We started ArtsEquator because we were curious about our own backyard.
We read about a ground-breaking Cambodian visual artist in the pages of the New York Times. We rush to see a Thai film only after it’s made the news at Cannes. Despite the vibrant arts scene in cities like Jogjakarta, Singapore, Georgetown, Bangkok and Manila, our cultural, aesthetic and historical reference points are often orientated away from Southeast Asia.
ArtsEquator.com brings together information, articles, events and ideas from Southeast Asia into one carefully curated site. We’re interested in the region’s creative practices – performance, literature, visual culture, fashion, film and more. We want to understand how people, place, policy, money, theory, history, politics, religion, intersect with arts and culture in the different countries that make up the region.
ArtsEquator Viewpoints are original articles, videos and podcasts about a wide range of events and issues. We want to promote critical writing and conversations that identify Southeast Asian creative practices as part of, rather than adjunct to, global contemporary arts.
ArtsEquator Podcasts is a series of 30-minute conversations on arts and culture. The podcasts are focused on Singapore events for the moment, but we’re looking for partners in other parts of the region to expand our coverage.
ArtsEquator Radar features articles and posts drawn from local sites and publications – aggregated content from outside sources so we are exposed to a multitude of voices in the region.
ArtsEquator.com is a non-profit company, created by Kathy Rowland and Jenny Daneels, who co-founded the pioneering arts website Kakiseni (2001 – 2009).
We are a work-in-progress. We welcome feedback, ideas, contributions, comments, recommendations. Drop us a line!
Kathy & Jenny
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 is a member of the International Programme Advisory Committee of the 8th World Summit on Arts and Culture, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur in 2019.
Jenny Daneels, Co-founder and Business Manager
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.
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.
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 Guardian, The Stage, Exeunt, 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 Matthew Lyon, contributing editor and podcast co-host, and Akanksha Raja, assistant editor.
ArtsEquator Ltd. is supported by the National Arts Council under the Seed Grant Scheme