Ajim Juxta (Raja Azeem Idzham)

Ajim Juxta (Raja Azeem Idzham)

Ajim Juxta is a pseudonym and a stage name for Raja Azeem Idzham (b. 1983) as a frontman for his band. He came from a family that has a strong art and music background and was enrolled in Architecture school only to find that it is lacking as a channel for him to be artistic. He had delved into various form of arts before focusing on fine arts and exhibiting widely since 2011. Ajim has also won various awards and received residencies since his journey as a full time artist. He was the recipient of Khazanah Nasional and ACME Studio Art Residency Sep- Dis 2017 and Beneficiary for Emerging Artist Incubation Funding 2018 under CENDANA.

As for my practice as a visual artist; music, science fiction and Architecture remain as  interests in developing my ideas and the way they grow organically and they are at times a respond to my surroundings. From drawing, painting and making installations I have find ways to express the ideas of the future in a dystopic manner hence it became the visual language and the tone that define my work.

You can check out more of his works at his Instagram.

Syarifah Nadhirah

Syarifah Nadhirah

Syarifah Nadhirah (b.1993) is a Malaysian based artist, who is constantly unearthing means to present her work in ways that people can relate to. Her interest in Art has spurred since childhood and her background in Architecture only inspired her to delve even more into the comfort of painting and the quest to explore herself as a visual storyteller. Oftentimes she finds herself going against the grain whenever seduced by the world of practice as she was always tinkering with creative projects such as holding workshops at Urbanscapes 2017, Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Festival 2018 and Bank Negara’s Women in the Arts Bazaar while drafting floor plans. There is always a challenge to break free from the structural disposition and manufactured schemes that she was used to, hence dabbling with experimental ideations only made sense when she practiced Architecture, which also gave birth to her co-founded creative company called Paperweight Studio.

She mainly uses watercolor and ink in her creations, particularly influenced by elements of water and human relationship with nature. Though, in a residency setting at Rimbun Dahan, she looks forward to an extended time alone to immerse herself in focusing on exploring another old form of art which is lino cut printmaking, a manifestation of labour of love and executing a purposeful thought process rather than the final product. Having perpetually lured by the lush green surrounding her neighbourhood, it is not uncommon for her to reflect that in most of her work. But, the need to recount these green forests became more prevalent to her as the ever-changing urban planning takes over vast lands throughout the years. She is mostly, or rather entirely interested in the current ripples of the perilous state that the Orang Asli (Indigenous People) here in Malaysia has to adhere to, of whom are susceptible to deceit and neglect, even from those who run the country. She hopes to engage in a series of dialogues with them and form a reiteration of appreciation for their unwithered spirit and love for their land.

Syarifah Nadhirah will be with us as a Southeast Asian Arts Residency artist for three months starting from February 2019. You can check out her Instagram here and her Behance profile here.

Johanne Lykke

Johanne Lykke

Johanne Lykke is a Danish visual artist living and working in Copenhagen, Denmark. Johanne is with us in February as an Open Residency artist.

“I work with a feminist approach towards abstract painting exploring the idea of the feminine, its materiality and the meeting between feminine and masculine art traditions. Through monumental spray paintings and watercolours I investigate a soft, transparent materiality in painting on paper. With a minimalist use of the spray paint, I challenge its wellknown grafitti aesthetics. In watercolours, I work with immediate, fluidity which, through its scale, aim to question the medium’s associations to its amateur, lower status in the art world as well as a “ladies’ medium”.

As an artist-in-residence at Rimbun Dahan, I wish to expand my western perspective by exploring the Malaysian color traditions and batik techniques. I will be researching connections to the idea of the feminine in South-East Asian visual cultures and hope to find new inspiration during my stay as well as creating a dialogue between eastern and westerns perspective on femininity in art.”

You can check out the artist’s instagram here.

You Belong to Night by Wong Xiang Yi & Rojak Aesthetics by Chuah Shu Ruei, Rimbun Dahan Residency Exhibition 2019

You Belong to Night by Wong Xiang Yi & Rojak Aesthetics by Chuah Shu Ruei, Rimbun Dahan Residency Exhibition 2019

Rimbun Dahan presents You Belong to Night & Rojak Aesthetics, a two-woman show by Rimbun Dahan Yearlong Resident Artist 2018, Wong Xiang Yi and Rimbun Dahan Half-year Resident Artist, Chuah Shu Ruei.

Xiang Yi contemplated her relationship with nature, her tools and practice, questioned the elements in her works as a means to convey her messages to the audience and reinterpret the ‘female gaze’. “The medium or art form that an artist uses should be chosen because it is the best way to convey a message or idea. The best form must make a huge impression on people, but an artist should never fool the audience by creating form with no meaning.” The works in this series entitled You Belong to Night let the audience see the the youthful bodies through the artist’s eyes, in a dreamy and illusory effect.

Shu Ruei accumulated data and input from her collaborative projects with local communities and other artists which resulted in four installations that explored notions such as “the ideas of multiculturalism, interconnection, collective authorship/ownership, ever-changing composition and the relations between centre/periphery and art/craft”. The artist wants the audience to “feel comfortable, included and also to have a sense of belonging to, with and of the artworks” when they come to view the exhibition.

DATES: Sunday 20 January to Sunday 3 February

OPENING HOURS: Weekends 10am – 6pm; Mon to Fri by appointment only (email Xeem Noor at arts@rimbundahan.org)

Admission is FREE. You can find the Facebook event page is here.

At 9 am on 3 February, Angela Hijjas will be conducting a tour of Rimbun Dahan’s grounds and traditional village houses.


Dương Mạnh Hùng

Dương Mạnh Hùng

Dương Mạnh Hùng (b.1991) is a self-taught translator, writer, and independent visual culture researcher based in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. Dương has always been fascinated by the discourse of modernities and nationalism in Southeast Asia and how it influences modern arts and literature stemming from the region. His current interests include, but are not limited to: comparative dialogue between Southeast Asian modern arts and literature; translation as a mode of existing and understanding for visual production; Hispanic & Iberian linguistics; and historical and sociopolitical networks between Vietnam and the regions of Southeast Asia and Latin America. Dương is also one of the co-founders of Cultural Community Discourse (CCD), an initiative based in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) that aims to connect local and regional researchers to the Vietnamese public via talks, workshops, and other educational platforms.

During his one-month residency at Rimbun Dahan, Dương wants to explore the concept of ‘landscape’ as depicted in 19th-20th century Malaysian literature and painting and how ‘nationalistic’ natural landscape becomes a mixing space for different forms of modernity in the peninsular.

Clara Chow

Clara Chow

Clara Chow (Singapore) is the author of two short-story collections: Dream Storeys (2016) and Modern Myths (2018). The former was born out of interviews with Singapore architects about their imaginary buildings, while the latter reworks Greek myths in Singaporean settings.

Her work has also been published in the likes of Columbia Journal, Asia Literary Review, Cha, Litro and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore (QLRS). In 2018, she was awarded Prairie Schooner‘s Jane Geske Award for her story “Siren (Redux) by Haley Tien-Warrior – 25th Anniversary Oral History/DJ Cliffhanger Remix – MUST LISTEN! THE FEELS…Awesome…”.

A former journalist and arts correspondent, she has taught creative writing at Nanyang Technological University and English literature at the Singapore University of Social Studies. She co-founded the online literary and art journal WeAreAWebsite.com in 2015. 

Clara is a writer in our Southeast Asian Arts Residency program of 2018. At Rimbun Dahan, she is working on a joss-paper novel, meant to be burnt after reading. The work will explore taboos associated with book-burning, funeral rituals and Asian superstition.

Links to stories online:

“Bare Bones”


Excerpt from “The Wheel”


Excerpt from “Siren (Redux)…”


Residencies in Review – Malaysian Artists

Residencies in Review – Malaysian Artists


Rimbun Dahan’s permanent collection consists of selected works from all the residents artists who have stayed for a year long residency, and for whom Rimbun Dahan hosted exhibitions. The current show is exclusively works by Malaysian resident artists throughout the twenty-four years of Rimbun Dahan’s Residency program. As many of our artists have become important arts personalities, this exhibition is a journey through a crucial period in Malaysian art history.

DATES: 1 & 2 December 2018, Saturday & Sunday

OPENING HOURS: 10am-6pm on both days

Admission is FREE. Refreshments of homemade nutmeg sodas and crispy fried bananas will be served.

There will also be a free guided tour of Rimbun Dahan’s gardens and traditional village houses at 10am on 1 December conducted by Angela Hijjas. Please click here for our Facebook event page.

Rimbun Dahan is also a part of Gallery Weekend Kuala Lumpur (GWKL), 29th November – 2nd December 2018, a dynamic celebration of aesthetic and cultural diversity across Malaysia’s capital city.



Shermaine Heng

Shermaine Heng

Shermaine is a Singaporean contemporary dance choreographer. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Mass Comm & Political Science) at the University of Melbourne before embarking on a full-time career in dance. She then studied a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance Creation (Choreography) and subsequently, a Master of Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia where she was awarded the 2014 Victorian Government Scholarship for Dance.

Throughout her postgraduate years, Shermaine was also funded by various arts organisations such as Creative Victoria, Regional Arts Victoria, Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council to create two works “Breathe, Woman!” (2015) and Things They Said (2016) as part of her arts residencies in Ballarat, Victoria. Her works have since been featured across various platforms such as The Courier, The Ballarat Miner and ABC Radio and News.

After nearly 10 years in Melbourne, Shermaine returned to Singapore to continue her work as an artist and choreographer. She staged a work-in-progress The Intimacy of Corners (2018) as part of the M1 Contact Festival in June. She also heads contemporary dance at Jitterbugs Swingapore, a musical theatre studio under the CSTD Jason Winters Contemporary Dance Syllabus. She has also cohesively worked as an associate choreographer for Singapore Repertory Theatre (The Little Company), for their re-staging of The Nightingale this year.

Shermaine is currently invested in the relationship between performer and viewer, particularly in understanding kinaesthetic empathy, which involves developing empathy through observing the movements of another. She is also playing with text and writing as a choreographic method for dance.

Shermaine is at Rimbun Dahan for three weeks as part of our Choreographers Residency. You can find out more about her works at her website.

Lily Yulianti Farid

Lily Yulianti Farid

Lily Yulianti Farid is a media, communication and gender & development specialist, researcher, trainer and translator with more than 15 years of experience in Indonesia, Japan and Australia. Lily has worked as a communication specialist, writer, radio journalist, producer, presenter, translator and interpreter (English – Indonesian Language). She holds a PhD in Gender studies at the University of Melbourne through an Australian Leadership Award scholarship. She is the founder/director of Makassar International Writers Festival in Indonesia and the co-founder of Indonesia’s first citizen journalism website. Lily has led media and communications training and capacity building workshops for Members of Parliament, government officials, Indonesian journalists, and community organisations, and has extensive experience designing media campaigns and engagement strategies for Indonesian women’s organisations. She is a professional translator and interpreter (Indonesian/English). In 2013 she translated Anita Roddick’s Book, Business as Unusual from English to Indonesia. Roddick is the founder of the Body Shop and a pioneer of social-entrepreneurship. She also produced monologue/play for women and produced Singing Your Poetry Program for youth in Indonesia.

Since 2011, Lily is the founder and director of Makassar International Writers Festival, co-founder and executive director of Rumata’ Artspace Indonesia, executive producer of Makassar South East Asian Film Academy, the producer for INDONATION (2011), Charity Concert in Melbourne in association with Indonesian Students Association, Deakin University.

Lily participated at Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (2008-2013), Singapore Writers Festival (2009), Word Storm Writers Festival Darwin (2010), Byron Bay Writers Festival Australia (2012), Melbourne Writers Festival (2013 and 2017), British Council Edinbrugh Festival (2016), Frankfurt Book Fair (2015), Europhalia Arts Festival (2017), George Town Literary Festival (2014), Indonesian International Book Fair Festival (2017), Winternachten Festival (2009), Pasar Malam Paris (2008).

Lily will be at Rimbun Dahan for one month under our Southeast Asian Arts Residency program. She is working to document and examine narratives and creative works in Malaysia and to interview Malaysian writers, publishers and literary communities during her residency.

Faizal Yunus

Faizal Yunus

Faizal Yunus (b.1989, Malaysia) is a Malaysian based artist who works mainly in printmaking, painting and installation. He graduated in Bachelor of Fine Arts from Mara University of Technology (UiTM) in 2012 majoring in printmaking. Faizal has been drawn towards nature as he grew up in such a surrounding that has helped him nurture his imagination and interpretation of the greenery around him. Autonomy has driven him to believe that an egalitarian society is vital which is where he adapts to the banal practices of everyday life into his abstract print paintings. He draws inspiration from nature, a familiar landscape of lush greenery from where all his imagination had began. He explores alternative print language outside the limitation of printmaking studio by expanding his ideations and limitations through various printmaking techniques and processes.

In his first solo exhibition Matrix, circa 2016 he started looking into his daily life essentials and gathering objects surrounding him for ideas and inspiration as he found limitations in available facilities and easily gathered materials. He felt that by using the objects that so much so associates with a layman’s daily routine, he could create artworks with a heightened sense of desolation in his own narrative. That is how he preempts life to be based on the things that are happening around him. The process of reiterating his thoughts and reflections into his artwork depicts his personality as well as his conviction on the way life looks around him. His solo exhibition – Vortex 2018, revolved around a journey of finding different perspectives and causes of the actions he chooses to make. He believes it is a journey where he unravels the truth where he challenges his capabilities to explore within his reach. Vortex is his poetic statement on the current state of pollution and our role in undoing the beauty of our landscape.

Joining Rimbun Dahan would help me immerse myself in nature. When I’m one with nature, I believe I can uproot my thoughts into my abstract print paintings.

Faizal will be at Rimbun Dahan as a resident artist from mid Oct to end of Nov 2018, via a collaboration with Richard Koh Fine Art. You can check out more of his works at his website.