Titian Budaya: Celebrating 50 years of Malaysia-Singapore Friendship

Celebrating 50 years of Singapore-Malaysia ties, TITIAN BUDAYA will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 21 November 2015 to 17 January 2016. Presented by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Singapore (MCCY) and supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia (MOTAC), this cultural season showcases the creative talents of Singapore and Malaysia across a wide spectrum of art forms.

TITIAN BUDAYA will reach out to a wide range of audiences in Malaysia to celebrate the shared cultural connections between Singapore and Malaysia. Held over a span of three months, TITIAN BUDAYA will feature an estimated 400 participants from creative communities in Singapore and Malaysia in diverse programmes across different venues in Kuala Lumpur. MCCY has commissioned CultureLink Singapore to conceptualise, develop and produce the event.

The events underline the spirit of partnership, collaboration and co-operation between the two countries, and will involve about 150 Malaysian participants alongside Singapore creatives. The events also explore cross-cultural expressions, and highlight shared cultural and entertainment traditions and icons familiar to both countries. Additionally, TITIAN BUDAYA introduces aspects of Singapore’s creative scene that have not been widely encountered in Malaysia.

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TITIAN BUDAYA festivities will kick-off with a supercharged weekend carnival titled Next Door at Publika on 21-22 November 2015 with a series of four events transforming the mall into a cultural playground. The theme ‘Next Door’ aptly conveys notions of everyday living with shared experiences in a common neighbourhood. The first event features the opening of Art Next Door, a contemporary art exhibition that will run till 13 December 2015. Specially selected and commissioned art works by artists from Singapore and Malaysia are featured alongside one another, providing glimpses into photography, video art, and installation works of Singapore’s post-1965 generation and their Malaysian counterparts. The exhibition is curated by Tang Fu Kuen.

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The public will also get the opportunity to dip their creative hands in Bazaar Next Door, a family friendly event within the Boulevard at Publika. Organised in partnership with Art for Grabs, Kuala Lumpur’s most popular arts, design and crafts market and the Singapore Makers Association, there will be over 70 stalls that will occupy and delight Malaysians young and old.

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The third programme at Publika is Music Live Next Door that will feature performances by some of Singapore’s top and emerging music groups: Kailin Yong’s PLUS Trio, Rustic Vibes and SA (仨). Popular Singaporean and Malaysian singer-songwriters Charlie Lim and Liyana Fizi will perform with their respective bands as well as share the stage in a duet. All music performances will be held at Publika’s outdoor stage The Square.

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The fourth and final programme at Publika is Cinema Next Door, that will include a live animation concert by the TO Ensemble; animation films based on stories by five Singapore writers; and a collection of Singapore’s best short films. On Sunday 22 November 2015, we wind down the weekend with an outdoor film screening of Jack Neo’s iconic I Not Stupid.

A significant highlight of TITIAN BUDAYA is TITIAN BUDAYA NIGHT, which will be held on 8 December 2015 at Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS, Malaysia’s world-class concert venue. This one- night-only gala event is infused with the colours, flavours and rhythms of the region that gives full meaning to the spirit of building bridges across cultures, boundaries, and art forms. A star-studded cast of soloists that includes jazz maestro Jeremy Monteiro and Singapore Idol Taufik Batisah will join the Singapore Chinese Orchestra to perform the works of well-known Malaysian and Singaporean composers in a multicultural extravaganza. Tok Dalang Eyo Hock Seng will lead the Kelantanese wayang kulit troupe Kumpulan Sri Campuran to perform a specially commissioned work from Malaysian composer Yii Kah Hoe, based on the play The Silly Little Girl and the Funny Old Tree written by the doyen of Singapore theatre, the late Kuo Pao Kun. The concert also celebrates the music of the legendary late P. Ramlee in a medley of his beloved songs especially re-arranged by Eric Watson. The entire programme will be musically supported by a 90-piece Singapore Chinese Orchestra, one of Singapore’s two national professional orchestras.

Dance enthusiasts are also in for a treat too, as TITIAN BUDAYA, in collaboration with Damansara Performing Arts Centre and T.H.E. Dance Company, will present the Company in two performances on 19-20 December 2015. The Company will perform a double-bill comprising a work by its Artistic Director Kuik Swee Boon, as well as premiere of a new piece commissioned by Indonesian choreographer Jecko Siompo.

From 14-17 January 2016, the inaugural SINGAPORE FILM FESTIVAL in Malaysia will close TITIAN BUDAYA. The Film Festival is produced in collaboration with the Singapore Film Society and National Museum of Singapore. It presents an anthology of post-independence Singaporean films starting with the revival of local cinema since the mid-90s, and showcases 10 breakthrough works by Singaporean filmmaking talents from first-generation directors such as Eric Khoo and Jack Neo, to a younger generation of filmmakers like Anthony Chen, Boo Junfeng, Liao Jie Kai, and Royston Tan. The festival will highlight award-winning films and box office successes that have put Singapore cinema on the world map. Screenings will take place at Golden Screen Cinemas at 1Utama Petaling Jaya and Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.

TITIAN BUDAYA will also feature talks and discussions to deepen the knowledge and understanding of creative engagements, as well as facilitate cross-border networking and learning between Singapore and Malaysia socio-cultural institutions. These will be organized in conjunction with MY Performing Arts Agency. There will also be an arts-enabling project UNSEEN by artist Alecia Neo who works with visually-impaired communities in Malaysia. This project will be supported by the Singapore International Foundation and aims to use art as a means to effect positive change amongst the participants, as well as the larger community.

For more information on Titian Budaya, please visit www.titianbudayasg.com