Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Festival Looks to the Future


KUALA LUMPUR, 5 February 2016 - Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Festival (YSDAF) will open its doors once again for arts and culture lovers and festival goers with a host of activities lined up.

Fueled by the overwhelming response from its debut festival back in 2014 that garnered more than 15,000 visitors, YSDAF2016 promises more of the crowd’s favourites as well as brand new programming in line with the festival theme ARTS EDUCATION + THE FUTURE.

YSDAF2016 will take festivalgoers on a journey through time by looking at the past and also to the future. While it celebrates the evolution of the local arts industry, it will also contemplate the future of the arts. Already the public has had a taste of what is to come with the trio of satellite shows last year.

YSDAF2016 begins with the Future Living design competition call for entries in February 2016. Budding architects and designers will have the chance to display their creativity, by designing a futuristic outdoor pavilion that marries the festival theme with their architectural skills and passion for the arts.

Not only will the winner receive a RM5,000 cash prize but the winning design will be replicated on the festival grounds for festival goers to visit and experience firsthand. Organised by YSD and klpac with a team of industry experts including Suzy Sulaiman, an educator with architectural training. Entry requirements can be found on and the competition closes on 31st of March 2016.

A whole host of other activities have also been lined up including open auditions for a mentorship programme in April, a ‘Shakespeare in Schools’ programme in May as well as a call to participate in a crowd sourced photography exhibit entitled ‘Then & Now’ the same month.

Without a doubt, the most anticipated event will be the YSDAF2016 grand finale on 20 and 21 August at klpac. Joe Hasham OAM, Artistic Director of klpac and YSDAF, said, “Festival goers will be delighted that we are bringing back some all-time favourites but also introducing an array of new programmes with this year’s ARTS EDUCATION + THE FUTURE theme in mind.”

He added “We are also trying to make it more child-friendly by having a dedicated Kids Zone filled with child-centric activities during the morning of the festival finale.”

A first for the festival and the key highlight of YSDAF2016 finale will be the unveiling of two commissioned works by the winners of the YSDAF Pitch Start grant launched last year. Paras Bunyi Collective will be creating a fully-immersive multi-sensory experience while CubeArt Stage & Performance will be premiering a theatrical production entitled Bulan Separa Penuh.

Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) Chairman YABhg Tun Musa Hitam said the second installation of YSDAF will be a pioneering education-based arts festival which has never before been seen or done in Malaysia.

“This year’s edition themed “Arts Education + Future” will bring together an amalgamation of performances among experienced artistes, young school children and university students from private and public institutions alike. In the last leg of 2015, YSDAF2016 had successfully launched three satellite shows which saw performances from Yayasan Chow Kit and DAM Interactive and ASWARA dancers, as well as short films screenings from Best of Tropfest South East Asia.

He added, “This is only the beginning, as we have much more in store in the upcoming months leading up to the grand finale in August. As a Foundation that strives to be at the forefront of championing Malaysia’s arts scene, we hope that the YSDAF will serve as a platform for our upcoming artistes and arts enthusiasts to showcase their great works of art and have the opportunity to be recognised at ‘home’ and potentially gain international recognition. There is a need for more festivals such as this to cultivate and nurture our artistic local talents so that someday, we can be one of the hubs of the arts on the world map!”

With so much to look forward to, YSDAF2016 is set to become one of the ‘must-attend’ arts events of 2016. Festival hours will also be extended until 8pm to allow more performances and activities. YSDAF2016 is open to the public and free of charge.

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Last Updated:
04 Dec 2018
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