CausewayEXchange 2011 Bridges Art and Culture Between Singapore and Malaysia

Call it cultural or lifestyle tourism, arts is given a new stage in this unique Singapore-Malaysia exchange. And businesses can join in too to partake of networking opportunities. Mallika Naguran reports.

CausewayExchange2010 saw Malaysian artists entertaining Singapore audiences.

Singapore, 29 July 2011. Singapore and Malaysia can now find a common ground (apart from The Malaysian Cup) in arts and culture through a stimulating rendezvous, aptly called CausewayEXchange. The flavours of Singapore in the form of photo exhibition, theatre and film productions will drift over the causeway bridges to be staged at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre @ Sentul Park (KLPAC) over three days, beginning 4 August 2011.

This programme reciprocates Malaysian artists' appearance in the lion city last year. Thirty artists performed in 11 acts to an audience of about 3,000 at The Arts House. The CauseEXchange is organised by the Asian Culture Enterprise Singapore and DMR Productions.

Says Lyndon Yeo, Director of ACES, “CausewayExchange holds the vision of a future that forms a closer relationship between the next generation of Singaporeans and Malaysians through a holistic and reciprocal arts and culture based programme. We were encouraged by the response from CausewayExchange 2010 and we envision this initiative to be one where the relationship between the two countries is strengthened through collaboration and dialogue that takes place through the arts.”

Lyndon Yeo: Artists and businesses are welcome to CausewayEXchange

What will be on? Short plays by award-winning Singapore playwright Desmond Sim and Malaysian writer Nandang Abdul Rahman collectively titled Food, Sex and Death; filmmaker Tan Pin Pin’s Singapore Gaga that has garnered critical acclaim at international film festivals; and a KL premiere of On TheEmerald Hill, a dramatic monologue by Singaporean actor, director and playwright Jonathan Lim.

Other events at CausewayEXchange 2011 include the launch of Lit up KL, which is a sister event of the Lit Up Singapore festival. Lit up KL features top writers from the two cities. Representing Singapore will be Ken Mizusawa, an award-winning Japanese educator and playwright who lives here.

Chinese-literate art lovers can also appreciate cartoonist Heng Kim Song’s contribution at an exhibition. He had drawn cartoons for editorial use in a Singapore’s Mandarin news daily for the past two decades.

Shawn Lourdusamy, Director of DMR Productions hopes the CausewayExchange will nurture young artists from all art genres for years to come. “We hope to continue to be able to serve as a platform for the upcoming artists and build new audiences in both Singapore and Malaysia...” he says.

Established and budding artists, photographers, educators and art enthusiasts are not the only ones who stand to gain from this cultural exchange. Businesses and entrepreneurs can participate in the programme and mingle with their Malaysian counterparts over a number of opportunities present, such as evening cocktails, Gaia Discovery is informed. This is to provide an avenue for businesses to meet over art events, and to promote appreciation of the arts industry.

Visual imagery will abound in the upcoming cultural exchange as it did last year.

Says Dato’ Faridah Merican of The Actors Studio,“It’s thrilling to witness and partake in the process of building closer relationships with our neighbours through the arts. Last year Malaysia went down to Singapore to the Arts House and it was well received.”

“This year KLPAC plays host to CausewayEXchange and we do hope that all may experience the wonderful variety of works presented, as there is something for everyone to enjoy,” she adds.

The trip from Singapore includes stopovers at places of cultural/tourist interest such as batik handicraft shop, local restaurants to sample Chinese and Portuguese cuisines, Pulau Carey and the Orang Asli resettlement.

Tickets are available for any interested artist, educator, businessperson, or otherwise, to go on this trip. Two night/three day package on twin-sharing basis costs $498 (single $598). All are welcome.

Photos courtesy of The Arts House

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Read Gaia Discovery review of the CausewayExchange event here and watch videos of the poetry slammers