Five Arts Centre is a dynamic collective of Malaysian artists 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 as well. The collective has performed and presented its work in Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, India, Egypt, Australia, Canada, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland, Finland, UAE and the United Kingdom.
Since it was formed in 1984, by theatre directors Chin San Sooi and Krishen Jit, and dancer-choreographer Marion D’Cruz, 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, in relation to the global, modern and cross-cultural. As such, it has been instrumental in the growth of a Malaysian identity in the arts, that draws from multiple influences and hybrid histories.
For over three decades, Five Arts Centre has been at the forefront of creating experimental, interdisciplinary and intercultural work, providing platforms for the next generation of arts practitioners. Contemporary social, political and cultural issues impinging on Malaysian life are precipitated by way of performances, exhibitions, creative seminars and research workshops.
From 2004 to 2006, Five Arts Centre was the manager of Arts Network Asia, a regional organisation supporting arts work in Asia. In 2006, ASTRO and Five Arts Centre launched the Krishen Jit ASTRO Fund to support artistic work by Malaysians and others committed to the development of the arts in Malaysia. At the 12th Boh Cameronian Arts Awards in 2015, Five Arts Centre was awarded the inaugural “Most Inspiring Award”. In 2016, Five Arts Centre was awarded the “Praemium Imperiale Grant for Young Artists” from The Japan Art Association.
Today, the collective consists 14 individuals from diverse generations and disciplines. They are Anne James, Chee Sek Thim, Chew Kin Wah, Fahmi Fadzil, Ivy N. Josiah, Janet Pillai, June Tan, Kubhaer T. Jethwani, Lee Ren Xin, Mac Chan, Marion D’Cruz, Mark Teh, Ravi Navaratnam, and Suhaila Merican.