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Thinking and Talking about Arts and Culture in Southeast Asia

ArtsEquator Ltd is an arts media company that values and promotes Southeast Asian regional arts practice. Southeast Asia has a complex and vibrant arts scene, heavily influenced by the various cultures found in this region. Yet, there are few spaces exclusively dedicated to in-depth criticism and analysis that are regionally oriented. And that is what we are looking to change!

Southeast Asia is a cultural melting pot, with the various nations in the region each contributing a plurality of unique perspectives. Each country has a rich and diverse culture that influences how its people view the arts, which in turn impacts how the art is created, and we believe this is a ripe subject to explore through our incisive articles written by writers residing in Southeast Asia.

Another essential aspect that is part of the arts ecosystem is arts criticism. Art is meant to evoke a response, and we believe a work exists within a context and that the audience adds to the experience of the work. Informed critique and discussions about work is part of the larger context in which the work of artists sit. Through these writings and discussions, the creator, the critic and the audience contribute to the sharing, understanding and discourse around the art, and the larger environment of expression.

This is why we believe a robust arts media is an essential part of a healthy arts ecosystem. As such, we are committed to developing thought-provoking articles pertaining to the field of arts writing and arts criticism, thereby identifying Southeast Asian creative practices as part of, rather than adjunct to, global contemporary arts. ArtsEquator serves arts makers, arts audiences, and arts critics. ArtsEquator is a not-for-profit company based in Singapore.

Thought-provoking articles we recommend checking out

As you look to broaden your horizon on the field of arts writing and arts criticism in Singapore and beyond, you can consider checking out some of our past articles that are worth a read.

  1. To Biennale or Not to Biennale (Part 1 & Part 2) by Sunitha Janamohanan

A two-part essay detailing the origins and rise of the biennale within the context of Malaysia’s aspiration to be known as a world-class international visual arts mega-exhibition destination.

  1. What the Arts in Malaysia Needs: More Transparency, Less Intermediaries by Kathy Rowland

A critical examination of what the arts scene in Malaysia requires to thrive after years of neglect and lip service being paid to the arts and culture industry in the country.

  1. Transcultural Lullabies: Rohingya and Malay folksongs by Mayyu Ali and Sharon Chin

A unique and meaningful collaborative project between Rohingya poet Mayyu Ali and Malaysian artist Sharon Chin as they share about Rohingya and Malay lullabies and folksongs.

  1. Coronalogues, pandemic spectatorship (and the critic) by Nabilah Said and Corrie Tan

An in-depth analysis of how the role of a critic and a spectator of theatre changes due to the shift from a live audience to pandemic spectatorship as examined through the eyes of Nabilah Said and Corrie Tan.

  1. Pandemic in the Philippines: A cultural sector on its own by Katrina Stuart Santiago

A critical examination of where cultural leadership can be found in the Philippines – in the absence of state-led support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.