Since the last General Election, Malaysians have been treated to so many visions, dreams, and hopes for new Malaysia(s), yet how much has really changed? With so many ‘surprises’ that each new day brings, how do we keep sane? How do we stay safe? How do we respond to these events?
Or is the saying still true, that “the night is darkest just before dawn”?
Wayang Fajar, the first part of the ‘Wayang Cahaya’ series, is a performance of stories inspired by the many dawns we – and Malaysia – experience. The project continues Fahmi Fadzil and gang’s ongoing explorations into urban forms of wayang.
The project also brings together many of Kuala Lumpur’s most exciting young artists, including singer-songwriter Azmyl Yunor, performer-writer-dalang Fahmi Fadzil, visual designer Grey Yeoh, architect Lisa Foo, writer-photographer Myra Mahyuddin, musician Ronnie Khoo (of Furniture) and writer Zedeck Siew.
About Projek Wayang
Projek Wayang was initiated in 2006, as part of Five Arts Centre’s Krishen Jit Experimental Workshop Series. At that point in time, the principal collaborators – Aziz Ali, Azmyl Yunor, and Fahmi Fadzil – were interested in searching for new forms of wayang that responded to the urban, contemporary environment such as Kuala Lumpur.
Projek Wayang has performed at various events and festivals, including Live Arts Festival, Bangkok (Wayang Buku & Wayang Lampu, 2007), Urbanscapes (Wayang Lampu, 2008) and the Contemporary Arts in School (CAIS) project (Wayang Buku, 2008).
Azmyl Yunor is a singer-songwriter and lecturer in several local colleges. Through Troubadours, Azmyl and several other friends have been organizing a number of gigs, known as KL Sing Song, that have courted much public attention as a platform to highlight young and old Malaysian singer-songwriter talent. Apart from that, he always performs with a number of bands in the Klang Valley, and has released a critically-acclaimed EP, Tenets, in 2005.
Fahmi Fadzil is a performer and writer. He is a member of arts collective Five Arts Centre, a partner with graphic and multimedia design studio Bright Lights At Midnight, and principal coordinator of wayang experimentation group Projek Wayang. He was the recipient of the ‘Mandarin Oriental Fan of the Arts Award for Most Promising Artist’ at the 2007 BOH Cameronian Arts Awards, and theatre finalist for the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative (2008/2009 cycle).
Grey Yeoh is a graduate of The One Academy of Communication Design majoring in Multimedia design. Last year, he co-curated the Emergency Festival by Five Arts Centre. More recently, he was the visual designer for Gostan Forward: a solo performance lecture by Marion D’Cruz. He was also selected by the British Council to participate in the 48 Hours Inclusive Design Challenge in Seoul, Korea earlier this year.
Lisa Foo is the co-founder of FOTA Design in 2007, a design practice in architecture, interior and sculpture. Graduated with BA in Architecture from the University of New South Wales, Sydney at the end of 2003, and after a spell of almost two years with a large commercial practice, Lisa has reveled in the opportunity to design an experimental private house in Kuala Lumpur to strike out on her own. Her involvement in the arts emerged in November 2007 when she was an artist participant at numerous Arts for Grabs events organized by The Annexe Gallery, Central Market, Kuala Lumpur. In the event, her collaboration with her friend formed LFSS and created luminous eco-light sculpture from recycled plastic bottles.
Myra Mahyuddin is a writer and self-taught freelance photographer who has been involved in a number of theatre productions in the past few years. In June 2006, Myra made her performing debut, as well as choreographed, in Choreography for Non-Choreographers, a project by Marion D’Cruz. Myra is currently assistant editor of KLue, an urban youth culture magazine.
Ronnie Khoo is a musician and member of noise-rock outfit Furniture and no-wave punk act Ciplak, playing shows around the Klang Valley, Singapore and Bangkok. He records and produces works for his bands, and has contributed in recordings of other local acts such as Lucy in the Loo, Azmyl Yunor and Ferns. Much of his music has also been featured in television and film, including the KAMI series and movie, James Lee’s Before We Fall in Love Again, Woo Ming Jin’s The Elephant and the Sea and Eleanor Low’s Nasi Lemak Dinah.
Zedeck Siew is currently a writer with KLue, after spending time at news analysis repository The Nut Graph. He used to function as (variously) critic, feature writer and editor at Kakiseni.com, an online arts journal. He enjoys playing games and watching birds of various varieties.
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 has been instrumental in the growth of a Malaysian identity in the arts.
Today, the collective has grown to include 14 arts activists and practitioners from across the generations and disciplines. Current members of Five Arts Centre include 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.
For 25 years, Five Arts has been in the forefront of creating experimental, interdisciplinary and intercultural work, as well as providing platforms for the next generation of arts practitioners (including the Rhythm In Bronze gamelan ensemble and the ‘Directors’ Workshop’ training programme). Contemporary social and cultural issues impinging on Malaysian life are precipitated by the collective by way of exhibitions, performances, and creative and research workshops. Projects and performances have taken place in theatres, art galleries, dance clubs, schools, colleges, universities, offices, shopping malls, old mansions, squatter areas, low-cost flats, parks, futsal centres, and on the streets.
Over the past 25 years Five Arts Centre has produced over 90 plays, 13 dance productions, ten children’s theatre productions, nine music concerts, seven visual art events, several interdisciplinary events, an album of contemporary gamelan music, and over 100 workshops and training programmes. The company has also performed internationally in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Cairo, Berlin and Manchester.
From 2004 to 2006, Five Arts Centre was manager of Arts Network Asia, a regional organisation supporting arts work in Asia.
In 2006, ASTRO and Five Arts Centre launched the Krishen Jit ASTRO Fund to support artistic work by Malaysians and others committed to the development of the arts in Malaysia.
Venue: The Annexe Gallery, Central Market, Kuala Lumpur.
Dates & Times: 3 shows
8.30pm, Friday 11 December & Saturday 12 December 2009.
3.00pm, Sunday 13 December 2009.
Happening in conjunction with Arts For Grabs!
Entry by donation: RM10 (available on performance days at The Annexe).
For more information, call/fax Five Arts Centre at 03-77254858, email email@example.com or visit http://www.fiveartscentre.org