright Lights at Midnight, a graphic
design and multimedia studio. Fahmi has performed in numerous award-winning theatre
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel/Fax: +6 03 77254858 Email: [email protected] / /
productions, including Second Link: Riding the Nice Bus (2006) and Dua, Tiga Dalang
Berlari (2007), and was the recipient of the Mandarin Oriental Fan of the Arts Most
Promising Artist Award at the 5th Annual BOH Cameronian Arts Awards 2006. He was also
a finalist in the theatre section for the 2008/9 cycle of the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts
Janet Pillai is a researcher, practitioner and activist in the field of arts and culture education,
specialising in creative pedagogy, cultural research and community outreach. She established
Arts-ED, a non-profit orgainisation which works in community area revitalisation projects in
partnership or consultation with artists and professionals, local agencies and community.
Pillai also contributes as expert resource person with the education training units of UNESCO
Bangkok and APCIEU Korea and has authored numerous articles and two books.
Pillai is also a theatre director who works in collaboration with performing artists and young
people to produce multi-media productions in community settings. A former associate
professor at the School of Arts, University Science Malaysia, she now works freelance as a
trainer, researcher and project consultant.
June Tan is a biologist from Imperial College, London involved in toxic waste management
and renewable energy from 1997 to 2009. In the performing arts, June has stage-managed,
tour-managed and produced theatre, dance, talks and site-specific projects. June’s creative
producing interest lies in facilitating space for alternative experiences and discourse.
Productions she has stage-managed include Family (1998, Berlin tour 1999), Split Gravy on
Rice (2002, Singapore tour 2003); and as Producer, Projek Angkat Rumah (2010), The 1955
Baling Talks at the Singapore Arts Festival (2011), 2 minute solos (2013) and others. June
also writes for film and TV (Autumn di Hatiku Season 2, nominated for ‘Best Digital Fiction
& Non Fiction Programme/ Series’ at the 2014 Asian Television Awards).
Kubhaer T. Jethwani is an up and coming film director in the Malaysian advertising
industry and has worked extensively in theatre, radio, film, and TV. He was a founding
member of Akshen, and his varied contributions to Five Arts Centre have included publicity
work, stage managing, writing, as well as acting.
Lew Chee Seong is a lawyer by profession. He has been a Five Arts Centre member since
1995 and has produced numerous Five Arts Centre productions.
Mac Chan has worked as a lighting designer and Theatre Consultant. He is a four -time
winner of the Best Lighting Design award at the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards, and in 2006
received a National Arts Award for his lighting design work. He is also extensively involved
in researching Asian performing arts spaces, and has been invited to many international
forums and conferences to participate in discussions on the development of theatre
architecture and technical theatre in Asia.
Marion D'Cruz, began dancing at the age of 6 and started making dance at the age of 16.
She graduated with a BA in Performing Arts and an MA in Dance from Universiti Sains
Malaysia and has studied classical, modern and contemporary dance in Malaysia, Indonesia,
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel/Fax: +6 03 77254858 Email: [email protected] / /
London and New York. In 1983 she formed Marion D'Cruz and Dancers who have
performed extensively both locally and internationally. One of the pioneers of contemporary
dance in Malaysia, her work has gone through many phases where she has broken many rules
to create interesting projects that empower both performers and audiences. Marion
choreographs, performs, produces and teaches fulltime at the Dance Faculty of ASWARA
(The National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage).
Mark Teh is a director, researcher, curator and educator whose diverse, projects are
particularly engaged with the issues of history, memory and the urban context. His
collaborative practice is situated primarily in performance and education, but also operates
via exhibitions, interventions, new media and writing. His most recent projects include
directing Something I Wrote (2013), Gostan Forward (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014), convening
the 1955 Baling Talks at the 2011 Singapore Arts Festival and co-curating the Save Our
Placards project at the Museum of London and Hyde Park, UK. Mark teaches at the
Department of Performance and Media, Sunway University.
Ravi Navaratnam began his theatre involvement as an actor in the 1980s. He soon moved
on to production and administrative work for Five Arts Centre. Ravi works in Corporate
Finance and continues to be active on the production and finance side of Five Arts Centre.
Suhaila Merican recently retired from corporate life and now works part time in her Alma
Mater, the Food Science and Technology Faculty in UPM. Suhaila is married and has a 14
year old son. She has performed in 3 Children and Lady White, Chin San Sooi's productions
in the 90's and produced a number of stage productions for Five Arts Centre, the most
recent, Cakap Dapur: R&D Stories (2015) by Leow Puay Tin.
Office/Production Manager:
Hoe Hui Ting graduated from New Era College Drama and Visuals Department in 2011. She
is an active freelance stage manager and has worked with well-known theatre companies in
Malaysia such as Instant Cafe Theatre, Five Arts Centre, Pentas Project, O Puppet Theatre
and others.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------In conclusion…
Five Arts Centre continues to operate from our studio and office in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.
Five Arts Centre is supported by ASTRO, AnCasa Hotel and Resorts, Kino-i, The
Ministry of Tourism and Culture, The National Department of Arts and Culture,
Yayasan Sime Darby and many other corporations and individual Friends of Five Arts
Centre. We are extremely grateful for this support which has allowed us to grow over the
past 30 years, in the quality, expanse and amount of our work.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Report prepared by:
Marion D’Cruz
+6 012 7270913
[email protected]
Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel/Fax: +6 03 77254858 Email: [email protected] / /

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