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vibrant arts scene in cities like Jogjakarta, Singapore, George Town, Bangkok and Manila, our cultural, aesthetic and historical reference points are often orientated away from Southeast Asia.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 not-for-profit company, 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
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 Chairperson of the Board
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.
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 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 contributing editor and podcast co-hostMatthew Lyon, and Akanksha Raja, assistant editor.
ArtsEquator Ltd. is supported by the National Arts Council under the Seed Grant Scheme