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. In the weekly Southeast Asia Radar, we publish a round-up of content that have been scoured and sifted from a range of regional news websites, blogs and media platforms.
Here is this week’s Southeast Asia Radar:
Q&A: Shades of Hanoi, a Diary of Many Authors Writing Their Own Version of the City
Urbanist Hanoi, Vietnam
For Long, Sơn and the young millennials penning Shades of Hanoi, writing is a brave act of self-reflection.
Searching for “Hanoi” on Facebook, you will come across countless pages with names such as A Little Hanoi, Story of Hanoi or Hanoi Vi Vu. But hidden in a corner, voluntarily discreet, lies Shades of Hanoi, a haven for young writers with its unique contemplation and poetic touch of melancholy. Shades of Hanoi is a diary written by many young people; the stories, recounting tales of growing up in Hanoi, are very personal but also in some ways homogeneous.
Vũ Hoàng Long, who was born in 1998 and is currently completing his master’s in Journalism at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Hanoi, and Sơn, an undergraduate student in the Faculty of Literature, shared their story of creating the Shades of Hanoi project, with the aim of representing other young millennial writers.
Support the weaving industry from home: Likhang HABI goes online
For the first time since its conception in 2009, the annual Likhang Habi Market Fair is going online. Habi, usually held at the Glorietta activity center in Makati City, helped bridge producers to buyers – eventually linking them to the international market.
But physical distancing requirements and travel restrictions made an on-ground event impossible. “Since we cannot gather now in numbers, we are going to do this online. This is how Habi: the Philippine Textile Council proposes to start that creative economy,” said Habi president Laida Lim.
Indigenous weavers are also on board the shift to an online platform. “Weavers themselves decided to level up and use this online marketplace,” Habi board member Rambie Lim said. They also included new normal essentials and home decor in their product range.
October is when the country celebrates national indigenous peoples month.
Young Malaysian Punk Group In Ipoh Continue Feeding Homeless Despite Being Judged For Their Appearance
The Rakyat Post, Malaysia
A group of young Malaysians who are followers of the punk subculture have been getting negative attention for helping the homeless.
Part of the Food Not Bombs initiative, they have been giving food to the homeless community in Ipoh, Perak.
In an interview with Malay Mail, the group’s spokesperson, Rozaiman Salahuddin, shared that despite their willingness to do good, they still get frowned upon by the general public just because of how they dress.
Rozaiman told of a comment the group got from a woman who urged them to discard their full black attire for “proper clothes” if they wanted to do good.
East is West and West is West? The Asian Financial Crisis Through the Eyes of an Artist
Plural Art Mag, Singapore
About an hour into my conversation with Singaporean artist Ho Rui An on his latest exhibition, Look East Gone West, I ended up doing something regrettable. To properly set the context for the show, Ho decided to give me some fascinating insights into Asian economics and history, based on research that inspired the two works he is presently showing at A+ Works of Art gallery in Kuala Lumpur, his first solo exhibition in Southeast Asia.
Before I could stop myself, I blurted out: “Is there a stance here? Does this bring your viewer to a particular point?” It was a moment of desperation for simplification, and I realised belatedly that I had essentially tried to solicit for a sort-of SparkNotes version of Ho’s artwork.
Thankfully, he was gracious in his reply.
Marketing Indonesian titles, a challenge in the digital time
Jakarta Post, Indonesia
As COVID-19 ravages nations and the untimely demise of the National Book Committee (KBN), what has become of Indonesian titles in the global market?
With the London Book Fair canceled less than a week before its scheduled opening in March, all eyes are now on the Frankfurt Book Fair 2020, slated to run from Oct. 14 to 18.
The Frankfurter Buchmesse, as it’s called in German, touted as the largest book fair in the world, dates back to the 15th century when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press.
This year marks the 72nd edition of the fair, although it will be a scaled-down affair because of the pandemic and has been dubbed a “special edition”.
Originally, a physical presence would still be maintained on-site, while a majority of events taking place online on Oct. 17 as the “BOOKFEST Digital” that offers free access to anyone with an internet connection.
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.
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About the author(s)
Nabilah Said is an award-winning playwright, editor and cultural commentator. She is also an artist who works with text across various artforms and formats. Her plays have been staged in Singapore and London, including ANGKAT, which won Best Original Script at the 2020 Life Theatre Awards. Nabilah is the former editor of ArtsEquator.