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Launch of This World, Out Here – the KataKatha Exhibition

Launch of This World, Out Here – the KataKatha Exhibition
First of its kind exhibition in the region to feature never-seen-before formative materials of prominent Southeast Asian artists

27 July 2016, Kuala Lumpur – Maybank Kim Eng, the fully-owned investment banking arm of Maybank, today launched This World, Out Here – the KataKatha Exhibition as part of its flagship arts
and culture initiative, KataKatha.

The launch was officiated by DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfur-lah, Sultan of Perak, at Maybank’s Balai Seni. The launch was also attended by KataKatha’s special guest, eminent Malaysian poet and painter, Latiff Mohidin, together with other prominent Southeast Asian artists & cultural figures such as Anocha Suwichakornpong (TH), Kanakan Balintagos (PH), Pichet Klunchun (TH), and Lai Chee Kien (SG).

KataKatha is a formative regional arts and culture initiative by Maybank Kim Eng, supported by Maybank Foundation, conceptualised and curated in collaboration with the cultural organisation PUSAKA. This World, Out Here – the KataKatha Exhibition is an exploration of creative life in Southeast Asia and is a continuation of the KataKatha conversations which took place in November 2015.

Speaking at the launch, Chairman of Maybank, Tan Sri Dato’ Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor said, “With the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) last year, we have various gaps to bridge before we can truly reach our aim of creating a single market. But this does not mean the
mission is overreaching as the commonalities found in arts and culture erase the differences in gender, race and religion, a key driver for an integrated society. The support of arts and culture is important for a society to thrive further, as it strengthens creative ideas, sparks inspirations, inculcates thirst of knowledge, and offers hope that opportunities exist and matter. Thus, the inherent value of arts and culture is innumerable in building a flourished nation, in line with the AEC agenda.”

Founder-director of PUSAKA and principal curator of the exhibition, Eddin Khoo, said “This exhibition, rooted in and reflective of the creative impulses of some of the principal cultural figures of Southeast Asia, attempts to encapsulate the creative urgings of the region. It is also a 'remembrance' - of all aspects of life that envelop us, which we often let pass by. When focused and channelled in the form of an exhibition it reminds that there is so much creative energy around us, constantly. Southeast Asia is a 'creatively wild' place, and this exhibition, I hope, allows us to get a keen sense of that.”

Last November, KataKatha brought together 10 principal Southeast Asian cultural figures from Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia to participate in a series of conversations around the theme of ‘Shared History, Shared Culture, Shared Traditions’. These are distinguished names from various fields of the arts: Goenawan Mohamad (ID), Agnes Arellano (PH), Anocha Suwichakornpong (TH), Geraldine Kang (SG), Nadiah Bamadhaj (MY), Avianti Armand (ID), Kanakan Balintagos (PH), Pichet Klunchun (TH), Lai Chee Kien (SG) & Farish A. Noor (MY). Eminent Malaysian poet and painter, Latiff Mohidin, is a special guest of KataKatha and for the first time in 20 years, took part in a public reading of his poetry with Goenawan Mohamad at the closing ceremony.

The exhibition reflects the first KataKatha experience, exploring the influence of environment, climate, history, movement and myth that compel the creative process. Participants of the first
KataKatha will share formative materials that offer insights into their creative process in their respective fields, many of which have never been publicly displayed before. Several participants will also be headlining the weekend exhibition programmes.

The exhibition is open daily from 10am-8pm (weekdays), 11am-9pm (weekends), 27 July – 28 August 2016 at Balai Seni Maybank, Menara Maybank. There will also be a series of weekend programmes comprising talks, conversations and a movie screening featuring artists from the first KataKatha, as
well as a public reading by Latiff Mohidin. The exhibition and weekend programmes are free admission.

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