Haffendi Anuar

Haffendi Anuar

Haffendi Anuar (b. 1985, Malaysia) is an artist based in Kuala Lumpur. He works with a variety of media and disciplines such as drawing, painting, sculpture and photography. He did his International Baccalaureate certificate in fine art at the International School of Kuala Lumpur, his foundation at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and his BA honors at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. In between his studies, he worked as a model maker at T.R Hamzah and Yeang in KL, studied Mandarin in China, worked in an art gallery in London and Kuala Lumpur and assisted artists in studios in London (Hew Locke and Nicolas Deshayes). He has exhibited locally and abroad.

Haffendi is a multidisciplinary artist. Mining history of art, digital technology, nature and local contexts, he creates object-based works that recycle found images, objects and artistic styles from digital and local sources. He was previously at Rimbun Dahan for a one-month residency in 2015, via a collaboration with Richard Koh Fine Art. This time he will be doing a four month residency alongside fellow artist Veronika Neukirch.

Azliza Ayob

Azliza Ayob

Azliza Ayob (b. 1975) is an artist who works in many mediums, such as painting, collage, and installation. Her most recent solo show was in 2014, titled All That Glitters, at Wei-Ling Contemporary in KL. She’s been working as an artist, facilitator, and educator for 15 years now (and counting), exhibiting both locally and internationally in Japan, Australia, Sweden, Madrid, and Barcelona. Azliza has also been part of Rimbun Dahan’s collaborative exhibitions with WWF, Art For Nature, multiple times in past years. Nature plays a strong part in her work and her inspirations, as seen in her initial statement of intent below:

I am preparing for the first of my autobiographical paintings in one show. I had started my ‘Adventures of Azliza Ayob’ series in 2009, while building Art History (Eastern Art) modules in a local university. While developing my research on manuscript and miniature paintings from great masters, I discovered that the missing link is to incorporate local elements which I believe can be solved if I photograph, sketch, interview and paint local plants and anything related on the function, purpose and local stories (medicinal). I want to change the function of plants from my previous paintings into a selection of the right flower/plant for the right meaning. Rimbun Dahan’s landscape is perfect for anything creative, it’s fresh, private and acts as a data bank for many leaves, plants and flowers.

Kanakan Balintagos

Kanakan Balintagos

Kanakan Balintagos (meaning ‘hunter of truth’), formerly known as Auraeus Solito, is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning Palawán-Filipino filmmaker and playwright. He comes from a lineage of Shaman-Kings from the Palawán tribe of South Palawan. He grew up in the city of Manila and after graduating from the Philippine Science High school studied Theatre at the University of the Philippines, where he received a degree in Theater Arts. One of the leading independent filmmakers in the Philippines, he was recently chosen in Take 100, The Future of Film which presents an emerging generation of the most talented filmmakers around the world. This book, published by Phaidon Press, New York, is a survey featuring 100 exceptional emerging film directors from around the world who have been selected by 10 internationally prominent film festival directors.

His first feature film Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros) won 15 international awards including 3 awards at the Berlinale (The Teddy award, International Jury Prize at the Kinderfest and Special Mention from the Children’s Jury of the Kinderfest). It is also the first Philippine film nominated for Best Foreign film at the Independents’ Spirit Awards in the US and has been shown in more than 50 film festivals around the world.

Tuli (Circumcision), his second feature film won Best Picture and Best Director at the Digital Competition at the 2005 CineManila Film Festival; won the NETPAC Jury Prize at the Berlinale, International Forum for New Cinema and the Best International feature Film at Outfest in Los Angeles. Solito is the first Filipino to make it to the premiere independent film festival in the world, the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, USA, two years in a row (with The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros and Tuli). His films have been screened in major festivals around the world including Berlin, Sundance, Montreal, Pusan, Toronto and Rotterdam.

Solito completed a screenplay development program at the Binger Film Lab in Amsterdam.

His film Busong (Palawan Fate) was selected at the prestigious Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2011, and it was awarded Best Director, Best Sound Design, and Best Original Music Score at Cinemalaya 2011. His film Busong was also shown at the 2012 National Geographic All Roads Film Festival in Washington, D.C.,where it was awarded Grand Prize, the Merata Mita “Best of Stories” Award.

In 2013 he adopted his tribal-spirit name Kanakan Balintagos after his uncle, who is a shaman in Palawan, dreamt about him. He said in an interview, “In his dream, he saw me in the middle of a sandbar holding a camera that turned into a blowgun. I became a kanakan … a hunter. Suddenly, great waves appeared from both sides of the sandbar, but I remained unharmed, untouched.”

In 2014 his film Esprit de Corps, based on the play he wrote when he was seventeen, won three awards at the Cinema One Originals Film Festival, including Best Director.

In 2015 he was awarded 1st Prize in the prestigious Palanca Awards, Filipino Division, Dulang Ganap Ang Haba (Full Length Play in Filipino), for his literary work “Mga Buhay na Apoy” and in 2016 won the Gawad Buhay ( Philippines’ Stage Awards) for Best Original Script for the same play.

For more information on Kanakan and his work, visit his website.

 

Golda Mowe

Golda Mowe

Golda Mowe is a fiction writer from Sarawak, author of Iban Dream, a book about Bujang, a young boy orphaned in the rainforest and brought up by a family of orangutans, but whose adult future has already been decided for him by Sengalang Burong, the Iban warpath god. On reaching adulthood, Bujang must leave his ape family and serve the warpath god as a warrior and a headhunter. The follow up to Iban Dream is titled Iban Journey.

I have loved folklore, myths and spooky stories since I was a child growing up in Sarawak and, the funny thing is, instead of dampening my interest, the more I immersed myself into the ‘practical’ world, the more stories I began to think up. In addition to that, living on Borneo allows me to explore the beliefs and superstitions of multiple cultures, because apart from our own Asian ones we are also exposed to western beliefs from our colonial heritage.

— Golda Mowe

Golda is now working on the manuscript for her third book, set in the ancient trading port of Santubong in the 7th Century, during the rise of Srivijaya in Sumatra and before the fall of Tarumanagara in Jawa. She is hoping the lush surroundings in Rimbun Dahan will give her the distraction free environment she needs to write the story to completion. To find out more about her work, please visit her website.

Golda Mowe Photo

Caption from author’s website: The tall four-post baskets are called lanji and are used for carrying the rice harvest back to the longhouse. The smaller basketsare sintong and are used to collect rice panicles during harvesting. These baskets are heirlooms from the family of Penghulu James Semilan anak Gaong, Bawang Assan.

Martha Soemantri

Martha Soemantri

Martha Soemantri (b.1984, Berlin) is a trained art & cultural manager, researcher and writer. She has worked in managerial & curatorial capacity in art & cultural projects for years with invested interest in mutual heritage, material objects (cultural artefacts, textiles in particular), women artists and art & cultural education for young audiences. Her past projects span several cities such as Singapore, Shanghai, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bali, Bandung, Utrecht, and Arnhem.

Her focus of research at Rimbun Dahan during her one month residency is on women artists’ practices in the Southeast Asian Region. Her journal and writings can be found on her blog.

Martha Soemantri

YEAH: solo exhibition by Azam Aris, officiated by Angela Hijjas

YEAH: solo exhibition by Azam Aris, officiated by Angela Hijjas

In 2012, Malaysian artist Azam Aris (also known as Helmi Azam B. Tajol Aris) underwent a year-long residency at Rimbun Dahan, working both on paintings and three-dimensional work. On August 5 2015, his solo exhibition YEAH opened at HOM Art Trans and was officiated by Angela Hijjas. The text of her speech is below.

Killer On The Road (Storm), 2015 Acrylic on canvas, 156 x 162 cm​

Killer On The Road (Storm), 2015 Acrylic on canvas, 156 x 162 cm​

 

Thanks to HoM for the invitation to speak tonight at the opening of Azam Aris’ new works. I would like to take the opportunity, first of all, to express my appreciation for all that HoM, the House of MataHati, has done over the years in supporting young artists by giving them an opportunity to mix with a broad range of people and influences, and to explore new ideas in a very supportive environment.

I first met Azam when he participated in our Art for Nature exhibitions, where his quirky clocks were always a huge hit with visitors and collectors.  He used battery operated clock hands to animate his figures in weird and wonderful ways.

I got to know Azam a little better when he was a resident artist at Rimbun Dahan in 2012, and became very familiar with the works he made at that time.  His show at Rimbun Dahan was a great success and he contributed significantly towards our programme.  I’m sure too he benefited from the joint experience he shared with the Australian artist, Jonathan Nichols, with whom he staged an exhibition with us in early 2013.

The current works on display tonight are a surprisingly intense distillation of that past practice in which he explored the supernatural and the extra terrestrial, with a cunning insight into Malay culture and its superstitions and our quite natural fear of the unknown.

The figures in this new body of work have completely lost the individual quirkiness of his earlier works, and are repeated to such an extent that one is forced to look very carefully to search for what Azam is trying to say:  individuality and personality are squeezed out by the sheer force of numbers, and the density of his compositions is relieved only by the lightest of variations… could all this be a reflection of the current atmosphere in our beloved Tanah Air?  Who are these people and where are all these figures going? How indeed are they going to move with the fluidity of his mechanical hands, arousing the magic of the bomoh and the waving of a magic kris?  A few individuals in the mass manage to wave in desperation or jubilation, like drowning victims or audience members at a rock concert, but they retain the look of the ultimate selfie…. Repeat repeat repeat, losing their individuality at the expense of the instant gratification of a self styled and posed photo of how we want the world to see us… but unfortunately no one is looking, no one is going to see one small figure and find it remarkable, only in the massing is there something remarkable that has an energy that a single figure cannot accomplish.

I can’t help but infer some political message in these massed figures:  here we are, all crammed together, lacking any capacity to make decisions and shape our own destiny, wandering like a herd, waiting for a leader to organize us into a rational and responsible machine.  The energy and numbers are there but is it fear of the unknown that makes us reluctant to take the next step?  In a society that has known nothing else for over half a century it is always hard to see a different way ahead, but there is indeed a different road, and I hope that Azam’s figures work it out soon!

I doubt if I spoke to Azam about this he would say that he had any political agenda with these works, but in the light of these dark times it is hard to ignore.  He has looked at the dark side before in his Republic Sulap works, where mad scientists manipulated weird machines against a backdrop of outer space, and Malay bomohs looked blindly on creation while mouthing unintelligible incantations;  but with these works tonight I wonder if I am looking at some insoluble image that I have to stare at until it coalesces into an understanding that once made can never be forgotten, and inevitably the thought occurs to me that with today’s preoccupations with corruption at the very core and at every level of our society perhaps we are all complicit, every single self that is replicated repeatedly… we have stood aside for so long that we no longer have any capacity to act.  I certainly hope that this isn’t the case.

The enormous changes that the Malays particularly have had to cope with in the last 40 years have not been strong on cultural and political development.   Instead the changes that were wrought by education and urbanization, by leaving life in the kampong and substituting it with life in a condo have proved to be a little empty.  Pursuing the dream of comfort, convenience and security in the modern world is not an end in itself, we still need a sense of purpose;  and then technology stepped in with another promise: use your iPhone and experience the world, be a part of everything, in effect be a cog in the elaborate plot of buying and consuming the latest  technology; but in the end it will not change your life at all. To do that we still need our individuality and our own powers to think and act.

We have the magic of instant communication at every moment to every corner of the world, our selfies plaster our self-awareness with a sense of accomplishment that is no more real than the bomoh’s incantations. We have been hoodwinked into thinking that we have an intrinsic importance that repeated images surely validate: but communication should be a means to an end, not an end in itself, and I think these works are a poignant reminder that we are in danger of being hoodwinked ourselves.

Thank you, Azam, for these works, and for inviting me this evening, and I hope this show will give all of us the impetus to be more than just a cog in a machine.

Angela Hijjas, August 5 2015

 

Anne Austin Pearce

Anne Austin Pearce

Anne Austin Pearce was born in Lawrence, Kansas and studied art at the Kansas City Art Institute, Brighton Polytechnic and the University of Kansas. In 1993, Pearce received a full scholarship to James Madison University, where she received her MFA in drawing and painting. Her work has been recently acquired by the MDC Museum of Art and Design, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and the Spencer Museum. Exhibitions include Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; Corcoran School of Art and Design, Washington D.C.; and the Drawing Center, New York City. Anne’s first museum show will be at MDC’s Museum of Art + Design in Miami, 2013.

Currently, Anne is a Professor at Rockhurst University and Director of Greenlease Gallery. Her work is supported by the Lighton International Artists Exchange Program and the Rockhurst University Presidential Grant.

She will be at Rimbun Dahan from middle of July to middle of August 2015, working on art for an upcoming exhibition. You can find more of her work on her website.

Al-khuzairie Ali

Al-khuzairie Ali

Al-khuzairie Ali (b. 1984) hails from the Malaysian state of Pahang and works with ceramics. He will be at Rimbun Dahan as a resident artist from July to December 2015. You can view some of his past works on his blog.

Artist Statement

I look at the hideous side of the human character which has an impact on other beings in the ecosystem. My work is inspired by the life of the animal. We know that some animals are threatened with extinction. The modern world and the importance of money simply make people lose their judgment and ignore the nature of life. Will future generations be able to see the wildlife species that exist now?

Kedsuda Loogthong

Kedsuda Loogthong

Kedsuda Loogthong (b. 1983, Songkhla, Thailand) graduated from the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts at Bangkok University, Thailand in 2006. Loogthong’s early works examine the urbanization of her rural landscape and society and how consumerism has affected the lives of simple country folks. Her recent works explore the visual potential and associated symbolism of a number of mundane objects such as books and ribbons. She has participated in many group exhibitions in Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, South Korea, Malaysia and Finland. Her works are in the permanent collection of Singapore Art Museum, Singapore.

Kedsuda will be at Rimbun Dahan as a resident artist for the month of July 2015, via a collaboration with Richard Koh Fine Art.

Yeoh Choo Kuan

Yeoh Choo Kuan

Yeoh Choo Kuan  (b.  1988,  Malaysia)  is  a  young  artist  working  in  the  veins  of  Abstract  Expressionism though he installs narratives and hints of figuration to the formal language of  his  paintings.  He  graduated  from  Dasein  Academy  of  Art,  Kuala  Lumpur  with  a  Diploma  in  Fine  Arts  in  2010.  Solo  exhibitions  include:  50/50,  Taksu,  Kuala  Lumpur,  Malaysia;  and  Private+ Sentiment,  House  of  Matahati,  Kuala  Lumpur,  Malaysia.  Recent  group  exhibitions  include:  Configuration,  G13  Gallery,  Kuala  Lumpur,  Malaysia;  Connection,  Orange  Gallery,  Philippines;  and  No+ Random+ Nonsense,  Boston  Gallery,  Bacolod  City,  Philippines.  He  lives  and works in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Yeoh Choo Kuan will be at Rimbun Dahan as a resident artist for the month of June 2015, via a collaboration with Richard Koh Fine Art.