Three-week long cultural festival opens at Malay Heritage Centre

Minister Lawrence Wong looking at a display of fusion wanyang kulit that will be used in a shadow-play performance using the storyline and characters from Star Wars.

SINGAPORE - With work by visual and performing artists from Singapore and the region, the Malay CultureFest 2014 will run from Oct 13 to Nov 2. Entrance is free.

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Here is the media statement from the National Heritage Board:


Exciting array of local and regional presentations at the Malay Heritage

Centre's special exhibition Budi Daya and 2014's Malay CultureFest

SINGAPORE - This October, immerse yourself in the length and depth of Malay culture, both traditional and contemporary, as the Malay Heritage Centre (MHC) presents a brand new special exhibition, Budi Daya, and the third annual Malay CultureFest.

Aligned to the Centre's overarching theme for 2014 - "Nilai" or "Values", both the exhibition and the festival are a vibrant expression of Malay culture and its ideals, as seen throughout the Southeast Asian region.

For a more dynamic and diverse expression of the Malay arts, culture and the Malay community itself, both the exhibition and festival feature visual and performing artists from Singapore and the region, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Budi Daya and the Malay CultureFest will be officially launched by Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, on Monday 13 October 2014, 8.30pm.

Budi Daya - the embodiment and expression of Malay culture

Budi Daya is the first exhibition at MHC to offer a multi-pronged presentation of historical artefacts, contemporary artworks and "living culture" programmes, in its aim to explore the value and meaning of 'culture' from the Malay perspective.

The exhibition, which reflects the connection between traditional and contemporary, also showcases the dynamics between aesthetics of Malay craftsmanship and the vibrant, energetic expressions of contemporary artists from around the region. It is MHC's third special exhibition since the Centre's re-opening in September 2012.

This multi-layered show will feature 19 artists and 57 artefacts drawn from the National Collection and private loans, including 18 new commissions, and existing works by artists from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, A Heritage Institution of Cambodia and Vietnam.

The contemporary artworks consist of art forms including paintings, sculptures, installations, embroidery, performance, architecture and video art.

Highlights include a community project by Kelantanese artist Roslisham Ismail@ISE who will engage local communities in appreciating the hidden histories and traditional knowledge behind much-loved cuisine; and a mixed-media installation and performance by Singapore artists, Rizman Putra and Safuan Johari, which are based on the eclectic musical influence of NADA, the pop band that came to fame in the 1970s.

Visitors can also look forward to artefacts, such as an ornate, carved wooden "lunch-box", and tackle-box, used as daily equipment by fishermen from the East Coast of the Malay Peninsula, as well as unusual sets of the quintessential tepak sirih (Malay set of receptacles and implements used in the betel-chewing custom) from Sumatra and the Philippines.

Together, artefacts and artworks portray the intellectual and passionate facets of Malay cultural aesthetics.

Budi Daya runs from 13 October 2014 to 29 March 2015.

Malay CultureFest 2014

Similarly, the Malay CultureFest sees a wider and longer-term engagement with Malay artists and arts groups, and includes a multitude of Malay cultural expressions, ranging from performances to talks and workshops - all selected for their rootedness in traditions and awareness of the contemporary landscape.

Festival highlights include Nan Jombang, a dance troupe from Sumatra, Indonesia, presenting an energetic contemporary version of the randai; a unique Star Wars-inspired performance of Fusion Wayang Kulit, which will be performed for the first time in Singapore; and a ghazal recital by a collaboration of musicians from Singapore and Malaysia.

The Malay CultureFest is held over three weeks (Tuesday to Sunday) from 13 October to 2 November.

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