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5 things to look forward to at Borak Arts Series 2017

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*Main feature image: Cambodian Living Arts

Borak Arts Series is coming to Kuala Lumpur and we have listed out 5 things you can look forward to during the conference happening at MAP KL, Publika on 14-15 October 2017.

Arn Chorn-Pond at a photo exhibit of Cambodian war refugees at the John Joseph. Photo credit: The Boston Globe

1 ) Journey of Arn-Chorn Pond

Award-winning Founder of the Cambodian Living Arts, Arn-Chorn Pond, will be speaking on the topic of “Arts and Culture is Essential for Conflict Recovery and Sustainable Development” as this year’s keynote speaker. At age 11, Arn-Chorn Pond experienced firsthand the atrocities of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge genocide regime that saw the demise of up to 90 percent of Cambodia’s artists and preservers of the Khmer cultural heritage. He is one of the few who survived the genocide and was determined to rescue what was left of Cambodia’s traditional arts by navigating the country in search of remaining arts practitioners who would pass on their artistry to the future generation.


2) What projects will be presented at Pitchpad ASEAN?

Since 2015, Borak Arts Series has hosted Pitchpad ASEAN as a platform for arts practitioners to launch their projects to achieve a wider audience and creates opportunities for them to collaborate or work with international festival directors and venue programmers.

A number of Southeast Asian artists have been secured by international presenters to perform beyond their places of origin or accepted representation by an international touring agency through the networking opportunities offered at Borak Arts Series. Some of the success stories include:

  • Aida Redza Moved by Padi (Malaysia) presented in George Town Festival 2016
  • TerryandtheCuz Sk!n (Malaysia) presented in OzAsia Festival 2016, Adelaide, Australia
  • Phare Circus (Cambodia), Hands Percussion (Malaysia) and Nading Rhapsody (Malaysia) being represented by KMP Artists USA
  • Amrita Performing Arts’ Bordal Serei (Cambodia) presented in Esplanade Singapore 2016, Singapore
  • Sipat Lawin’s Gobreyno (Philippines) presented in Darwin Festival 2016, Australia

Sipat Lawin’s Gobyerno


3) Meeting the festival directors

For those who didn’t get a chance to participate at Pitchpad ASEAN, you will still get a chance to meet with international presenters, festival directors and venue programmers in a “speed-dating” style session called the One-On-One meetings. There will be more than 10 tables for you to choose from, however you must make a reservation when purchasing your ticket. This year, there will be up to 5 tables consisting of presenters from USA. Other tables consists of festival directors from Australia, Japan, and Malaysia. Check out the line up from our programme schedule at borakarts.com.


4) Performances

What’s an arts conference without performances? Past years’ Borak Arts Series have featured performances from artists such as January Low, Rhythm in Bronze, Aida Redza and TerryandTheCuz. Last year’s Borak Arts Series closing ceremony even featured the “infamous” busker from Sungai Petani, Cikgu Man.


Rhythm in Bronze performing at Borak Arts Series 2015


5) Meet Chumpon Apisok

Chumpon Apisuk

He is known for his activism in AIDS, Human Rights and democracy. He also works with EMPOWER Foundation, which was founded by his partner Chantawipa Apisuk, an organization that advocates for the rights of sex workers in Thailand. He has continuously promoted performance art in Thailand since 80s and is a well-known performance artist in Asia. Since 1996, he has performed in Germany, England, Quebec, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, Australia and the USA.

He founded Concrete House in 1993, an art and community space, and the only performance art venue in Thailand. He is also a founder and director of “Asiatopia — an International Performance Art Festival in Thailand”, since 1998. He is currently a member of the board of Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, in Bangkok.

Chumpon Apisuk will be among the speakers for this year’s conference, which includes Suon Bunrith (Cambodian Living Arts), Dr. Joseph Gonzales (The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts), Kok Heng Leun (Drama Box, Singapore), June Tan (Five Arts Centre, Malaysia), YBhg. Dato’ Kamil Othman (Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, Malaysia), Norzizi Zulkifli (Universiti Teknologi MARA), Elizabeth Cardosa (Badan Warisan Malaysia), Ahmad Fuad Rahmat (BFM 89.9, Malaysia), Nadira Ilana (Malaysian writer and filmmaker), Faiza Mardzoeki (Institut Ungu, Women’s Arts & Cultural Space, Indonesia) and more.

This year’s panel discussions carry topics that spark conversations about the power of arts in contributing to building better communities. Among some of the topics are:

  • “Politics, Activism and the Arts. How Do We Support Advocacy For Freedom of Expression and Cultural Rights in Southeast Asia”
  • “Is Cultural Policy Relevant to Artists”
  • “Preserving Versus Resisting Arts and Culture”
  • “Arts & Culture Education: Yesterday & Tomorrow”

Get tickets and find out more on borakarts.com!

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