In face of censorship, how should the Malaysian arts community act?

Source: The Malay Mail Online

A visitor views artwork at the ‘ESCAPE from the SEA’ exhibition, as organised by Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur, at National Visual Arts Gallery in Kuala Lumpur March 15, 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

A visitor views artwork at the ‘ESCAPE from the SEA’ exhibition, as organised by Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur, at National Visual Arts Gallery in Kuala Lumpur March 15, 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — The recent removal of Sabah art collective Pangrok Sulap’s artwork from an international exhibition because of an alleged complaint from “high-up” has left the local arts community feeling quite bitter.

While the subsequent comments and criticism by members of the community about how the incident was handled by the different stakeholders was nothing short of admirable, the fact remains that censorship, or even self-censorship, is not new in Malaysia.

So how should curators and artists move on from the incident and tackle censorship in the future? Several practitioners and observers told Malay Mail Online that the arts community must stand by each other and hold institutions accountable. Read more