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Ng Chor Guan

Ng Chor Guan, the co-founder of Toccata Studio, renowned Malaysian composer, sound designer, active thereminist, improviser, educator, and cyclist. A familiar face in many international arts festivals across the continents, Guan is a prolific artist whose diverse body of work is rooted in the contemporaneous currents of technology and yet proves to transcend categories in the performing arts.

The arts collective Toccata Studio is his dedication to creating collaborative and multidisciplinary works: they are responsible for a new, progressive wave of contemporary arts in Malaysia that aims to reach and cross global boundaries of culture and tradition. An advocate of research and development in the arts, Toccata Studio produces ground-breaking, poignant work and also runs regular improvisational sessions within music and between music and dance. In 2015, Toccata Studio has joined forces with community venue, Space. Toccata and utilizes the space provided by the venue to run experimental, multidisciplinary ventures. His ongoing experimental series, New Music Series and Dance=Music Series, both improvisational and cross-cultural in many senses, are Guan’s efforts in cultivating a new artistic, cultural language for Malaysia that unites the diverse media, musical disciplines and traditions available in the region.

Ng Chor Guan is demonstrative in his belief of the arts as a world-changing force: his work is often interactive and engages his audience in participation via literal means and artistic renditions. His most recent project with Toccata Studio, titled ‘2020’, is a project five years long: a multidisciplinary performance powered by the concepts of multiple futures and time travel, 2020 is both a meditation on the future and an active progression into the future.

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As an internationally acclaimed composer and artist, Guan’s film music was awarded the Grand Prize in both the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival in France (2009) and the Art Film Fest in Slovakia (2010). The following year, 2011, Guan was awarded a Goethe Institut Scholarship in Bonn, Germany. 2015 proves to be a fairly rewarding year: in the first half of 2015, he was selected from 2000 participants hailing from around the world to participate in the Berlinale Talents, a program conducted in conjunction with the Berlin International Film Festival. In the second half of 2015, Ng Chor Guan was invited as musical director of DanceNorth Australia’s 30th anniversary production, Twilight, which later a winning project of Australian Dance Awards. In the same year, Guan was selected and then participated in OneBeat, a program organized by the federal government of the United States, and is now officially a OneBeat fellow. His experiences working in improvisation session with Folkwang Dance Company and Suzanna Linke Dance Company in Germany brought him to excel in another level of creation. Last quarter of 2016, he was selected by Austrian Ministry of Culture for a 3 months residency programme in Vienna and has the priviledge to give lecture in Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna.

Chor Guan is a guest lecturer in University Malaya. He has also produced 11 albums of his original composition.