Over 100 Dipterocarp Species

Over 100 Dipterocarp Species

Above: Shorea hemsleyana flowering magnificently at Rimbun Dahan.

Over the MCO, we have cleared some of the trees at the front of the garden in Rimbun Dahan where we had too many duplicate species, to provide more space and light for planting new species that we have acquired from a nursery in Johor that carries many Malaysian indigenous trees. We now have over 100 species of forest Dipterocarps, the slow-growing hardwood forest giants that make up the bulk of tree species in Malaysia’s tropical rainforests.

Genus Species
Anisoptera laevis
Anisoptera marginata
Anisoptera scaphula
Dipterocarpus baudii
Dipterocarpus caudiferous
Dipterocarpus chartaceus
Dipterocarpus cornutus
Dipterocarpus costulatus
Dipterocarpus crinitus
Dipterocarpus dyeri
Dipterocarpus elongatus
Dipterocarpus eurinchus
Dipterocarpus gracilis
Dipterocarpus grandiflorus
Dipterocarpus humeratus
Dipterocarpus kerrii
Dipterocarpus kunstleri
Dipterocarpus oblongifolius
Dipterocarpus rigidus
Dipterocarpus sarawakensis
Dipterocarpus sublamellatus
Dipterocarpus tempehes
Dryobalanops aromatica
Dryobalanops lanceolata?
Dryobalanops oblongifolia
Hopea apiculata
Hopea auriculata
Hopea beccariana?
Hopea bilitonensis
Hopea coriacea
Hopea dryobalanoides
Hopea ferrea
Hopea ferruginea
Hopea helferi
Hopea karangasensis
Hopea mengarawan
Hopea nervosa
Hopea nutans
Hopea odorata
Hopea pierrei
Hopea polyalthioides
Hopea pubescens
Hopea sangal
Hopea sulcata
Neobalanocarpus heimii
Parashorea densiflora
Parashorea malaanonan
Parashorea tomentella
Shorea acuminata
Shorea assamica
Shorea balanocarpoides
Shorea bentongensis
Shorea blumutensis
Shorea bracteolata
Shorea cf multiflora
Shorea curtisii
Shorea dasyphylla
Shorea faguetiana
Shorea foxworthyi
Shorea gibbosa
Shorea gratissima
Shorea guiso
Shorea hemsleyana
Shorea henryana
Shorea hopeifolia?
Shorea hypochra
Shorea kuantanensis
Shorea kudatensis
Shorea kunstleri
Shorea laevis
Shorea lamellata
Shorea lepidota
Shorea leprosula
Shorea longispermum
Shorea lumutensis
Shorea macrantha
Shorea macroptera
Shorea materialis
Shorea maxima
Shorea maxwelliana
Shorea mecistopteryx
Shorea ochrophloia
Shorea ovalis
Shorea ovata
Shorea parvifolia
Shorea platycarpa
Shorea platyclados
Shorea resinosa
Shorea roxburghii
Shorea scrobiculata
Shorea seminis
Shorea siamensis
Shorea singkawang
Shorea smithiana
Shorea sumatrana
Shorea superba
Shorea symingtonii
Shorea waltonii
Shorea xanthophylla
Vatica bella
Vatica cinerea
Vatica cuspidata
Vatica flavida
Vatica havilandii
Vatica lobata
Vatica lowii
Vatica maingayi
Vatica nitens
Vatica odorata
Vatica stapfiana
Vatica yeechongii
Vatica pauciflora

Women’s Work — Exhibition at Rimbun Dahan

Women’s Work — Exhibition at Rimbun Dahan

‘Cluttered’ by Yau Bee Ling, yearlong resident artist in 2005.


Angela Hijjas looks back on 26 years of hosting women artists in residencies at Rimbun Dahan. The exhibition Women’s Work will be on display in the Underground Gallery at Rimbun Dahan from 13 September 2020 onwards.

A woman’s work is never done, and it’s a good thing too, as they bring dedication and total commitment to whatever they do, whether raising a family or embarking on a more individual path. Over 26 years, Rimbun Dahan has hosted many women artists, but there have been significantly more men, so we made a commitment to rectify that by being more aware that women generally don’t push themselves out into the public eye so much, despite being just as powerful as artists.

Our first Malaysian woman, in 1996, was the late Renee Kraal, extremely self effacing, quiet and thoughtful, and she invited her former teacher, Enid Ratnam-Keese from Australia to be her partner in our paired Malaysian/Australian residency for the year. Unfortunately, Enid’s expectations of sustaining the roles of student/teacher were unrealistic, and the two women went separate ways, as one would expect, each producing a body of work that reflected their vastly different views of the world: Enid angry at almost everything, while Renee sought peace and quiet to draw and paint. Unsurprisingly, there were spectacular fireworks at the end!

This was not a good beginning, but I learned a lot about how one should and shouldn’t “manage” resident guests. We continued on with Helen Crawford and Chong Siew Ying in 1999. Helen had trained as a sculptor, Siew Ying was a French-educated painter newly returned to Malaysia who wondered if she could develop a career for herself back in her home country. By the year’s end, Siew Ying had relaxed into a new approach to painting, borne by the liberation of enjoying her practice and being back in Malaysia, despite missing Paris. Her joyous laughing portraits struck a huge response from art lovers, and her show sold out, launching a successful career that allows her to support herself from her professional practice, the dream of every artist. Helen too was delighted to be in Malaysia: liberated from the necessary part-time work she had done in Adelaide, here she could concentrate on her practice. She built an installation of Malaysia’s ubiquitous pink plastic take-away bags at a local playground adjacent to the pasar malam, starting a connection with the kampong around us, as our neighbours watched and wondered why artists do such strange things. The piece of hers in this exhibition causes some anxiety for our many student visitors: an obviously dead body, life sized, hanging as if on a butcher’s hook, and suspended over a mirror. As the students crowd around and look down into the mirror, they realize that their friends are now upside down… momento mori.

Noor Mahnun Mohammed, Anum as she is known everywhere, was in residence for the following year, 2000, with Australian Gary Proctor, and they both pursued their own objectives with no expectation of doing anything together. Anum, like Siew Ying, was a returnee from Europe, having lived many years in Germany. Her return was precipitated by her father’s death, and she too wondered if she could settle back in Malaysia and develop her own practice. She has since been embraced by Malaysia, as an artist, a teacher and an engaged mentor of students and younger professional artists. She managed the residency for us at Rimbun Dahan for many years, nurturing a special generation of young talent.

Margot Wiburd, from Australia in 2001, had worked with filmmakers but was looking for time for her own practice. Her search for quiet is reflected in her pastel pieces that grew in size and confidence during her year with us.

Also in 2001, I was approached by Nadiah Bamadhaj who needed studio space to prepare for an exhibition that Galeri Petronas had agreed to host. “1965 – Rebuilding its Monuments” was a multi-faceted mourning of the events of that year in Indonesia, when hundreds of thousands were killed by the military, supposedly rooting out communism, but really settling old scores and intimidating the population through terror, with the knowledge and support of Western powers. Her charcoal works on paper were the beginning of a commitment to this medium that she has made her own over the years.

In 2003, we had local sculptor Jasmine Kok Lee Fong, who hailed from nearby Kundang but had studied in London, and Scottish/Australian painter Anne Morrison and her husband Troy Ruffels from Tasmania. Jasmine wrestled with huge marbles that Hijjas acquired from local suppliers, with the help of her contractor father who shifted them around for her. Her work has been in the herb garden ever since, reinforcing the sense of peace she was seeking to portray. Over that year, we had great industry in the studios, and we realized the benefits of having more people rather than less.

In 2005 we again had three year-long artists plus one: recently married Choy Chun Wei and Yau Bee Ling, and Tony Twigg from Australia with his wife Gina Fairley, a gallery professional who self started a new career as an arts writer while at RD, going to every gallery and exhibition in KL and Manila, meeting artists and visiting their studios, developing a particular expertise in Southeast Asian visual arts. We recruited her to write part of the monograph we prepared for Hijjas’ practice, and she went on to a career as an arts writer back in Sydney, while maintaining her links with Asia. Bee Ling, with a studio of her own, stretched big canvases that she never had space for before, and went on to fill them with the crowded details of a woman’s life, using her time to produce wonderful works that expressed her world at that point.

In 2007, we had Gabrielle Bates from Sydney, paired with Ahmad Fuad Osman, who spent his year commemorating the 50th anniversary of Merdeka. Gabrielle worked on her painting practice choosing as her subjects female goddesses and the women in our compound, like Bilqis, Anum and Donna Miranda, a noted contemporary performance artist from the Philippines, marking her subjects with symbols of their identity; in Donna’s case she is clothed in a web of tiny tropical flowers.

Two Tasmanian women in 2008, Megan Keating and Lauren Black, shared the residency with Justin Lim. Megan’s fine and subtle aesthetic coalesced around the landscapes she found in Malaysia, more oil palm and less forest than she had anticipated, and she nailed our consumer culture and lack of concern about forest loss in beautiful lush paintings. Lauren by contrast, as a botanical artist, met many botanists here and finally was able to follow some into the forest to secure subjects for study. But she was also looking to expand her career into a more contemporary expression, in which she took plants to stand for specific aspects of Malaysia’s history.

In 2009 we hosted Samsuddin Wahab, and a couple from Sydney, Monica Behrens and Rochelle Haley. Monica had been selected for the residency, but over their year I came to appreciate Rochelle’s work more. Rochelle looked at detail and dynamics, making some beautiful works of tiny subjects and working with dancers to map their movements on paper. During that year, we rebuilt the Penang house on site, and they used it for an intriguing installation within it. Paris-based Malaysian photographer Diana Lui was also at RD for a short residency the same year and left for us the photograph of our stately, lightning-shattered durian tree, our oldest tree, and an important garden landmark.

Jessica Watson and her family came to RD from Sydney via Sweden in 2010, and lived and worked for the year in our kampong house, Rumah Uda Manap, while Kojak was in his studio. Jessica’s embroideries are stunning transformations of craft into art. As with many of the Australian artists, she developed relationships with other artists and galleries in Malaysia, and the three small pieces in the show are from an exhibition in Penang the following year. Her dragon flying over Georgetown is one of my favourite works, reminding me of the Penang years when Hijjas and I built the Penaga Hotel while Jessica was in residence.

Claire Healy, with her partner Sean Cordiero, came to Rimbun Dahan with their two small children in 2013, when Sabri Idrus was the Malaysian resident artist. I had seen Claire’s and Sean’s exquisite minute cross-stitched tapestries of explosions of fossil fuels, and marveled at the transposition of such an undervalued craft into a vehicle for art and political comment; that is their hallmark. During their residency they made life-sized Lego figures of animals ‘skewered’ by IKEA furniture: wildlife reduced to mindless decoration for mass consumption. The couple appeared to work seamlessly, with their kids recruited to sort the mixed boxes of Lego that arrived regularly in exchange for Lego of their own, so it was a genuine family enterprise that made the juggle of family life and art practice look so easy.

In 2010, we initiated a residency in Penang at Hotel Penaga, and hosted about 30 artists there until we sold up in 2017. Represented in this show of those Penang artists is Sangeeta Sandrasegar, an Australian whose family is of Malaysian origin, whose paper cuts explore her own identity against those Malaysians she met in Penang.

Australian mosaic artist Helen Bodycomb, who had been with us in the Open Residency programme in 2006, in which international artists financed themselves to join our community, returned in 2009 with friends, to make a mosaic wall for the Penaga, in recognition of Penang having supported and commissioned artists and artisans over the last century to embellish its buildings. Helen’s piece in this show was made for our annual fundraising show for WWF, Art for Nature, in 2006. Cathy Brooks, too, was self funded, and came from Adelaide with her poet husband Mike Ladd in 2009; she layered silk screen prints with silhouettes of bits of rubbish collected by the roadside, rhythmically repeated to transcend their origins and become beautiful cultural and architectural representations of Kuala Lumpur. Louise Saxton, was with us in 2006 (our vintage year, as Anum pointed out) and her installation of recovered embroideries pinned to tulle looks quintessentially feminine, but the actual subject of the piece is the empty centre of all that hand stitching where the Rafflesia is outlined but vacant, just as the largest flower in the world is missing from our national iconography. Lindy Lee, 2006, now a sought-after sculptor and installation artist from Sydney, wanted to stay in Southeast Asia for three months to experience living in Asia. She is renowned as an influential art teacher, but now also has architectural-scale installations in many Australian cities. Her work at RD compares the rigidity of accurate, formal representation against the random forces of nature that shape us.

Asialink, based at the University of Melbourne, was a valued partner from the nineties, and sent hundreds of artists all over Asia for three-month periods. Asialink artists in this show include Sally Heinrich of Adelaide, a creator of beautiful children’s books who painted the superb “Princess Wonky in the Painted Palace” and lived in our kampong house with her two children. Julie Ryder explored and tested some of our plants for textile dyes and Anne Neil used discarded construction formwork as the base for assemblages of found objects.

2013 was the last of the year-long residencies sponsored by Hijjas’ architectural practice, but we still offer shorter residencies to Malaysian and Southeast Asian artists, to bring our focus on neighbours a bit closer to home. In 2015 we invited Malaysian Azliza Ayub to stay for a year-long period with a solo exhibition at the end. Her work used found discarded objects, like plastic water bottles that were everywhere in our kampong, transforming them into beautiful assemblages that transformed our gallery. However, preparing for the show while simultaneously caring for her family of four young children took its toll, a telling example of the stresses of juggling home and practice that are particular to women. After the show she disappeared and sadly we don’t have any of her work to show. Nor do I have work from Indonesia’s foremost performance artist, Arahmaiani, who stayed for 6 months in 2005, preparing for a solo exhibition at Valentine Willie’s gallery. I do have a small piece from Mella Jaarsma who also prepared at Rimbun Dahan for a show at Valentine Willie’s in 2004. Mella founded the first artists’ residency programme in Southeast Asia, Cemeti, with her husband Nindityo Adipurnomo, in 1988, in Jogjakarta. I was glad to reciprocate for her inspiration.

The shorter residencies for up to 3 months attracted applicants from Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam; we also had residencies for choreographers and writers. Zun Ei Phyu of Myanmar is a particular favourite, a qualified doctor turned painter, she was also an accomplished paper cutter; she came to RD in 2014 with her friend Sandar Khaing whose large bold nudes couldn’t be exhibited in Myanmar. Both were stretching boundaries: Zun Ei by embracing her future as artist rather than doctor, and Sandar challenging the restrictions of a traditional society. In 2015 we had a young Australian artist, Jen Tyers, who painted exquisite watercolours of landscapes in the RD gardens, and studies of Dipterocarp seeds; many of these are on display in the Kasturi Resort, our new hotel at Pantai Cendor on the East Coast. Indonesian Ruth Marbun’s watercolours from 2019 also marked a significant residency. Ida Lawrence, another Australian but with Indonesian parentage, had spent time in Bali with her father’s family, absorbing artistic and cultural influences.

Malaysians Wong Xiang Yee and Chuah Shu Ruei shared an exhibition in 2018. Again, as in many previously paired exhibitions, each came with very different approaches to their practice, but by having time and space to work independently they both developed in their time at Rimbun Dahan, as did Anniketyni Madian of Sarawak, who spent 6 months with us in 2014; a major work of hers is not in this show as it too is hanging at the Kasturi Resort.

Melissa Lin was with us in 2014, and her quest was more spiritual; to quote from her statement: “Art for her is a process of becoming and of encouraging the intrepid traveler on the way to wholeness and experience, not only for the individual self, but also for the health of the community and collective.” I would not describe art in that manner, but I respect her point of view; I think for women who have a desperate urge to create work that reflects and engages the world around them, they have a strong instinct to grasp every opportunity they have to realise the work they think about as they do their everyday endless tasks for family and community: a residency is time for yourself, to develop your ideas and skills, to meet people with similar concerns, and maybe learn from each other or work together.

There have been many more women at Rimbun Dahan whose work I couldn’t show, particularly that of dancers and choreographers; sadly we can’t stage a retrospective of all the dance events Bilqis organized here, but there was often a rich crossing of boundaries between dance and art, most memorable in the work of Zun Ei and Rochelle Hayley. The range of form and expression of all the women is remarkable, and personally they resonate with me far more than the rest of the Rimbun Dahan collection. I have long wanted to hang this show and I feel it is a triumph of diversity, of how selflessly women artists share their worlds, whether it’s the exposed vulnerability of Megan Keating’s ‘Song Cycles’, or exploring the meanings of practicality and spirituality; but overwhelmingly, it is sheer beauty that allows the works to transcend to a higher level.

2020 has been a strange year for everyone, but at Rimbun Dahan we have had a chance to evaluate what we have been doing for the last 26 years and plan for the future. The lockdown enabled me to replan the garden, to renovate the kampong house and refurbish the hard landscaping, so that we can ensure that Rimbun Dahan continues to be a resource of creativity, dance, art, botany and architecture for Malaysia into the future.

Shiela Samsuri

Shiela Samsuri

Shiela Samsuri, 2020, Wandering Collecting Archiving Unfolding (Unfinished Painting)

Malaysian artist and architect Shiela Samsuri joins us for a month-long residency in August 2020, as part of our Southeast Asian Arts Residency series.

About the Artist

Shiela Samsuri (b. 1989) received her training in architecture. She leads R+, a research unit of GDP Architects, which focuses on ways of living in the changing context of our environment and impact from technology. Shiela is also a visual artist, a parallel trajectory that she believes stems from her postgraduate years understanding the language of lines. Her works have been exhibited at many contemporary art shows such as SH/FT 2019 and a finalist of the Malaysia Emerging Artist Awards 2019. At her best, Shiela is a human being who contemplates aspects such as shadows, sun and skin. She has always thought of projecting them into lyrical poetry, the way the late Sapardi Djoko Damono does, although she can never reach such depth (and she’s okay with it). And so she resorted to writing bullet points, drinking lots of good coffee and curating Spotify playlists. She spent the year 2019 collecting tarmacs around her neighbourhood for introspective reasons, however the year 2020 turns out slightly different than expected…

More info at shielasamsuri.com.

Current Work at Rimbun Dahan

Wandering, Collecting, Archiving, Unfolding

A drawing language exercise where one wanders around Rimbun Dahan, collecting things that have fallen onto the ground, microscoping them to understand their discreet patterns (and sometimes unseen lives), archiving and unfolding them into drawing iterations and narratives.

Before Your Very Eyes (an entry for ArtScience Prize 2020 by Academy of Sciences Malaysia)

A collaboration project with a marine microbiologist that draws upon social stratification as exemplified through microorganisms interaction where different characteristics of water is used as a way to look at boundaries and social class. This is an entry for ArtScience Prize 2020, currently on-going, organised by Academy of Science Malaysia.


Some things are better left unsaid.

Anna Tan

Anna Tan

Anna Tan is currently undertaking a residency at Rimbun Dahan from August to September 2020.

About the Author

Anna Tan grew up in Malaysia, the country that is not Singapore. She is the author of two fantasy books, Coexist and Dongeng, and has short stories included in various local and international anthologies.

When not writing, Anna is the treasurer for the Malaysian Writers Society and heads the group in her hometown of Penang. This really means that she nags them into turning up for write-ins and critiques, then wrangles them into submitting for NutMag, an annual zine published by MYWriters Penang. Anna was once a certified and chartered accountant with a big 4 firm but has given up on annoying bean counters in general. She now likes to annoy other wordsmiths by correcting their grammar.

In 2019, Anna completed an MA in Creative Writing: The Novel at Brunel University London. She is interested in Malay/Nusantara and Chinese legends and folklore in exploring the intersection of language, culture, and faith. She can be found tweeting as @natzers and forgetting to update annatsp.com.


Current Work-in-Progress at Rimbun Dahan

Anna is currently working on the first (millionth) rewrite of The Weight of Sin, the culmination of the Absolution duology.

The first novel, The Weight of Strength, is a high fantasy retelling of Samson and Delilah set in a magical Malaccan Sultanate-esque world that draws on Nusantara culture, language, and imagery. Terang has fallen, its people have been taken captive. Raja Muda Mikal must prove himself and discover a way to liberate his people, even while he struggles with his own faith in a silent God.

The current WIP, The Weight of Sin, follows the restoration of Terang two years on. Mikal, now Sultan, must fulfil the Perjanjian Garam to restore God’s protection over Terang. He sets out on his pilgrimage to Suci with fear in his heart and death in his soul—and the hope that his sacrifice will save his people. Tulen sets out on a similar pilgrimage, seeking absolution for causing the death of her brother. But the road to Suci is fraught with danger—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Soon, both Mikal and Tulen must decide for themselves: what lengths will they go to in their quests for absolution? The Weight of Sin explores the concept of absolution—and weighs the merits of simply offering sacrifices for atonement versus obedience to the scriptures.


Excerpt from The Weight of Sin

Finding a new job is not easy when your ex-boss has circulated your name and crime to all the nearby restaurants. It’s the third morning since I lost my job and I’ve already been rejected by most of the restaurants near my place. I’m also using too much of my money on food. If I’m going to have enough for rent, I’m going to have to turn to drastic measures.

Mak will be so disappointed in me.

I slip into the back of the Temple, ignoring the clamour in my head as the bells toll. If cursed is the hand who kills, then it wouldn’t matter if that same hand also stole, would it? It couldn’t be doubly cursed, could it?

Not here, Tulen, I tell myself. You don’t do anything bad near the Temple nor near the Justice’s Quarters, not where there are dozens of stern-faced women around who know your name and your face and can read your thoughts, no matter how hard you try to mask them.

I concentrate on the Uskup who is droning on ahead, praying to Kudus for the restoration of Terang, while I try to slide shields around my thoughts. Aunty Rahsia taught me this four years ago—the basics of it, at least. She said that it was important for me to learn, especially with the promised strength of my gifts—and then Mak died and Aunty Rahsia got her dream job and disappeared out of our lives, the very way she told Mak off for doing to us. Well, she’s not a blood relative anyway, just Mak’s friend.

It still hurts.

A Justice in front turns around, eyes scanning the crowd and I slam my shields up. I must succeed this time, because her gaze passes over me without pausing. She looks a little puzzled, then turns back to the service.

What did I let slip?

I suppress my thoughts and practice monitoring those of the people around me. The tall, thin man in front of me is wondering if his wife is cheating on him. The lady next to him, whom I assume must be his wife, is trying to calculate if they have enough to pay for their son’s school fees for the next month. The fat lady next to me is thinking about dinner. Hah. Mak Ros, that nosy old bawang, is somewhere on my left, wondering if that degenerate girl is up to no good. My cheeks burn.

Aaaand this is why you don’t eavesdrop on people.

The Uskup mentions Suci and I perk up. He’s praying for Kudus to confirm the appointment of a new Uskup Agung. I frown. Hasn’t he been praying for that for the last six months? I mean, the old one has been dead for almost a year. I know because he died two months after Telus did, just when he was supposed to come to Impian.

When the Uskup starts on Sultan Mikal and the Bayangan Raja, I take that as my cue to leave. It means he’s about to end the service and I don’t want to be caught hanging around by more bawangs who may or may not remember Mak and ask me what I’m up to these days.

Nothing good.

I shut the thought down and slip out of the Temple. My feet take me to the market, partially because I’m hungry, partially because I don’t know where else to go. The crowd in the market is perfect for hiding me, and it’s not where I’d be likely to find a Justice. I work through lifting my shields again, so that no one can read me. I don’t bother trying to add a covering projection, because that takes too much energy and concentration.

And you’re not very good at it.

Shunting that thought aside, I work on listening to the thoughts around me, trying to pick an easy mark. It should be easy, right? And Kudus can’t curse me twice, right? All the Paderis I’ve ever talked to say that all sins are alike to Kudus so if I’ve sinned once…

The fat lady from the Temple crosses in front of me. She looks like an easy mark. She’s still distractedly running through recipes in her head—ooh, curry chicken sounds lovely—whilst tallying the amount she has in her purse—she has a lot of money. Now she’s thinking about whether she should get pastries for the brat, whoever that is, as well. I follow her around the market as discreetly as I can, but can’t seem to find an opening. She keeps her bag too close to her, makes too many unpredictable moves.

I spy a likelier target. My second target proves a better choice. I manage to slip a hand in her basket and score a nice sausage bun. She doesn’t even notice.

With a little more confidence—and practice—I walk away from the market that morning with enough food for the next two days. No money though. My fingers are not that nimble, and it seems that Impianans are more careful with their purses than they are with their shopping bags.

This is only a temporary measure, I remind myself. Once I get a new job, I won’t have to steal anymore. I just need to conserve as much money as I can so that I will still have a place to stay. I don’t doubt that Pak Baik will kick me out the moment I’m late in paying, no matter what his name actually means. I mean, look at the name I got stuck with. You don’t expect a murderer to be called pure.

I spend the rest of the day receiving more job rejections. One even has the audacity to chase me out of his restaurant. Maybe I need to consider a change in careers.

Shadows That Flourish – A Solo Exhibition by Kim Ng

Shadows That Flourish – A Solo Exhibition by Kim Ng

Rimbun Dahan presents

Shadows That Flourish

a solo exhibition by Kim Ng

DATES: Saturday 11 July to Sunday 2 August
[CLOSED on Friday 31 July for Hari Raya Haji]
OPENING HOURS: Weekends 10am – 5pm; Mon to Fri by appointment only (Whatsapp Angela at +6012-210-4229).
ADDRESS: Km. 27 (entrance before Lorong Belimbing), Jalan Kuang 48050 Kuang, Selangor
Admission is FREE.
You are also welcome to walk around our indigenous Southeast Asian garden and view our heritage houses during your visit.

About the Exhibition

Influenced by living habits and the environment that we live in, Kim Ng’s work has a strong connection to social experience, human conduct and memory. He collects an abundance of abandoned objects from the street for their aesthetic values and possibilities, taking pictures of the marks, textures and graffiti left by men and nature. To him, those are gestures of storytelling in their pictorial and physical forms. Those traces also indicate the behaviour left behind by someone or something that held the story of the past.
The artist residency in Rimbun Dahan provided Kim Ng the opportunity to explore and investigate, rather than being tied down to a fixed direction of excessive production. His exploration in various materials and art forms is related to his experience in art-making. A new level of sensitivity towards the materials and forms has been established during his stay in Rimbun Dahan which allowed him to delve into a much deeper aesthetic awareness through further exploration and encounters with various materials and visual propositions.
Shadows That Flourish pulls together Kim Ng’s six months of explorations into a finale and is presented in the Underground Gallery at Rimbun Dahan. Artworks are divided into three types: unprimed canvas buried in the ground or cement, speaking to the transformation of material essence into something that signifies the rural and the urban, and ceramic sculptures and installation works that express nature and social phenomena in a metaphorical way. His colourful mixed media and silkscreen prints on canvas convey a complication of emotional feeling towards the environment. The series of found objects keep track of the authenticity of the materials and their origins, reiterating the existing history of the materials beyond their surface values, and rebuilding their meanings from the past for new interpretations. Much of the thinking process of his art-making was associated with the subject matter, materials and forms, attempting to build a dialogue with the viewers through the visual presentation, and evoking different senses of experience through a variety of materials.
Kim Ng is sensitive to the fact that each different material and form has their own voices. He does not particularly highlight the making process through his works, but from the processes of making, he creates symbols and meanings for further communication and dialogue, contributing to the sensual reading of the work on a personal level when one confronts them.


Read more about the artist and his residency at Rimbun Dahan >>

This exhibition is supported by Dasein Academy of Art.
To request a copy of the electronic catalogue, please email Kim at kng341@gmail.com.

INSIDE OUT — A Performative Exhibition by Isabelle Schad

INSIDE OUT — A Performative Exhibition by Isabelle Schad

Created by choreographer Isabelle Schad, winner of the 2019 German Dance Prize.
Co-created and performed by dancers from Europe and Southeast Asia.

In her performative exhibition INSIDE OUT Isabelle Schad shows choreographic sculptures that are experienced in their powerfully sensuous moving forms. Her work situates itself between dance and visual art, draws on her ongoing fascination with Aikido-Zen, community building and her long-term collaboration with visual artist and philosopher Laurent Goldring. With subtle exactness, the performers form bodies and movement into sculptures which define their own space and evolve a contemplative quality. INSIDE OUT is conceived to be re-created anew for each venue and will be seen for the first time with this unique constellation of dancers coming from Europe and Southeast Asia.

Performers: Claudia Tomasi (Italy), Przemek Kamiński (Poland), Josh Marcy (Indonesia), Noutnapha Soydala (Laos), Vidura Amranand (Thailand), Nguyen Thanh Chung (Vietnam), Nicole Primero (Philippines), Gebbvelle Ray Selga (Philippines), Jereh Leung (Singapore), and Lau Beh Chin (Malaysia).
Artistic Assistance: Claudia Tomasi (Italy)
Music: Damir Simunovic (Croatia)
Lighting: Emma Juliard (France)


Friday 15 Nov, Saturday 16 Nov & Sunday 17 Nov
White Box, MAP Publika


Tickets walk-in by donation at the door:
RM35 regular
RM20 students/seniors/concession
Group discount: 4 student entries for RM70 (RM17.50 each)

Please wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to stand and move around during the performance.


If you are bringing a big group, or concerned about limited places, please register with your name, number of people attending, and date of attendance, by email to arts@rimbundahan.org or Whatsapp +60 17-727 7137. Your registered space will be saved until 8:15pm on the day of the performance.


Jointly Organized by Goethe-Institut and Rimbun Dahan

Supported by the NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ International Guest Performance Fund for Dance, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
Funded by Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe.
Venue Supported by MAP Publika/UEMS Sunrise
Special Thanks to the Embassy of the Republic of France in Malaysia.

Photo by D.Hartwig

Contemporary Dance/Traditional Rhythms Workshop by Annalouise Paul

Contemporary Dance/Traditional Rhythms Workshop by Annalouise Paul

Australian dancer-choreographer Annalouise Paul, the current resident choreographer at Rimbun Dahan, will conduct a 3-hour workshop open to the local performance community.

Annalouise will share choreographic repertoire and a contemporary dance warm up which intersects with Flamenco dance and traditional rhythms. She will share her process of DanceDNA for distilling traditions in order to explore new pathways for movement without disrupting or negating the essence of the cultural form. The workshop will include task work and improvisational modes.

For intermediate/advanced dancers and performers.

Monday 9 Sept 2019
KOTAK, Five Arts Centre, 27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur.
Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/vBy1ACMcFCH2

Entrance is RM20 per person, payable at the door. Places are limited and REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. To register, please email bhijjas@gmail.com or Whatsapp +6017 310 3769 with your name, mobile number and email address.

Please wear clothes comfortable for dancing. Most of the work will be in bare feet. If you have a traditional dance practice of your own, please feel free to bring any required items, i.e. bells, shoes…

About Annalouise Paul

Annalouise Paul is a contemporary-flamenco choreographer and performer from Australia whose works explore identity and transformation through the intersection of contemporary and traditional forms.

Annalouise has been working in the field of intercultural dance in Australia and internationally for over thirty years. More recently she has developed choreographic tools to push dance hybridity. There is no established ‘method’ for creating cross-cultural movement or for practitioners to model from, so there has been slow but constant emergence of process and vocabulary, evolving out of a pool of processes for various works. ‘Hidden Rhythms’ is one process that employs traditional rhythms for shifting the dynamic of dance movement. ‘Dance DNA’ is the most recent method Annalouise has been investigating largely through workshops internationally and in Australia. She has held cross cultural workshops in Singapore, France, India, Melbourne and Sydney supported by World Dance Alliance, Create NSW and Critical Path.

Developing cross-cultural and hybrid processes with local dance artists at Rimbun Dahan, Annalouise is researching and creating material for new interdisciplinary works ‘Mother Tongue’ and ‘Self Portrait’, exploring the existence of multiple cultural affinities, histories and languages in the single body.

Annalouise is the recipient of the Australian Arts in Asia Award in Dance. This Creative Exchange at Rimbun Dahan is supported by Asialink Arts and the NSW Government through Create NSW.

About Rimbun Dahan

Rimbun Dahan is a private arts centre owned by architect Hijjas Kasturi and his wife Angela. The 14-acre compound contains contemporary and traditional buildings in an indigenous Southeast Asian tropical garden. Since 1994, the Cultural Programme at Rimbun Dahan has hosted hundreds of artists across disciplines, spending up to 12 months at Rimbun Dahan to develop their arts practice.

Thanks to FIVE ARTS CENTRE for their venue support.

Photo above, of ‘Mother Tongue’ choreographed by Annalouise Paul, taken by Shane Rozario.

Australian Choreographer Invites Collaborators

Australian Choreographer Invites Collaborators
Want to explore the process of creating cross-cultural dance? Australian choreographer Annalouise Paul is looking for collaborators for her residency at Rimbun Dahan in August 2019!
Ingin mengkaji proses mencipta tarian bersilang budaya? Ahli koreografer Annalouise Paul dari Australia memohon para kolaborator menyertai residensinya di Rimbun Dahan, pada bulan Ogos 2019. Turun ke versi BM –>

Annalouise Paul Residency at Rimbun Dahan

Dates: 15-30 August 2019

Australian dancer-choreographer Annalouise Paul is looking for local dancer artists to collaborate on a cross-cultural dance exchange at Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia.

Callout for Collaborators

WHO: Dancers and choreographers who have a traditional or indigenous dance background (in any culture) are invited to apply. If you are interested in contemporary performance, making new work and challenging traditional concepts or have some experience with contemporary dance that is useful, but not essential.

WHAT: Annalouise Paul will teach excerpts from her existing works and guide artists to explore and develop new choreographic material working from their traditional dances and share her creative practice. Together we will hone a process that uses traditional dances, rhythms and concepts in structured improvisations, and if time permits develop a short choreography that can be shared in a studio showing at the end of the residency.

WHY: Sharing dialogue is key to this exchange. Feeding back on how processes can be pushed further and develop processes for making new works. And as a group, discuss contemporary and traditional dance vocabularies, cultural identity, race, languages, migration and diasporic lineages as artist-makers.


  • Conversations in the studio will be in English, but we will try to accommodate those with minimal English, wherever possible.
  • Video, photographic and written documentation by Annalouise is essential, but this will not be shared publicly, and used only for Annalouise’s artistic archives and grant reports.
  • Consent forms will be provided.
  • Artists are custodians of their traditional practices at all times and decide what cultural material is offered in the exploratory process and for group discussion.
  • Musicians are welcome in this choreographic lab.


  • Collaborators will be invited to spend 4-5 days per week for 2 weeks, between [date] and [date] working as a group with Annalouise in the studio at Rimbun Dahan.
  • Schedules for working days will be arranged in consultation with the collaborators so that a small group can work together consistently over the period to have maximum benefit for everyone involved.
  • Times will be between 10-5pm TBC, and this will be confirmed once the collaborators are confirmed.
  • Once accepted, continuity is compulsory for the entire group. If you cannot commit for the full period please state this at the start with your best dates and times available.

FEE: There is no fee offered, however, a daily stipend will be offered to cover transport and lunch meals.

CONTACT: If you’re interested please arrange a time to speak with Annalouise Paul. Contact her directly on Whatsapp +61 408664199 or email annalouisempaul@gmail.com with your available dates and times and for more information about the project.


Annalouise Paul has been working in the field of intercultural dance in Australia and internationally for over thirty years. More recently she has developed choreographic tools to push dance hybridity. There is no established ‘method’ for creating cross-cultural movement or for practitioners to model from, so there has been slow but constant emergence of process and vocabulary, evolving out of a pool of processes for various works. ‘Hidden Rhythms’ is one process that employs traditional rhythms for shifting the dynamic of dance movement. ‘Dance DNA’ is the most recent method Annalouise has been investigating largely through workshops internationally and in Australia. She has held cross cultural workshops in Singapore, France, India, Melbourne and Sydney supported by World Dance Alliance, Create NSW and Critical Path.

Annalouise’s residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2019 is an Asialink Arts Creative Exchange.


Residensi oleh Annalouise Paul di Rimbun Dahan

Tarikh: 15-30 hb Ogos 2019

Annalouise Paul, seorang penari dan koreografer dari Australia, menjemput artis tari tempatan dari Malaysia untuk menyertai proses kolaborasi dalam sebuah projek pertukaran budaya tari bertempat di Rimbun Dahan.

Jemputan Kepada Kolaborator

SIAPA: Penari atau koreografer yang mempunyai latarbelakang tari tradisi ataupun tarian Orang Asal (daripada budaya mana-mana pun) dijemput membuat permohonan untuk menyertai projek ini. Kami juga menggalakkan permohonan anda jikalau anda pernah terlibat di dalam persembahan jenis kontemporari, terlibat di dalam proses mencipta karya baru yang mencabar konsep-konsep tradisi, ataupun mempunyai sebarang pengalaman di dalam tarian kontemporari.

APA: Annalouise Paul akan mengajar beberapa petikan daripada karya tarinya, dan akan memberi panduan kepada peserta-peserta untuk meneroka dan mengembangkan bahan koreografi yang baru, dengan menggunakan tarian tradisi mereka. Annalouise juga akan kongsi amalan kreatifnya sendiri. Peserta-peserta bersama-sama dengan Annalouise akan menetapkan sebuah proses yang menggunakan pergerakan, rentak dan konsep-konsep daripada tarian tradisi di dalam improvisasi-improvisasi yang berstruktur. Terpulang kepada masa, peserta-peserta juga akan mencipta sebuah koreografi pendek yang akan dipersembahkan kepada orang ramai semasa sebuah pertunjukan di dalam studio pada hujung residensi.

MENGAPA: Berkongsi melalui dialog merupakan kunci proses pertukaran ini. Proses ini juga melibatkan tindakan maklumbalas bagaimana ia boleh diperluaskan dan digunakan untuk mencipta karya yang baru. Sebagai sebuah kumpulan penggiat-penggiat seni, kami akan membincangkan vokabulari tari, identiti budaya, bangsa, bahasa, migrasi dan penyebaran warisan.


  • Perbincangan di dalam studio akan dijalankan di dalam Bahasa Inggeris, tetapi kami akan cuba menampung sesiapa yang kurang fasih di dalam Bahasa Inggeris.
  • Annalouise sering menggunakan sistem dokumentasi proses itu melalui video dan foto serta penulisan, tetapi bahan-bahan tersebut tidak akan dipamerkan secara terbuka, dan hanya digunakan di dalam arkib seni Annalouise serta laporan dana.
  • Borang persetujuan akan disediakan.
  • Peserta-peserta merupakan penjaga budaya tradisi mereka sendiri semasa proses ini. Mereka bertanggungjawab untuk menetapkan sumber tradisi yang boleh atau tidak boleh digunakan semasa proses penerokaan artistik dan perbincangan secara berkumpulan ini.
  • Pemain muzik juga digalakkan menyertai projek ini.


  • Peserta-peserta dijemput untuk berada di studio di Rimbun Dahan selama 4-5 hari setiap minggu selama dua minggu, di antara tarikh [ ] dan [ ], bekerja berkumpulan bersama-sama dengan Annalouise.
  • Jadual waktu bagi setiap hari di dalam studio akan diatur setelah perundingan dengan peserta-peserta. Kami inginkan sebuah kumpulan kecil yang boleh bekerja bersama-sama dengan cara yang konsisten semasa jangka masa tersebut, untuk memberi faedah yang maksimum kepada semua yang terlibat.
  • Masa di dalam studio adalah lebih kurang di antara pukul 10 pagi dan 5 petang, tetapi waktu sebenarnya akan ditetapkan nanti, setelah peserta-peserta dipilih.
  • Setelah peserta-peserta yang terpilih mengesahkan penyertaan mereka, kehadiran adalah wajib. Jikalau anda tidak dapat memberi komitment yang sepenuhnya, sila mengemukakan jadual waktu anda semasa proses permohonan.

BAYARAN: Tiada bayaran yang ditawarkan, kecuali penghargaan sebanyak RM35 sehari yang akan diberi untuk membantu menanggung kos pengangkutan dan makanan.

HUBUNGI KAMI: Untuk membuat permohonan untuk menyertai projek ini, sila Whatsapp +61 408664199 atau emel annalouisempaul@gmail.com dengan jadual waktu anda yang boleh lapangkan untuk projek ini. Annalouise akan menetapkan masa untuk berbincang dengan lebih lanjut bersama anda secara individu.


Annalouise Paul mempunyai sejenis siasatan koreografi yang timbul daripada kekurangan metodologi yang wujud untuk mencipta pergerakan silang budaya (cross-cultural). Amalan Annalouise berdasarkan proses yang perlahan tetapi berterusan untuk mencipta vokabulari pergerakan. Prosesnya termasuk ‘Hidden Rhythms’ yang menggunakan irama tradisi untuk mengalihkan dinamik pergerakan tarian, dan ‘Dance DNA’ yang menggunakan pergerakan tradisional dengan pendekatan somatik. Beliau telah membangunkan proses-proses ini di Singapura, Perancis, India, Melbourne dan Sydney, disokong oleh institusi-institusi seperti World Dance Alliance, Create NSW dan Critical Path.

Residensi Annalouise di Rimbun Dahan pada tahun 2019 merupakan sebuah Asialink Arts Creative Exchange.

Dancing in Place 2019

Dancing in Place 2019

Photo by Nazir Azhari.

The tenth edition of our popular site-specific dance event, 26-27 January 2019 at Rimbun Dahan. This edition featured restages of work by local dance artists, as well as newly created work through international collaborations by alumni from the Southeast Asian Choreolab.


A1. Bumbu Goyang

∞mg Newspapers
2 Chairs
3 cup Nylon
100g Post it
1/2l Folding
1 cup Tracing
200ml Drawing

2 Marker pens
1 tsp SR
1 tsp Mental Music
20ml Replacing
3/4 tsp Touching
50ml Tearing
10 pinch Toes
1 tbsp LangserP/s: How many kg of shadows?
Choreographed & performed by Fitri Anggraini & Lau Beh Chin.

Special guests: Students of the Dance Department of University of Malaya, and Kakak Ayu Lestari.
Thanks to the exhibition and workshop of Chuah Shu Ruei.

Fitri Anggraini graduated from the Art Institute of Jakarta (2016), and choreographed KABA for Indonesia Dance Festival the same year. She has since collaborated with choreographers Mikuni Yanaihara and Ismaera Takeo, received the prestigious Hibah Seni Inovatif Award from Yayasan Seni Kelola, and participated in the Asian Performing Arts Forum in Japan.

Lau Beh Chin, from Penang, has a degree in chemical engineering, spent a year at Fontys Hogeshcool Voor de Kunsten in the Netherlands, and finally graduated from University of Limerick with a Master’s in Contemporary Dance Performance. She produced “Where Two Seas Meet” and “Your Memories, Our Identity” focusing on intercultural dialogue.


A2. tree.time

We went digging for roots. We found layers – layers of earth on concrete on plantation on roots on grass on skin on leaves.

This is a durational work where we grow with the space for 3 hours each on 26 and 27 January. The first day is focused on growth and the second on disintegration. The audience is invited to enter the space to look more closely at the installation and texts.

Choreographed & performed by Chan Sze-Wei & Hii Ing Fung.

Hii Ing Fung is a Sarawakian based in KL-Selangor, experienced in Chinese classical & folk dances, ballet, Hua Zu Wu, and contemporary dance technique, and active in performance, education, creation and research. She holds a Master of Performing Arts (Dance) from University of Malaya (2014).

Blending conceptual, interactive, improvisatory and cross-cultural approaches for theatres, public spaces, video installation and film, Chan Sze-Wei’s work is grounded in perception, sensation and the organic knowledge of the human body. Her work has shown in Singapore, various Southeast Asian cities, the UK, Taiwan, Croatia, the USA and Brazil.


A3. Canvas

A work originally created for the second chapter of《游云》project. Each chapter is specifically accordant with ancient Chinese philosophy, “Tian Shi”, “Di Li”, and “Ren He”.

“Di Li” is cultural transformation due to a shifting environment. The existing dissimilarities between Southeast Asian dance and traditional Chinese dance are indeed profound evidence of cultural assimilation amongst the Chinese during and after their migratory voyage to Nanyang. This chapter combines the elements of totems prevailing in the language of Southeast Asian dance and the emphasis on coherence and curve in every movement of the dancer, to accentuate the sparks arising from such cultural distinctions.

Choreographed by Chan Kar Kah

Performed by Ker Yee Teng

Chan Kar Kah is a Chinese dance-based freelance dancer, choreographer and instructor. She studied for her Bachelors for Dance at Beijing Normal University, and performed and choreographed for cultural festivals, International Students’ Night, and Collegiate ASEAN Games. She joined Han Fong Dance Ensemble in 2012, and is now lead dancer and ensemble choreographer.


A4. Within

“The human animal needs a freedom seldom mentioned, freedom from intrusion. He needs a little privacy quite as much as he wants understanding, vitamins, or exercise, or praise.” – Phylis McGinley

‘Within’ is a piece about the aesthetic element of the animal that is confined and forgotten within the human animal. The animal that has succumbed to society, race and tradition.

Choreographed by Kenny Shim

Performed by Lim Pei Ern
Originally performed by Linda Telek

Kenny Shim completed his BA in Contemporary Dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, and his MA in Contemporary Dance Performance at London Contemporary Dance School. Kenny produced his debut production in 2018, featuring Winged Wolves and the Bamboo Mew, Pieces of Three Movements, and a restage of Rite.


B1. Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Hopeful but then days are young, so who knows how the tale will end?

Created & performed by Tan Bee Hung & Chung Ping Wei

Chung Ping Wei is a Malaysian saxophonist performing classical and pop jazz. After a distinction in the ABRSM London Board Exam major, his diverse interests have led him to play in Birdian Saxophone Quartet, Klpac Symphonic Band and Klpac Orchestra. He runs The Saxophone Store in Kuala Lumpur.

Currently a dancer, choreographer, dance and Pilates instructor, Tan Bee Hung holds an LLB, and has performed locally and internationally for Kwang Tung Dance Company, as well as in her own solo work. A firm believer that humans are natural movers, she hopes to bring dance closer to people’s lives.


B2. Darah

I would be more comfortable if I were accompanying you.

Choreographed by Norsafini Jafar

Performed by Dalila Abd Samad & Nadhirah Rahmat

Norsafini Jafar holds a Diploma and Degree in Dance from ASWARA, majoring in joget gamelan, and works as a lecturer in the Faculty of Dance. An award-winning choreographer, with an MA from University of Malaya. She is a member of the Asian Dance Committee in Korea in 2019.


B3. A Strange Meeting

What can be seen if the hidden parts of our memories are uncovered?

Choreographed & performed by Nurulakmal Abdul Wahid, Fauzi Amirudin & Vidura Amranand

Nurulakmal Binti Abdul Wahid holds a Bachelors and Masters from University of Malaya. She has performed and choreographed for many site-specific works at Dancing in Place, George Town Festival, and Butterworth Fringe Festival, which informs her current PhD research. She currently works as a dance lecturer at the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, UPSI.

Vidura Amranand is a contemporary dance artist and teacher based in Bangkok, Thailand. She has performed extensively with B-floor Theatre and director Thanapol Virulhakul. Her most recent directorial works are One Night Stand and The Floating Project. Vidura studied dance at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and continues to teach and develop her movement practice in trance, visualization, and awareness.

Fauzi Amirudin is a graduate from ASWARA and a principal dancer at ASK Dance Company, awarded Best Choreographer at the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards. In 2018, he and Naim Syahrazad presented their first full length production The iProject: Between Self and Others. His current interest is research into tari piring and the body archive.



This is the visualisation of our collaboration process, related to this specific site during our stay at Rimbun Dahan as it is like an open ‘home’ for us to create a dialogue between the negotiation and curiosity from one to another. The presence of time and space, the unity of modern life and natural environments, the reflection of materials and rituals.

Choreographed & performed by Sherli Novalinda & Nguyen Chung

Sherli Novalinda is a choreographer, performer and lecturer at Indonesian Institute of Arts Padangpanjang. Her works have been featured in several international events, including Europalia Arts Festival in Belgium (2017). She is currently working on a dance trilogy which began with Meniti Jejak (2016). She has been interested in the negotiation of body, culture and gender.

Independent Vietnamese dance artist Nguyen Chung is interested in the connection between people and familiar objects used in everyday life and the transformation of their functions into his work through arrangement and movement of the body, in combination with performance art and conceptual art to expand the creative process and discover new movements.


FINALE. Henjut

A work that explores how people enjoy themselves with the act of bouncing. Every individual has their own style of “henjut” that represents themselves.

Choreographed by Khairi Mokthar

Performed by Noel Thomas, Shuvaseni a/p Ramasamy, Nurhaziyah Bt Salikin, Muhammad Azzarulhafiz Naiem bin Muhammad Shafari, Mohamad Shahfik bin Abd Aziz, Visalini a/p Kumaran, Yashini a/p Sivaraman, Karthini K Chandran, Moch Jack Zhong, Hafidzah Abdul Hamid, Vieazley Michael, Saiful Adwa bin Ahmad Rudin, Amiira Natasya binti Othman, and Tee Kai Ling.
With thanks to the Dance Department, Cultural Centre, University of Malaya.

Khairi Mokthar holds a Bachelor of Dance from ASWARA, where he presented his bharatanatyam arangetram, and an MFA in Dance Performance from Korea National University of the Arts. Khairi has worked for Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company (UK) and ASK Dance Company. He currently performs with TFA Inner Space Dance Company and works in the dance faculty at University of Malaya.

Dancing in Place is a production of MyDance Alliance and Rimbun Dahan.

The collaborative component of Dancing in Place is supported by an Emerging Artist Incubation Funding grant from CENDANA, the Cultural Economy Development Agency.

Producer: Bilqis Hijjas

Southeast Asian Choreolab 2019

Southeast Asian Choreolab 2019

From 6 to 14 July 2019, a group of 10 emerging contemporary dance choreographers from 7 Southeast Asian countries attended the Southeast Asian Choreolab 2019 at Rimbun Dahan, facilitated by Australia choreographer Liesel Zink.

The participants were:

  • Ayu Permata Sari, Indonesia
  • Hasyimah Harith, Singapore
  • Irfan Setiawan, Indonesia
  • Michael Barry Que, Philippines
  • Mimee Somvanhpheng Keolouanglath, Laos
  • Pat Toh, Singapore
  • Pham Thi Hong Sam, Vietnam
  • Pich Sopheavy, Cambodia
  • Raul “Buboy” L. Raquitico Jr., Philippines
  • Silver Yee, Malaysia

For nine days, the participants lived, worked and expored contemporary dance practice and creation together at Rimbun Dahan. consist of 7 work days with 2 days of study-tour. Work days took place in the dance studio at Rimbun Dahan. Each of the participants presented a 1-hour morning session sharing their own choreographic approaches or movement backgrounds. In the afternoon, Liesel Zink led the participants through sessions exploring choreographic methods and analysis.

The first day of the Choreolab concluded with a welcome dinner at Rimbun Dahan, including prominent members of the local contemporary dance community. The participants also visited Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre to watch a Dancebox performance, and took a short excursion to Forest Research Institute Malaysia and Batu Caves. Their full-day excursion included a long walk around the Dataran Merdeka/Chinatown area of Kuala Lumpur, while Liesel led the group through exercises involving visibility/invisibility in a public space.

On the final day of the Choreolab, the participants presented several short site-specific works they had made to a small public audience.

Project Aims

To support and enable emerging Southeast Asian contemporary dance choreographers to

  1. Adopt new choreographic tools and physical, thematic and conceptual approaches to enrich their artistic practice;
  2. Develop regional networks among their peers and with regional dance institutions, for knowledge sharing, future artistic collaboration and touring;
  3. Experience works of art, cultures, places and histories beyond their home, to increase international understanding and to help contextualize their artistic practice.
  4. Work closely with an established choreographer (Liesel Zink), to participate in her particular artistic approach, and to benefit from her insights, advice and experience.

We are glad that the participants had a positive and reenergizing experience with each other at Rimbun Dahan. Here is the word cloud from their feedback forms:

 About Liesel Zink, facilitator

Liesel Zink is an Australian choreographer interested in the body as a tool for socio-political and environmental expression. With a focus on site-specific work, Liesel seeks to engage new and diverse audiences in meaningful contemporary dance experiences. Liesel was awarded the 2017 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance for her work ‘The Stance’, which has been performed at Sziget Festival Hungary 2017, Ansan Street Arts Festival South Korea 2017 and several cities around Australia. Prior to that her site-specific work ‘fifteen’ (Next Wave Festival VIC 2012 & Brisbane Festival QLD 2012) won two ‘best of’ awards both for Melbourne’s Small to Medium dance work and Brisbane Time Out’s dance award.

She is currently developing ‘Balloons & Granite’ (a large scale dance installation exploring the body in shifting landscapes) and recently premiered ‘INTER’ (a science, dance and spoken word collaboration).

Liesel has been commissioned to choreograph works for Australian dance companies including Expressions Dance Company, Tasdance and LINK Dance Company. Her choreographic style has evolved from her postgraduate research on body language and her ongoing interest in social psychology.

She was a lead artist in the creation of Force Majeure’s new site-specific work FLOCK (Commonwealth Games 2018) and has performed for Polytoxic Dance Company and independent artists including Liz Lea, PVI Collective and Dave Sleswick. As well as producing her own work she produces for dance artist Michael Smith, and co-produces The IndepenDANCE Project (Phluxus2 Dance Collective) and Angry Mime evening of experimental art.

More information: www.lieselzink.com


This is a joint project of Rimbun Dahan, MyDance Alliance, and World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific.
Producer: Bilqis Hijjas.
Intern: Natashya Nazlia (student, Dance Department, University of Malaya).

SEA Choreolab 2019 Call for Applications [PDF 1MB]