26 january 2010
The overwhelming response to the state’s pilot Art and Performance Festival (MAP Fest) has the organisers already planning one for this year.
The three-day festival organised by E-plus Entertainment Productions was one of the major events to round out 2009.
Many of the festival-goers made the trip from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and various other states in Malaysia to catch the site-specific performances, art installations and 15/15 film festival featuring short films from international directors.
STREET ART: Brendan O’Connor performing to an audience.
The programmes, all of which were free, were listed in huge prints at strategic spots.
The site-specific performances that took place at seven locations around the historical hill of St Paul were the highlight.
Site-specific performance is a repertoire inspired by the site where the artist performs.
MESMERISING: Indonesian performer Agung Gunawan inspiring the audience.
Colourful banners decorating the old city square and hillside helped create a more festive atmosphere.
Crowds cheered, danced along to music and watched the artistic performances with rapt attention and often left hungry for more.
A downpour on one of the evenings failed to stop the dance artists who assimilated the weather into their performance.
One of the most interesting art installations was a tree covered with the thoughts, wishes, fears and deepest secrets of hundreds of people written on coconut leaves.
The writings, in a multitude of languages, have been archived to be used for a future sound installation.
ENTHRALLING: A view of the St Paul’s Church ruins during the event at night.
The key events, Budak Melaka and Eulogy For the Living, transformed the ruins St Paul’s Church into a magical experience with integrated dance, music, performance art and video images like a living fresco on the walls and ceiling. Even nature provided a full moon as the celestial lantern.
Meanwhile, the 15/15 film festival was screened at an open space. It provided filmmakers, including budding talents, a chance to tell their stories.
For the festival-goers, history was living through the arts in poetic languages that moved them.
The organisers are now in search of sponsorships for a fuller version of the MAP Fest this year, at which they plan to also hold a workshop on making short films.
|FESTIVAL THEME FRONT PAGE|
From the 15th to the 21st Century, we find an ongoing quest for meaning. In the passing of cultures and waves of history, the passage of commerce and art… What is unique to our time, what is contemporary, and how do all these things go hand in hand, clasped in the fold of time?
Old ruins and heritage sites are a part of our own lived history. They give us a sense of continuity with the old ways of trade and commerce, while giving us pause to reflect on modern times. Through performance, artists respond to these sites in ways that directly affect the audience – memories drawn out of the walls, and out of the body.
An overall theme for the Festival is the notion of a living eulogy, inspired by the little wooden tablets in the Cheng Hoon Teng temple, attached with photos commemorating loved ones who have passed on. The finale performance, Eulogy for the Living is a kind of devotional work for making our way in the world, an internal journey into the memory of body and soul. Here we transform and reconnect a deeper part of ourselves, within the fleeting transience of contemporary life. We the living both preserve the past and allow things to pass – we eulogise ourselves in each moment. Life goes on…
Festival Producer : Andrew Ching
Creative Director: Tony Yap
Co-Creative Director: Michael Hornblow
Artist Liaison: Janette Hoe
OVERVIEW MAP CONCEPT:
A Place of Cultural fusion – Past, Present and Future – Mapping the City… with its stories, through selected sites for audiences all over Melaka. A place for artists to experiment and present short Innovative Performances in all Artistic mediums, to encourage the life of the arts in Malaysia, Asia and Internationally.
The Arts are necessary to propel the new. MAP seeks to promote Melaka to the world as a Creative Hub for innovative arts – where heritage is respected and artistic and cultural fusion is encouraged. Not just as entertainment but through a vibrant development of community involvement that integrates – and maps – the arts within the life of Melaka.
MELAKA is fast developing commercially and there is a need to combine this with cultural and creative paths through a balance of spiritual and artistic maturity. Innovative focus and international collaborations will expose the community to a potentially vibrant new direction in the development of Melaka’s future within the Global MAP. Traditional Arts will be showcased alongside contemporary expressions with innovative uses of new technology.