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Sunday November 4, 2007

Krishen’s legacy continues


THE Krishen Jit Astro fund was created to honour the late theatre veteran’s pioneering work in encouraging Malaysian creativity in as many ways and in as many media as possible. 

Krishen’s (1939-2005) theatre practice brought together a wide range of contrasting spheres, producing projects that were inter-disciplinary, multi-cultural, multi-lingual and experimental. It was in that spirit the fund was launched in 2006. 

The inaugural awardees chosen by fund managers Astro and the Five Arts Centre last year were Au Sow Yee, for a film installation and performance entitled Cinema of the Trompe L’oeil; Sharon Chin, for research and an interactive installation and exhibition of work concerning libraries and banned books, Sensors (which was held earlier this year); and Dr Ray Langenbach, for his ongoing Malaysian Performance Video Archives Project, which will document local directorial works and performances from 1988 to 2006 as a training tool for the younger generation of actors. 

This year, the fund will once again give out grants ranging from RM5,000 to RM20,000. 

The 2007 grantees, announced on Friday, are indie filmmaker Amir Muhammad for a film, Punggok Rindukan Bulan; musicians and composers Hardesh Singh and C.H. Loh for the first Malaysian CD anthology; Lim Kok Yoong for his public arts project Let Arts Move You (Lamu) that takes the arts into public spaces such as trains and train stations (see story opposite); and Shahili Abdan (aka Nam Ron) for research in Southern Thailand for theatre script.  

Amir’s film will be set in the working-class Bukit Cagar Flats of Johor Baru that are slated to be torn down to make way for development. The story focuses on two people: A young boy growing up after being abandoned by his mother, and a young woman who returns to preserve her memories of the flats.  

The movie is written and directed by Johor Baru native Azharr Rudin and produced by Amir Muhammad. 

Hardesh and Loh’s Malaysian Contemporary Music Vol. 1 is a milestone in the local music scene. It will document the growing body of Malaysian compositions, many of which have been premiered exclusively abroad and have won awards. The CD aims to leave a lasting record of the existence of this repertoire so that future generations may build on it. 

The Facing Fear–Cross Border Project is a collaboration between Nam Ron and Thai theatre practitioner Narumol Thammapruksa.  

They will conduct research into the violence that has engulfed Southern Thailand for the past several years. They will interview victims of this violence to try to understand the issue in-depth and find ways of using theatre to empower these people. The material gathered will be used to create a script that could be used for theatre. 

For more information on the Krishen Jit Astro Fund, go to www.fiveartscentre.org.  

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