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Thinking and Talking about Arts and Culture in Southeast Asia
 

About Us

What we do

Despite the vibrant arts scene in cities like Jogjakarta, Singapore, George Town, Bangkok and Manila, our cultural, aesthetic and historical reference points are often orientated away from Southeast Asia.

Artsequator is a digital media platform which covers arts and culture in Southeast Asia.

Launched in November 2016 by Kathy Rowland and Jenny Daneels, we are a platform for arts writing and criticism in Southeast Asia. ArtsEquator Viewpoints are original articles, podcasts, videos, photo essays and illustrations produced by our team and an international pool of contributors. ArtsEquator Radar features articles and posts drawn from local sites and publications – aggregated content from outside sources that allow us to be exposed to a multitude of voices in the region. ArtsEquator was the first platform in Singapore to produce art-related podcasts.

With the decline of traditional media, spaces for arts publishing and criticism have all but vanished in recent years. Yet, arts media is an essential part of the arts ecosystem. ArtsEquator operates as an independent intermediary that supports the arts and culture sector.

Our principal stakeholders are arts makers, arts critics and arts audiences in Southeast Asia.

ArtsEquator Ltd. is a Charity, registered in Singapore.

Our Editorial Policy

Ours is one of the only platforms to cover the arts across genres and across geographical borders in Southeast Asia. This includes, but is not limited to:

– works made by Southeast Asian artists and arts organisations, presented in the region or elsewhere.

– works by international artists presented in Southeast Asia.

– events, policies, people, works that intersect with Southeast Asian culture and arts in its broadest sense.

We want to cover as many events and works, across small towns and large cities in Southeast Asia as possible. Sadly, we have limited financial resources and our team is dismal at astral projection, so we’re especially focused on the under-served performing arts and dance communities in Southeast Asia. But we will still cover film, visual arts, books, TV, culture and more, especially those with a regional focus or reach.

ArtsEquator was set up to support arts writing and criticism which identify Southeast Asian creative practices as part of, rather than an adjunct to, global contemporary arts. Therefore, our small monthly commissioning budget is mainly reserved for reviews and think pieces. If you want to promote an upcoming event to our arts-loving readers, we’d be happy to produce a sponsored advertorial on the site, here for more info. The income earned helps us to stay afloat, and allows us to commission our editorial content.

Our Comment Policy

We want to keep the conversation going to build a community that is open to dialogue, deep discussions and diverse opinions. But let’s also make it a safe and respectful space for everyone, meaning, we reserve the right to remove comments that are:

– Hate speech

– Abusive of artists, writers, other commentators and members of the public

– Filled with obscene or offensive language

– Ad hominem attacks – don’t grind axes here

– Promotional, spam or unrelated to the topic at hand

 

Who we are

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

ArtsEquator is a Singapore-registered charity (UEN No: 201701329M), governed by a six-member Board of Directors:

Jenny Daneels, Co-founder, Chairman of the Board & Member 

After graduating from the elite French business school HEC, Jenny worked in Hong Kong for the financial publishing company Asiamoney (subsidiary of Euromoney), then the merchant banking house WI Carr, as a financial analyst of the Indian sub-continent, specialising on Bangladesh. After moving to Kuala Lumpur in 1996, she worked as a freelance business writer for CFO Asia and Asian Business, and started an arts web-site covering Malaysian arts in 1999, followed by the creation, with Kathy Rowland of kakiseni.com in 2001, and of the Boh Cameronian Arts Awards. She moved to the Welsh borders in 2006, and has been busy bringing up four daughters as well as running a large house, being Director of a charity called the Cart Shed, and running a now established sculpture show (one of the largest in the UK) entitled Out Of Nature.

Pang Hian Tee, Director & Member 

After 13 years staging live marketing experiences in both Singapore and Malaysia for blue chip clients, Hian Tee founded a champagne import and a restaurant business. He is now looking to grow his restaurant business regionally. He started his career in the marketing team at the Singapore Tourism Board after graduating with a business degree at the University of New Brunswick.

Hian Tee has had the pleasure of living in Fredericton, Kuala Lumpur, London, Seoul and now in Singapore where he has always indulged in his love for food and wine, live performances, and playing squash.

Daniel Hoh, Director 

Daniel has  over 20 years of experience in financial services. Over 15 years of which were spent making and managing private equity investments across multiple industries in South East Asia. Including but not limited to manufacturing, healthcare, food and beverage, oil and gas and retail sectors.

Most of Daniel’s professional career was spent at CIMB Investment Bank, Malaysia, where he was for a total of 16 years. He was responsible for the establishment of CIMB’ private equity arm in early 2000 and the formation of two private equity funds.

As a senior member of CIMB Private Equity, Daniel sat on the board of directors of five portfolio companies. He is a Malaysian citizen and a permanent resident of Singapore since 2011.

Anupama Shekar, Director 

Anupama SEKHAR, an Indian national, joined ASEF in January 2009. As the Director of the Culture Department, she is currently in charge of ASEF’s strategy in arts, culture & heritage as well as the day-to-day operations of the Department. Anupama is responsible for ASEF’s programme portfolio in culture, which comprises of digital platforms (culture360.ASEF.org & ASEMUS.museum), travel grants (Mobility First!), training (ASEF Roadschool), events (ASEF Unplugged: Conversations on Arts & Culture in Asia & Europe) and support to ASEM initiatives (ASEM Cultural Festival).

Currently, Anupama is part of EU UNESCO Expert Facility (2019-2022), which supports capacity development initiatives for the implementation of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. As part of the UNESCO Expert Facility (2015-2018), she has led technical assistance missions to the governments of Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Philippines.

She holds degrees in English Literature and International Studies. She is a trained dancer in the Indian classical style of Bharatnatyam. Prior to joining ASEF, Anupama worked with the International Labour Organisation and with independent arts spaces in India.

Koh Chye Hock, Director 

Koh Chye Hock currently serves as a Chief Legal Counsel (China) to Chevron. Prior to this, he was Legal Director at Unocal. Koh Chye is the Chairman of the Board for Philharmonic Winds (PhilWinds), a non-profit wind instrument orchestra in Singapore. He is also on the board of trustees of the Business Times Budding Artists Fund and a member of the Sengkang Hospital ethics committee.

Naeem Kapadia, Director  

Naeem Kapadia is a banking professional and dual-qualified lawyer with over 10 years of experience in structuring and documenting corporate and institutional loans across a range of products, sectors and geographies. He has worked at international law firms in London, Paris and Singapore, served as Legal Counsel of a major European bank and is currently part of the Loans Structuring & Execution team at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, providing structuring advice and transaction management support to its institutional loans business.

Naeem is also an established arts reviewer and commentator who has been writing critically about theatre in Singapore since 2011. He runs a dedicated theatre blog, Crystalwords (crystalwords.blogspot.com), has contributed theatre reviews to publications such as arts journal The Flying Inkpot, Singapore newspaper TODAY and arts media company Arts Equator and participated in panel discussions for organisations like Centre 42. He also co-hosts a monthly theatre podcast for Arts Equator.

 

EXECUTIVE TEAM

Kathy Rowland, Co-founder and Managing Editor

Kathy Rowland, as is glaringly obvious from her name, is from Malaysia. A chance encounter with a commedia dell arte troupe in her teens led to a career in the arts (also, lifetime penury).  Since 2011, Kathy has lived in Singapore, where she teaches part-time at LASALLE College of the Arts.  Kathy works as a writer, editor and producer. Her articles on the politics of culture have appeared in publications in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, the US and South Korea. Kathy edited and introduced Staging History: Selected Plays from Five Arts Centre 1984 – 2014 (2015), Huzir Sulaiman: Collected Plays 1998 – 2012 (2013) and Krishen Jit: An Uncommon Position, Selected Writings (2003). Kathy has produced theatre and visual arts events in Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, New York, Australia and Thailand.  She is the Lead Researcher in a theatre archive project run by Five Arts Centre Malaysia. She was a member of the International Programme Advisory Committee of the 8th World Summit on Arts and Culture, held in Kuala Lumpur in 2019.

Nabilah Said, Editor 

Nabilah Said is a Singaporean playwright, editor and poet. As a former arts correspondent for The Straits Times, Nabilah covered the theatre, dance and lifestyle beats, and helped organise the Life! Theatre Awards from 2015-2017. She also has six years’ experience as a communications professional in the government and arts sector. She enjoys arts writing and criticism, particularly those that experiment with style and creative form. Her plays have been presented in Singapore and London by Teater Ekamatra, The Necessary Stage and Bhumi Collective. She is the co-founder of international theatre collective Lazy Native, which champions Southeast Asian voices and narratives. In 2016 she founded Main Tulis Group, Singapore’s first collective of playwrights writing in Malay and English. Nabilah holds an MA in Writing for Performance from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Denise Dolendo, Marketing and Communications and Special Projects

Denise Dolendo graduated from LASALLE College of the Arts in 2016 with a First Class Honors in BA Arts Management. Since then, she has worked with several arts groups & projects under different capacities – marketing/PR, project management and administration. Some of the organisations she has worked with include Dream Academy Productions, NUS Centre for the Arts, Dance Nucleus, OperaViva Ltd, Urban Redevelopment Authority and LASALLE College of the Arts. She is also a co-founder and producer of The Second Breakfast Company, a youth theatre company based in Singapore.

Corrie Tan, Associate Editor and Resident Critic

Corrie is a writer, editor and researcher from Singapore. She was previously an arts correspondent and theatre critic for The Straits Times, Singapore’s national English-language broadsheet. Corrie has also written about theatre and performance for The GuardianThe StageExeunt, and BiblioAsia. She regularly facilitates workshops and participates in panels on writing and performance with organisations such as the Singapore Writers Festival, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, the Asian Dramaturgs Network, Intercultural Theatre Institute, and Centre 42, among others. She is especially interested in new modes of theatre criticism, audiences and spectatorship, theatre in site-specific and public spaces, and participatory performance. She is currently a doctoral student in theatre studies on the joint PhD programme between the National University of Singapore and King’s College London.

The original team behind ArtsEquator includes contributing editor and podcast co-hostMatthew Lyon, and Akanksha Raja, assistant editor.


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ArtsEquator Ltd. is supported by the National Arts Council under the Seed Grant Scheme
for the period 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2020.