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Five Arts Centre (Kuala Lumpur, 1984~)

Five Arts Centre is a dynamic collective of Malaysian artists, activists, and producers dedicated to generating alternative art forms and images in the contemporary arts landscape.


It is well-known for cutting-edge performances in theatre, dance, music, and young people’s theatre and incorporates aspects of the visual and digital arts. The collective has performed and presented its work across Southeast Asia, as well as in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, India, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Finland, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

Collaborative Creation, Experimentation & Education

Since it was formed in 1984 by theatre directors Chin San Sooi and Krishen Jit, dancer-choreographer Marion D’Cruz, writer K.S. Maniam and visual artist Redza Piyadasa, Five Arts Centre has been committed to articulating the complexity of Malaysian culture and identity through explorations and fusions of local vocabularies, forms, and traditions – with the global, modern, and cross-cultural. As such, it has been instrumental in the growth of Malaysian identity in the arts, drawing from multiple influences and hybrid histories.

For over thirty years, Five Arts Centre has been at the forefront of experimental, interdisciplinary, and intercultural work, providing platforms for the next generation of arts practitioners. Performances, exhibitions, creative seminars, research workshops, and arts advocacy precipitate contemporary social, political, and cultural issues influencing Malaysian life.

Arts Advocacy & Cultural Activism

Between 2004 and 2006, Five Arts Centre was the manager of Arts Network Asia, an organization supporting regional exchanges across Asia. In 2006, ASTRO and Five Arts Centre launched the Krishen Jit Fund to support the work of artists and researchers committed to the development of arts and culture in Malaysia. Since 2018, Five Arts Centre has served as the secretariat for the ReformARTsi coalition, comprised of arts organizations, practitioners, and academics who have come together to build consensus and advocacy on specific reforms and policies for the performing arts in Malaysia. Five Arts Centre has been recognized for its contributions to arts and culture in the region, receiving the inaugural ‘Most Inspiring Award’ at the 2015 Boh Cameronian Arts Awards and the 2016 ‘Praemium Imperiale Grant for Young Artists’ award from The Japan Art Association.


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