The ASEM Cultural Festival (#ASEMfest) revives a tradition of cultural programming alongside high-level meetings of Asian and European leaders. ASEF, as the only permanent institution of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), supports the organisation of the festival alongside ASEM Summit Meetings of Heads of State and Governments, as well as ASEM Foreign Ministers.
In December 2019, alongside the 14th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEMFMM14), the ASEM Cultural Festival titled “Asia and Europe: Cultures Connect” was held in Madrid, Spain. Over 5 days (11-15 December 2019), the Festival brought together over 40 artists from more than 10 Asian and European countries to showcase artistic and cultural diversity from both the regions. 6 music and dance performances, artistic workshops, a virtual reality exhibition and a special exhibit on ‘ASEAN Cultural Year 2019’, made up the Festival programme, taking place in different venues across Madrid city. A curtain raiser featuring a music concert ‘Saiyuki & Friends” was held on 6 December 2019 in Brussels, Belgium in the lead up to the Festival in Madrid.
A concert of world music and jazz “Nguyên Lê Saiyuki & Friends” featuring 7 musicians opened the festival, while “Between Tiny Cities ??????????????”, a hip-hop performance with dancers from Australia and Cambodia, was the closing show. Other shows making up the full programme of the Festival were: “Kizuna”, a string concert featuring Japanese and Spanish influences; “Rasa y Duende: Lorca, Flamenco y la India”, a dialogue between different performing arts from India and the deep roots of Spanish flamenco singing and dancing; “Poong Ryu”, a Korean music and dance show with 14 artists; “Rudraksham”, a concert by a classical Indian Carnatic and Hindustani music group with percussion and string instruments; a special exhibit about the cultural diversity from the countries of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and a virtual reality exhibition comprising installations inviting audience interaction with vibrant animations of classic artworks, and workshops led by the artists featured in the Festival.
For detailed event information, visit the Festival website, www.asemculturalfestival.com.