Singapore lost a number of prominent pioneers in 2022. Santha Bhaskar, a dancer, choreographer and educator who played an influential role in promoting multicultural practices in Singapore passed away after the opening of a show celebrating Bhaskar’s Arts Academy’s 70th anniversary. Fellow Cultural Medallion recipient, poet and novelist Mohamed Latiff Mohamad passed away in October. Two actors from popular 90s sitcom Don’t Worry be Happy, Mak Ho Wai and Roni (Khaironi Salleh) passed away just months apart from each other. Perhaps most shocking was the sudden passing of prominent curator and Executive Director of Arts House Limited, Tan Boon Hui, at the age of 54
When an artist or cultural worker passes away, the loss is felt by their families and loved ones and by the wider arts and cultural community in the region. As we mourn their passing, we remember, and are comforted by the legacy of their creativity and their contributions to their local and national arts communities, as well as to Southeast Asian arts practices.
In the first of an annual series, ArtsEquator commemorates the artists and cultural practitioners lost across Southeast Asia in 2022. This year, we focus on Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and The Philippines, with plans to expand the series to other countries in Southeast Asia next year.
Image credit: Bhaskar’s Arts Academy
While we have done our best to be as comprehensive as possible, if there are artists or cultural workers we have missed in our list, please do add their names in the comments section, with links where possible, and we will update the article accordingly.
The layout for this series and the image treatment was designed by Jun Kit.
About the author(s)
Aditi Shivaramakrishnan (she/her/hers) works as an editor, writer, arts manager and speech-to-text-interpreter in Singapore.
She has been published in ArtsEquator, gal-dem, The New Paper, Portside Review and SINdie, and has conducted qualitative research, edited art books, comics and young adult fiction titles, developed educational programmes, managed marketing and communications, created content, done live note-taking, and moderated events for organisations including AWARE, Difference Engine, Epigram Books, Equal Dreams, Facebook, National Gallery Singapore, Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film, and the Singapore International Film Festival.
Find her at www.aditishiva.com.