Held over four days at Esplanade KLCC Park, the Malaysia International Mask Festival 2015 will host exhibitions, cultural performances and demonstrations, taking on the theme of ‘Mask – The Faces of Time’ to highlight the historical importance associated with such facial coverings. Countries participating and displaying the masks quintessential to their culture include Italy, China, Thailand, Brazil, Philippines, Korea, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and, of course, Malaysia.
There is no definitive date of when humans began using masks, though there is evidence of their use in the paintings of prehistoric cavemen. The tradition of masks throughout the ages has evoked mystery and mysticism, and has often stemmed from religious or social mores. The wearing of ceremonial masks is one of the oldest traditions in human civilisation, and is evident in various regions across Asia.
Masks have also been used for entertainment with masked balls and carnivals dating back to 14th Century France. The most famous mask festival in the world today remains the annual Carnival of Venice in which people from around the world flock to the Italian river-city to witness thousands of exquisitely designed masks parading in the streets or in performances and exhibitions.
The first ever such event to be held in Malaysia, MIMF 2015 follows on from similar festivals in Japan, South Korea and Philippines. This festival aims to showcase the use of masks to symbolise the various different aspects of society and history. From an expression of the soul to representing traditional ceremonial occasions, there are incredibly rich stories behind the masks of each country. Alongside the exhibition will be a grand Mask Parade taking in the sights of KLCC, while interactive activities such as mask painting and a ‘masquerade cat walk’ ensure there is something from everyone during this fascinating four-day festival.
All images supplied by JKKN
Malaysia International Mask Festival 2015 WhereEsplanade, KLCC Park When 13-16 August, 10am-11pm Admission Free Tel03 2614 8200 jkkn.gov.my