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Mapping Melbourne: Asians in the creative arts

Find out what kind of influence Asia has had on Melbourne’s cultural life at Mapping Melbourne, a four-day festival. Samantha Toh has the details.

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From December 5 – 8, Multicultural Arts Victoria will present Mapping Melbourne, a free four day showcase of independent contemporary Asian arts that celebrates the dynamic influence Asia has on Melbourne’s cultural life.

Featuring dance, art, fashion, performance, design and the spoken word, Mapping Melbourne will host a rich program of free events to be presented at some of Melbourne’s most iconic institutions.

Darbotz of Darbotz X Fame Agenda

Darbotz of Darbotz X Fame Agenda. Image: Supplied.

The celebrations will showcase and profile some of Asia’s established and emerging talents, with over 42 artists from China, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Mongolia, New Zealand and Australia taking to the stage.

A comprehensive and stimulating celebration of Asian arts, Mapping Melbourne seeks to utilize its platform as a multicultural, multi-art event to create new perspectives, bring about new possibilities and expressions.

The showcase additionally aims to foster interaction and strengthen the arts networks between modern independent artists throughout Asia, by establishing connections and collaborative, ongoing relationships which manifest in challenging, inspiring and exciting performances.

With Australia growing closer to Asia on an economic and political level, Mapping Melbourne recognises the need to deepen the social and cultural links as well – the four day program will not only allow attendants to learn about different cultures and contemporary art in creative and expressive ways, but also will give them the opportunity to contribute more broadly to the greater understanding and respect we hold for each other.

Conveniently located around the city, the events begin with the month long ‘Chen Ping Exhibition’, with paintings by the Chinese artist on display at the MiFA Gallery from  November 29 – December 23. Following this, ‘Fame Agenda X Darbotz’ will present their performance at the State Library of Victoria on December 6, which sees international artist sensation Darbotz team up with fashion label Fame Agenda for an explosive extravaganza of fashion, live street art and music.

Indonesian Bboy Kreate

Indonesian Bboy Kreate. Image: Supplied.

Similarly vibrant are the events on December 7.

‘Traces of Transformation’ is a series of unique performances creatively directed by Tony Yap and presented at the Melbourne Museum while the ‘Tari Jalanan Warehouse Party’ features Indonesian Bboy group Kreate, local breakdancing crews and Bgirls Demilition and NfuZion revealing the true talent of the underground street dance scene at 1000 Pound Bend.

Other events on offer include ‘Artist Talks with Asialink’, a series of 3 talks featuring Asian artists; ‘Javanese Cultural Master Class’ which brings to Melbourne an Indonesian Royal Palace Dancer and the art of the traditional, ancient srimpi dance, both at MiFA Gallery and lastly, ‘Common Ground: Mecca to Amritsar’, a collaboration between young Sikh and Muslim communities at the Wheeler Centre on December 8.

A creative masterpiece and celebration of Asian contemporary art, Mapping Melbourne is a series of events not to be missed. The first of its kind in Victoria, the festival will allow audiences the opportunity to connect with one another, develop new creative ideas around their diverse ethnic, national and cultural identities, and promote a mutual understanding and respect through craft.

For more information, visit Mapping Melbourne’s event page on Multicultural Arts Victoria’s official website.

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