MELAKA, Malaysia – The largest and only site specific art and performance festival on a UNESCO World Heritage site ended on a high note today as artists and performers celebrated a successful three-day festival. From September 21-23, Melaka was filled with art installations and performances by more than 50 renowned local and international artists.
Artists from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, France, Ghana, South Korea, Ireland, Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands, Morocco, Canada, Poland, and the USA performed in the streets along St. Paul’s Hill where the asphalt became their canvas.
Running for the fourth year, the Melaka Arts and Performance Festival (MAPFest) is an innovative contemporary festival featuring dance, performance art, visual art, film, and music. The closing of the festival culminated in the gathering of all MAPFest artists and performers as they performed “Eulogy for The Living,” a large-scale performance, which provided a spectacular and soulful finale to the festival. The play was directed by the Founding Creative Director, Tony Yap, accompanied by live music and projections by Khaled Sabsabi.
“We were overwhelmed by the response throughout the festival. These three days has truly shown that Melaka has the potential to be an international hub for arts and performances. We are definitely looking forward for a bigger and better festival next year,” said Andrew Ching, Founder and Producer of the Festival.
As a supporter of the festival, the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) shares the same vision. Zulkefli Sharif, Chief Executive Officer of MyCEB, said, “Our collaboration with MAPFest this year is a successful one as it proves that Malaysia can be a center stage for global events. Melaka, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, was the ideal venue to host such an inspiring showcase of the arts.”
The event attracted over 20,000 attendees, including an estimated 4,000 overseas visitors. Festival goers participated in a dance workshop by Australia’s leading Afrocontemporary dance practitioner, Appiah Annan of Asanti Dance Theatre, as he introduced traditional and contemporary approaches to dance from his motherland, Ghana.
Many people also took part in a forum discussion themed, “Melaka intersections: Living space/museum town” by Associate Professor Cheryl Stock, Director of Postgraduate Studies Creative Industries Faculty of the Queensland University of Technology.
MAPFest 2012 was directed by Tony Yap, in his capacity as the Founding Creative Director. He was one of the principle performers with IRAA Theatre (1989-1996) and has worked extensively in Australia and overseas including the Agamemnon Festival Colline Torinese, Italy, and The Trojan Woman, Vienna International Art Festival. As the founding Artistic Director of Mixed Company (now The Tony Yap Company) in 1993, he has made a commitment to the exploration and creation of an individual dance theatre language that is informed by psycho-physical research, Asian shamanistic trance dance, butoh, voice, and visual design.
MAPFest 2012 is produced by Arts & Performance Festival Melaka Sdn Bhd and is supported by Tourism Malaysia, the Melaka State government, together with the efforts of E-Plus Entertainment, Mercatus Plus Malaysia, Badan Warisan Malaysia, Kingdom of the Netherlands, the French and The Netherlands Embassies, the Australian government, the Australian High Commission, Australia Malaysia Institute, Multicultural Arts Victoria, the Embassy of France, The Tony Yap Company, Nyoba Kan, Simone Lourey, and William Randall.