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Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times

Weekly Southeast Asia Radar: Skateboarding in Myanmar; ARTJOG

ArtsEquator’s Southeast Asia Radar features articles and posts about arts and culture in Southeast Asia, drawn from local and regional websites and publications – aggregated content from outside sources, so we are exposed to a multitude of voices in the region. Here’s a round-up of content from this week, scoured and sifted from a range of regional news websites, blogs and media platforms, and brought together in one article for convenient reading in our Southeast Asia Radar.

Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times

The Burmese Skateboarders
Myanmar Times

Skateboarding started in California, USA, in the 1950s and became popular in the US and Europe in the 1980s. Skateboarding only became popular in Myanmar in the 2000s.

Although skateboarding has since then developed in the country, there are still very few skate parks in big cities. In Yangon, young skateboarders built their own skate parks under flyovers in Kokkine and Hleden.

This group of youngsters shares their knowledge and passion of the board to newcomers. Although they have no sponsors, Yangon’s skateboarders organise their own competitions every year.

[Read more…]

Photo: Thailand Tatler

Artist Pichaya Osothcharoenpol On Bringing Thai Heritage Back To Life
Thailand Tatler

If you’ve visited the Peninsula Bangkok lately, you might have noticed the lobby freshly flourished with flowers and butterflies. The five-star hotel positions itself as a significant supporter of Thailand’s art scene with its Artist in Residence programme, which is now in its second edition with artist Pichaya Osothcharoenpol. As we enter into the artist’s suite, we feel like we’ve just found Narnia. Walls, bed sheets, pillowcases and even the bathrobes are covered in colourful floral patterns and mythical creatures; it’s a wonderland.

Thailand Tatler sits down with Pichaya O, the woman behind the Peninsula’s latest integrated augmented reality (AR) artwork, to discuss her ambitions, inspirations and where her unique style of art comes from.

[Read more…]


Photo: Rappler

Poet, journalist Ariel Dim Borlongan dies

MANILA, Philippines – Poet and journalist Ariel Dim Borlongan died on Wednesday, August 7, of heart attack. He was 60.

The news was announced by his daughter Zey Borlongan; and his partner, Mavic Ragudos, through Borlongan’s Facebook account.

While he took up AB English at Feati University, Borlongan wrote his literary works in Filipino. He also edited and wrote columns for a broadsheet (Diyaryo Filipino), a magazine (Filipino Magazin), and several tabloids in Filipino. His latest post was as associate editor of Balita.

[Read more…]


Into the abyss: The prestigious Indonesian art exhibition, Artjog 2019, was opened at the Jogjakarta National Museum on July 25 . The event will take place for a month, including Handiwirman Saputra’s installation ‘Taman organik Oh Plastik’ (Organic Garden Oh Plastic). (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

ARTJOG takes viewers to contemplate relationship with environment
The Jakarta Post

The latest edition of Yogyakarta’s annual contemporary art festival ARTJOG features five special projects that center on environmental issues.

The Jogja National Museum (JNM) is the host for this year’s festival, which comes under the tagline ARTJOG MMXIX Arts in Common|Space, and also displays the special projects that include Handiwirman Saputra’s Taman Organik oh Plastik (Organic Garden Oh Plastic), Teguh Ostenrik’s Domus Frosiquilo (Leaves of the Equator), Piramida Gerilya’s Warung Murakabi (Sufficing Kiosk), filmmaker Riri Riza’s Humba Dreams (un)Exposed and Sunaryo’s Bubu Waktu (Time Trap).

Handiwirman’s work directly greets visitors because it is located right in front of the museum and is directly connected to the main exhibition room.

[Read more…]


Amanda wears turtleneck by Dior; dress and earring by Hermès (Photo: Singapore Tatler)

How Lawyer And Poet Amanda Chong Is Advocating Literacy For The Less Privileged
Singapore Tatler

Take even a cursory look at Amanda Chong’s resume, and we are willing to bet that most people would use the word “impressive” to describe her achievements. A graduate of the University of Cambridge and Harvard University, the 29-year-old was the top candidate at the Singapore Bar in 2013, served as an expert at the United Nations Expert Group on the International Legal Definition of Trafficking in Persons in 2016, and currently practices public international law. And she has many more pursuits outside of being a legal eagle.

She’s a poet, whose 2016 poetry collection Professions was shortlisted for the 2018 Singapore Literature Prize. Last year, she received the Singapore Youth Award, the nation’s highest accolade for young people, for co-founding ReadAble, a non-profit that runs English literacy classes for children from low-income families in a Chinatown neighbourhood. When we met for this interview in May, she had just returned from representing Singapore at the Youth 20 Summit, an official engagement group of the G20 Summit for youth leaders.

[Read more…]

Pastel Lite. Photo: Courtesy of Pastel Lite via Yuna Room Records (via Fodor)

12 Artists and Musicians Making Kuala Lumpur a Cultural Hub

With its aromatic food stall-lined streets, an eclectic blend of old and new architecture, and miles of lush jungles just a bus ride away, it’s easy to feel lost in all that Kuala Lumpur has to offer. But, don’t forget to dig a little deeper. Wander down a winding alleyway and you’ll find that this Southeast Asian city is more than just a historic gem. If you’re willing to look and listen, emerging artists and musicians will tell you more about Malaysia’s rich history and thriving future than any building can. Over the past decade, Kuala Lumpur’s bright young things have been making international headlines with larger-than-life art installations, Grammy nominations, and viral rap battles. So, along with jungle treks and spicy noodles, mix in a little art for a vibrant cultural adventure in one of Asia’s most eclectic cities. These speakeasies, art galleries, and other spaces are where you can see, hear, and support the country’s rising stars



Indonesia’s ‘Autobiography’ Wins Main Award at Locarno’s Open Doors

Indonesian filmmaker Makbul Mubarak’s “Autobiography” scooped the top prize at Locarno Festival’s Open Doors Hub co-production forum, which is focused on feature film projects from South-East Asia and Mongolia. Eight producers took part in the Hub, looking for international partners for their films.

“Autobiography,” produced by Yulia Evina Bhara, takes home the Open Doors Grant of CHF 50,000 ($52,000) in production support, granted by the Swiss fund Visions Sud Est, and backed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, SDC, and the City of Bellinzona.

[Read more…]

Born Izyan Alirahman, Zee Avi sees music as a gateway to get her message across. (Photo: The Asean Post)

ASEAN in View: Zee Avi
The Asean post

Zee Avi is a Malaysian singer-songwriter from the small beach town of Miri, in Sarawak on the island of Borneo. She was first discovered on YouTube and was signed on to a record company, Brushfire Records. Describing herself as a story-teller with melodies, Zee Avi also has an affinity for the Arts and travelling.

Zee Avi has toured around the world playing headline shows and several prestigious festivals including the Rainforest World Music Festival, Byron Bay Festival and many more. She has released two albums and an EP and is set to release a new album this year. The ASEAN Post was fortunate to be invited into Zee Avi’s hipster abode to talk about her music, plans and how the awareness of ASEAN and the environment must go hand-in-hand.

ArtsEquator’s Southeast Asia Radar is compiled every week. All sources and credit belong to the original publishers and writers. Click here for past editions of Southeast Asia Radar. 

About the author(s)

Kathy Rowland is the Managing Editor of, a registered charity that she co-founded with Jenny Daneels in 2016. The site is dedicated to supporting and promoting arts criticism with a regional perspective in Southeast Asia. Kathy has worked in the arts for over 25 years, working in the areas of critical writing and arts advocacy, with a special interest in media platforms for the arts. She is the Project Lead for ArtsEquator’s Southeast Asian Arts and Culture Censorship Documentation Project, launched in 2021. She has written extensively on censorship of arts and culture in Malaysia. She was a member of the International Programme Advisory Committee of the 8th World Summit on Arts and Culture, 2019.

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