Mining for the arts

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Arts - More info: cause­wayex­change.com By NABILAH SAID

A MALAYSIAN city with colo­nial build­ings, mu­rals and hip­ster cafes. No, it is not Ge­orge Town in Pe­nang, but Ipoh in Perak – a for­mer tin mining area ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a re­nais­sance of sorts.

The or­gan­is­ers of an an­nual fes­ti­val, Cause­way EX­change, are lev­er­ag­ing the charm and her­itage of Ipoh for its up­com­ing edi­tion. The fes­ti­val, which fea­tures cross­bor­der cul­tural ex­changes be­tween Sin­ga­pore and Malaysia, takes place in Ipoh from Aug 24-27 and in KL from Sept 22-24.

It was started in 2010 by events or­gan­iser DMR Pro­duc­tions and Sin­ga­pore-based cre­ative non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion Global Cul­tural Al­liance. This is the first time there are ac­tiv­i­ties in Ipoh. The fes­ti­val has been held in Johor Baru, Kuala Lumpur and Ge­orge Town. It is also or­gan­ised in Sin­ga­pore every other year. The fes­ti­val’s pro­gram­ming in Ipoh in­cludes per­for­mances by Sin­ga­pore theatre com­pany Teater Eka­ma­tra, panel dis­cus­sions by Sin­ga­pore and Malaysian po­ets and mu­ral art­works by Sin­ga­pore artists Ernest Goh and Yip Yew Chong.

Over in KL, the pro­gram­ming will fo­cus on how the arts can help in ther­apy and medicine.

For ex­am­ple, a group of Repub­lic Poly­tech­nic stu­dents will present a sen­sory-friendly pro­duc­tion ti­tled How Sin­ga­pore Got Its Name on Sept 23 and 24. The show, about the found­ing of Sin­ga­pore, is suit­able for chil­dren with spe­cial needs.

There will also be a con­cert and ex­hi­bi­tion held in the dark to bring about greater aware­ness of the ex­pe­ri­ences of the blind.

Sin­ga­pore poet Yong Shu Hoong, 50, looks for­ward to learn­ing more about writ­ers from Malaysia.

He is part of a lit­er­ary panel dis­cus­sion on Aug 26 that will look at the sim­i­lar­i­ties and dif­fer­ences be­tween Sin­ga­pore and Malaysia’s lit­er­ary scene, ti­tled Same Same But Dif­fer­ent.

The panel in­cludes Sin­ga­porean poet Sim Piak How and Malaysian po­ets Wani Ardy, Paul Gnana Sel­vam and Brid­get Eu Yoke Lin.

“I’ve al­ways held the be­lief that we should have more of such in­ter­ac­tions. I don’t think we know enough of each other’s lit­er­ary scenes,” says Yong.

“I’m cu­ri­ous about how Ipoh can be de­vel­oped into more of a cul­tural cen­tre. Go­ing there feels a bit like a group of pioneers go­ing to test the wa­ters and ex­pe­ri­ence the cul­ture – to be there be­fore it gets overde­vel­oped.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Net­work

Sin­ga­pore’s Repub­lic Poly­tech­nic stu­dents in How Sin­ga­pore Got Its Name ,a sen­sory-friendly pro­duc­tion about the found­ing of Sin­ga­pore. It is suit­able for chil­dren with spe­cial needs. — The Straits Times/ANN

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