Five Arts Centre
Pudu-Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Arts & Culture

Five Arts Centre is a dynamic collective of Malaysian artists, activists, and producers, dedicated to generating alternative art forms and images in the contemporary arts landscape.

It is well-known for cutting edge performances in theatre, dance, music, and young people’s theatre, and incorporates aspects of the visual and digital arts as well. The collective has performed and presented its work across Southeast Asia, as well as in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, India, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Finland, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

Collaborative Creation, Experimentation & Education

Since it was formed in 1984 by theatre directors Chin San Sooi and Krishen Jit, dancer-choreographer Marion D’Cruz, writer K.S. Maniam and visual artist Redza Piyadasa, Five Arts Centre has been committed to articulating the complexity of Malaysian culture and identity through explorations and fusions of local vocabularies, forms, and traditions – in relation to the global, modern, and cross-cultural. As such, it has been instrumental in the growth of a Malaysian identity in the arts that draws from multiple influences and hybrid histories.

For over three decades, Five Arts Centre has been at the forefront of creating experimental, interdisciplinary, and intercultural work, providing platforms for the next generation of arts practitioners. Contemporary social, political, and cultural issues impinging on Malaysian life are precipitated by way of performances, exhibitions, creative seminars, research workshops and arts advocacy.

Arts Advocacy & Cultural Activism

From 2004 to 2006, Five Arts Centre was the manager of Arts Network Asia, an organisation supporting regional exchanges across Asia. In 2006, ASTRO and Five Arts Centre launched the Krishen Jit Fund to support the work of artists and researchers committed to the development of arts and culture in Malaysia. Since 2018, Five Arts Centre has served as secretariat for the ReformARTsi coalition, made up of arts organisations, practitioners, and academics who have come together to build consensus and advocacy on specific reforms and policies for the performing arts in Malaysia. Five Arts Centre has been recognised for its contributions to arts and culture in the region, receiving the inaugural ‘Most Inspiring Award’ at the 2015 Boh Cameronian Arts Awards, and the 2016 ‘Praemium Imperiale Grant for Young Artists’ award from The Japan Art Association.

Today, the collective consists of 13 individuals from diverse disciplines and generations. They are Anne James, Faiq Syazwan Kuhiri, Ivy N. Josiah, Janet Pillai, June Tan, Kubhaer T. Jethwani, Lee Ren Xin, Mac Chan, Marion D’Cruz, Mark Teh, Ravi Navaratnam, Suhaila Merican, and Syamsul Azhar.

by malaysiakini

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