Carlo Gernale

Carlo Gernale

Visual Arts Resident, 2013

Artist’s statement:

carlo_gernaleCarlo “Caloy” Gernale (b. 1979) is a Filipino visual artist based in Southern Tagalog, Philippines. As a contemporary social-realist artist, he attempts to articulate not only his personal views, but more importantly, the collective stand and the national democratic aspiration of the marginalized.

As an artist, Gernale is driven by the past and present events that mould Philippine history; he also has a penchant for indigenous and contemporary myths, fables, and banter, and tries to incorporate them into his works of art. Guided by his socio-political leaning, he attempts to come up with a cohesive body of works that are visually and semiotically potent.

Gernale studied Bachelor of Fine Arts in Philippine Women’s University. In 2006, he mounted his first solo exhibit “Ispup.” His most recent exhibit titled “Allegories and Allergies” was held in May 2013 at West Gallery, Philippines.

Ashly Nandong

Ashly Nandong


Ashly Nandong is a thirty-year old artist from Kuching, Sarawak who joins us for three months as short-stay artist-in-residence at Rimbun Dahan.

Ahsly completed a Bachelor’s degree in Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering at Swinburne University, in Victoria, Australia in 2009, returning to Malaysia in early 2011. However, it was his informal art education and exposure to traditional dance and music during his formative adolescent years that marked him for quite a different life direction. Eventually, and inevitably it seemed, what placed him firmly on this different road was his continued active involvement in the performance and visual arts, while living in Melbourne. Having been taught the sapeh lute as a teenager under different gurus, the traditional Dayak dance of the Orang Ulu and Iban people, and now as painter, Ashly crosses from performance to visual arts and back with ease.

A strong sense of his Iban cultural heritage is what binds; one medium of expression inspires the other in a non-hierarchy. Traditional motifs and metaphors make for meaningful markers and anchor him along the way in his berjalai, an ancient Iban custom of roaming or journeying in search of greener pastures of knowledge and hopefully the ‘wisdom’ that comes from hands-on experience.

At Rimbun Dahan, Ashly is given a much-needed time for contemplation in an important  part of his berjalai; an introspective time to connect with his creative aspirations in response to his current ‘spiritual’ situation. Ashly is presently working on a painting depicting the Tree of Life, a motif found in Iban symbolism and in religions, mythologies and philosophies throughout many different cultures, in varying permutations.

A unifying principle that unites all cultures and religions is something Ashly gravitates towards, being very keen to understand deeper the creative force that at core animates all living entities with spirit. The living tree, rooted in earth but with branches reaching upwards for the heavens is aptly symbolic of Ashly’s current station of berjalai at Rimbun Dahan, a place of lofty trees and sounds of ancient cicadas and birdsong.

Helmi Azam B. Tajol Aris @ Azam Aris

Helmi Azam B. Tajol Aris @ Azam Aris

Malaysian Artist for the Malaysia-Australia Visual Artists’ Residency 2012

Azam Tajol Aris in his studio at Rimbun Dahan with some of his army of clones.

Azam Tajol Aris in his studio at Rimbun Dahan with some of his army of clones.

Azam Tajol Aris is Rimbun Dahan’s Malaysian year-long artist-in-residence. He graduated in Fine Arts from Universiti Institut Teknologi Malaysia, in 2007. Born in Perak in 1985, and growing up into the digital age of internet technology, it is the popular-culture world of graphic novels, anime and internet ‘ready-made’ third-hand or regurgitated information that informs Azam Tajol Aris’ art practice. In the current state of information saturation, a threat that ‘all is rumour’ requiring a challenging critical response is what seems to push Azam towards the satirical in his work in a light-hearted social commentary.

Azam’s current work at Rimbun Dahan is in three-dimensional form. It is the first step in a slight shift in direction. He has made multiple plaster casts of a male figure resembling a soldier to create an army of ‘clones’. There is also a cast plaster figure of one clone-member who must be the general, his mouth in an ugly gape, shouting out an order for conformity.  Instead of a helmet though, the clones all have their hair gathered into a peak at the top, a cross between a headgear found on ancient Ramayanawayang kulit characters and a popular latter day hair style.

As ‘puppet master’ or dalang, Azam himself acts as a conduit for the rapid re-processing and disseminating of information. Gathering a patchwork of data, he re-creates ‘still-life’ mute scenarios or vignettes in three-dimensions. The germ for Azam’s three-dimensional ‘stories’ is information that had already been pre-processed and then re-processed and re-translated. Azam completes the mythologizing process by re-packaging the pieces of information into a critique.


Born 15 December 1983, Taiping Perak.

Address Studio Sebiji Padi, 19A Jalan Unyang, Taman Alam Megah, Seksyen 27, 40000 Shah Alam.
Contact 0125785405,


2005 – 2007 BFA (hons.), UiTM Shah Alam.
2004 – 2005 Skim Latihan Graduan, PESDC, Tronoh Perak – MMU
Cyberjaya, 7 Month Training in Video.
2001 – 2004 Diploma in Fine Art, UiTM Sri Iskandar.

Solo Exhibitions

2010 ‘PARANOIA’ R.A Gallery, Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.
2008 ‘FLOAT’ House Of Matahati, Taman Cempaka, KL

Selected Group Exhibitions

2011 Vertical-Horizontal, House of Matahati, Kuala Lumpur.
2010 The Young Contemporaries Competition, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur.
Art Triangle, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur.
BAD@MAP, Solaris, Kuala Lumpur.
2009 Malaysian Contemporary, Conpenhangen, Denmark.
MEA Award, Sokka Gakai Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
B.A.C.A , R.A Gallery
2008 Young n New part 1, HOM KL.
2007 Degree Show, TNZ Galeri, UiTM Shah Alam


2010 Juror Award, Young Contemporaries 2010, National Art Gallery, KL.
2008 Artist in Resident, House Of Matahati.
2007 8th Prize, SCHENKER, Future Transportation Competition.

Haslin bin Ismail

Haslin bin Ismail

Malaysian Artist for the Malaysia-Australia Visual Arts Residency 2011

Artist’s statement:

Haslin Ismail in his studio at Rimbun Dahan, with his work for the 2011 Art for Nature exhibition.

Haslin Ismail in his studio at Rimbun Dahan, with his work for the 2011 Art for Nature exhibition.

“I call the new body of artworks done at Rimbun Dahan ‘Ghost in the Shell’. Taking the same title from the work of Masamune Shirow’s manga and anime adaptation from director Mamoru Oshii, it is an experiment of two main components: the flesh and the machine. The clash between these two elements is highlighted by the creation of robots, machines and human anatomy. They relate to each other and give rise to an expression of function and technology. Visually, both the science fiction and fantasy world that dominate the atmosphere of my artworks present a wide range of routes and exciting explorations. I am a fan of the works of science fiction and fantasy visions such as Jules Verne, HG Wells and the great silent movie “Metropolis” by Fritz Lang. The amazing world of Osamu Tezuka, the super-galactic Star Wars trilogy, the genius of Hayao Miyazaki and Katsuhiro Otomo and so many more great masterpieces from the great masters of sci-fi and fantasy are my stimulation. When drawing, painting or creating works, I feel as if I am in their world, fighting with monsters on/from planet Mars or at war with damaged robot(s).”

Artist’s Biography

Haslin Ismail (b. 1984) from Johor graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) in 2007. He has been creating and exhibiting his fantastical art pieces in various exhibitions since 2000. He was winner of the grand prize for In-Print: Contemporary British Art from the Paragon Press held at National Art Gallery in 2006. His first solo exhibition ‘Exorcismus Persona: Windows Into Fantasy Worlds of Haslin Ismail’ was at the RA Fine Arts Gallery in 2009. He was also the grand prize winner for the prestigious Young Contemporary Award (2010) at National Art Gallery with his entry of a complex and intricate paper/book art installation.He has also participated in group shows at National Art Gallery, Petronas Gallery, Taksu, Zinc, Valentine Willie Fine Art, Wei-Ling Gallery and the Annexe at Central Market.

Anthony Pelchen

Anthony Pelchen

Asialink Resident Artist, 2010

Australian visual artist Anthony Pelchen spent three months at Rimbun Dahan on an Asialink residency in 2010. During his stay he contributed works to the 2010 Art for Nature exhibition, and helped to produce the Melaka Art & Performance Festival 2010. In 2013 he presented the exhibition Kuang Road Prayer at the Horsham Regional Arts Gallery in Horsham, Australia, with works inspired and begun during his time at Rimbun Dahan.

Anthony Pelchen in his studio at Rimbun Dahan, photographing Shima, who lives and works at Rimbun Dahan.

Anthony Pelchen in his studio at Rimbun Dahan, photographing Shima, who lives and works at Rimbun Dahan.

Kuang Road Prayer

Kuang Road Prayer - work in progress, Malaysia, July 2010 C type print, 29.9 x 42cm.

Kuang Road Prayer – work in progress, Malaysia, July 2010 C type print, 29.9 x 42cm.

In 2010 on an Asialink artist residency at Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia, Pelchen witnessed life in the balance and produced the foundation of a body of work titled Kuang Road Prayer.

Through reflection and continued artistic engagement with Malaysia, Pelchen has expanded this evocative body of work. Issues of change, vulnerability and resilience, at the core of  Kuang Road Prayer, are explored in this exhibition through drawing, photography, video and sculpture.

The exhibition entitled Kuang Road Prayer was opened by Angela Hijjas at the Horsham Regional Arts Gallery on 18 August 2013 — read the opening speech here. For more about Kuang Road Prayer, see Anthony Pelchen’s website.


Born 1960 in Horsham in North West Victoria, Anthony Pelchen studied Economics at Monash University and a decade later painting at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Common to all his work is an overriding interest in the fine lines and shifts between physical and psychological states and how a dominance of one inevitably points to the absence and potential of another. This has involved work across media – painting, drawing, photography, video, sculpture and installation – all incorporating elements of repetition, austerity and subtle change within set structures.

Throughout the 1990s he lived in Melbourne and exhibited widely in artist-run, institutional and alternative spaces. He has exhibited twice in Osaka and has been represented in various surveys of painting and drawing over the past twelve years. He has had numerous residencies in Australia and Japan and has been the recipient of Arts Victoria grants for new work, presentation and international cultural exchange.

Since 1998 he has periodically collaborated with Melbourne-based performers Yumi Umiumare and Tony Yap in gallery, church, landscape and performance environments in Australia, Japan and Denmark. Between 1999 and 2007, he jointly conducted Butoh/drawing workshops at his base on the Wimmera River, west of Horsham. In 2007 he continued a biennial use of the local Natimuk Lutheran Church as an installation space, collaborating with 222 local and Japanese children.

In 2008/9 he participated in Drought – Cross Cultural Collaborations. Curated by Lella Cariddi,  it resulted in new solo and collaborative work being presented in 2008 in Melbourne at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australian Centre for the Moving Image and Federation Square. In 2009, installation work was commissioned for the Murray Darling Palimpsest #7, Mildura, and the Gold Mining Exchange Building in Ballarat.

His work is represented in collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, John McBride Collection, Australian Print Workshop and Artbank.

Since 2000, he has lived back on land on the Wimmera River in NW Victoria.

Paloma Calle & Joavien Ng

Paloma Calle & Joavien Ng


Alice comes from Texas, but lives in Portugal. Sometimes her English is perfect, and sometimes it isn’t. She won a million dollars in a lottery and every day she paints her fingernails red. She might be someone you know, or perhaps you have never heard of her. So does she really exist?

Singaporean choreographer Joavien Ng and Spanish choreographer Paloma Calle are currently undertaking a one-month residency at Rimbun Dahan supported by the Asia-Europe Foundation. During their residency, Joavien and Paloma are collaborating to create a new performance work entitled ‘The Diary of Alice’, intertwining the concepts of fiction and identity.

A 3-hour performance laboratory exploring creative processes associated with the body, objects, space, image and sound will take place on Sunday 14 March, from 12pm to 3pm, at The Annexe Gallery, Central Market Annexe. Artists in all genres are invited to participate, while Paloma and Joavien facilitate a development process involving their new work, ‘The Diary of Alice’.

Each participant should bring a digital camera (a mobile phone with camera is suitable), and an object with special meaning to the participant, either positive or negative. Participants are requested to wear loose comfortable clothes, as some movement will be involved.

lecture presentation of the artists’ previous works will take place at The Annexe Central Market on Monday 15 March, from 8pm to 10pm, followed by a discussion and Q&A session.

About the Artists

Photo of Joavien Ng by Matthew G. Johnson.

Photo of Joavien Ng by Matthew G. Johnson.

Joavien Ng began her choreographing and performing career in 1997, after graduating from La Salle School of Performing Arts in Singapore. Her works have since been presented by various Singapore and international arts organisations such as Esplanade Theatre (Singapore), Singapore Arts Festival, Kampnagel (Hamburg), Contemporary Dance of Fort Worth (USA), Little Asia Dance Exchange Network (Asia), Alkantara (Portugal), and Singapore Art Museum.

Joavien’s most recent work, Body Swap, in which she collaborated with Germany-based American choreographer Dani Brown, was presented at Kampnagel and Esplanade Theatre in 2009. Other works include LAB at the Esplanade Theatre in 2008 and Body Inquireat Singapore Arts Festival 2008.


Paloma_CallePaloma Calle was born in Madrid in 1975. After training and working for more than 10 years as a performer in experimental dance and theatre companies in Spain, Germany and Italy, she began to develop her own projects in performance art, staged performances and video in 2004. Her work is usually based on autobiographical material that she explores and reconstructs from an ironic and artifactual perspective. There is a constant questioning and experimenting with the conventional use of space, resulting in works in different formats conceived for diverse spaces ranging from a theatre to a walk with the audience through the periphery of a city, or a performance in a private house. Paloma also regularly questions the role of the audience in her work, encouraging the audience to enter a state of alertness and activity.

Paloma’s work, presented in a number of centres and festivals in Europe and in Spain, include des-trozos, lovely epi-ladies, parlez moi d’amour, ZOO, simple present, SECRET, territorio: sad y k, DE MANO, 1, 2, 3, 4 partes, EVEREST/príncipes, 100 cosas que hacer la noche en blanco mejor que ver la noche en blanco, concierto y subasta, and hello myself.


This residency is supported by the Asia-Europe Foundation as a follow-up to ASEF’s Point to Pointe dance forum in Portugal last year.

Jessica Watson

Jessica Watson

Exhibition of Jessica Watson’s Work

Gecko on My Shoulder
The 16th Rimbun Dahan Residency Exhibition
6th to 20th March 2011 in the Underground Gallery at Rimbun Dahan

'Penang Cloud', 2010, fabric ink & silk embroidery thread on cotton, 56 x 142 cm.

‘Penang Cloud’, 2010, fabric ink & silk embroidery thread on cotton, 56 x 142 cm.

Acknowledgements: Hijjas Kasturi and Angela Hijjas, my partner Alex, my daughter
Jacqui, my parents Sue and Geoff, Marianne Erikson, and the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.

Textile Art with glowing colours, growing in Jessica B Watson’s concepts

“…Into the future I would like to continue working with costume, sculptural textiles and art as a profession. I’d like to continue developing and exploring – methods and paths may change along the way but I’m sure that something shall glow and grow…”

These were the words Jessica wrote ten years ago, concluding the report of her Masters’ Degree in 2000. Her project then was called “Flickers” — a colourful swarm of mushroom-like figures, entering trams and spreading out in Gothenburg City, Sweden, as homage to spring, blowing into the gloomy infrastructure after a long winter. — What is this? Confused people asked. This playful group in Jessica’s designed outfits also took part in the Gothenburg Dance and Theatre Festival, which led to further engagements in the international field.

Nature seems to influence Jessica wherever she goes in this world: The structure of the squiggly bark of the eucalyptus trees in her native Australia, the bright red mushrooms with white dots in Swedish forests, the vivid yellow lichens of the grey rocks at the Scandinavian coast and here the tropic vegetation of Malaysia. What inspiration do they bring out in an artists’ mind?

Her motifs are, however, not only aesthetic or decorative, they also reveal a concept. That is what makes them soimaginative. They deal with different phases of human relationships. Some phenomena in nature take a long time to grow; sensitive textile art is indeed time-consuming and sincere relationships between people need time to build up. All to be handled with care!

Characteristic for Jessica are bright colours which vibrate through layers of different materials and are accentuated through light and a number of techniques. Embroidered simple lines or sketchy, but dramatic stitches show an expressive movement in her pictures such as the ambulating salesmen with their dangling goods on the beaches of Rio or heavily falling rain where she is now. Motifs are emphasized, being worked in series and different scales. Her three-dimensional forms show connection to wearable art and costume design.

For an observant and aware artist like Jessica the environment of Rimbun Dahan ought to be stimulating. Her residence is in an old traditional Malay house, surrounded by a large garden. The multicultural society, where Muslim arabesques and lattice screens meet ancient Chinese symbols and Indian kolam applications are incorporated in Malaysian daily life. Here the skilled handicraft is the base of a fascinating blend. The blue sky holds changing dragon-clouds, bringing cosmic energy to people on the earth. Look up and you will see!

Jessica’s titles are often subtexts. “Good things happen in threes” is among her recent works. The three fertilefig trees, supported by the screen, are individuals, each carrying an ethnic issue. Delicate embroidered lines, like nerves in a leaf, shape shou — the sign of long life, still beloved by the Chinese. The polychrome segmented leaves are influenced by the colourful Indian kolam floor decorations. The third plant with translucent, fluorescent flowers is like an attractive part of Malaysian songket (weaving with gold or silver thread). It is a piece of beauty, but it also points at some global complications. People from different regions and religions live together and have to face the problems of coping with each other. Hopefully they will grow together, glow side by side, like the art of Jessica. Intentionally she uses a combination of frottage, songket, screen-printing, hand painting and embroidery to achieve a richness more expressive than in a painting. Being open-minded the spiritual fire will be maintained, developed by concentrated work to multifarious flowering.

Marianne Erikson
Textile historian, Head of the Textile collections at the Röhsska
Museum of Arts & Crafts and Design, Gothenburg Sweden
between 1974-1999.

Jessica Watson embroidering 'Rain Falling on Butterflies', a work for Art for Nature 2010 'SURVIVAL'. Photo by Noor Mahnun Mohamed.

Jessica Watson embroidering ‘Rain Falling on Butterflies’, a work for Art for Nature 2010 ‘SURVIVAL’. Photo by Noor Mahnun Mohamed.

About Jessica Watson

Jessica Watsons’ work is a fusion of 2-dimensional textile art and wearable art. Her interest in the human body, both covering and depicting it, has taken her into the fields of art, costume design and fashion.

Surface, identity and contact are reoccuring themes in her artwork and as a textile artist she subconsciously investigates the boundaries imposed upon textile art from the fine art world. Working predominantly in series, Watson develops and enhances her ideas through repetition and scale.

In 2003 Watson spent three months in the Australian Snowy Mountains where she developed embroidered screenprints based on the squiggly bark eucalyptus for the joint exhibition wouldwork. In 2006 and 2007 she travelled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, dividing her time between ritzy Ipanema and the Rio slums developing the embroidered series Sketches from Rio based on the salespeople of Rio de Janeiro’s beaches and the traditional ‘plein-air’ sketch.

Her interest in textiles, the human body, clothing and movement has also led her into costume design where she has worked with childrens productions, musicals and provocative political drama/dance with Swedish, African and Iraqi choreografers.

Watson started her visual art studies at Newcastle University in 1995 and in 1996 travelled to Sweden as an exchange student. In 2000 she graduated with a Masters Degree in Textile Art from Gothenburg University, School for Design and Crafts in Sweden (HDK). Since graduating she has been exhibiting in Australia and internationally.

She has been teaching fashion drawing and screenprinting for the past seven years and is represented at the Gothenburg City Arts Council, in private art collections and has received the Swedish Artists Associations (KRO) One Year Artists Working Grant and the Gothenburg City Arts Grant among other grants and prizes for her work.

The patterns, colours and textures of plants inspire me; enlarging these to create compositions I move the identity of the plant into another context. I have previously worked with cold climate plants and am now interested in looking at the tropical plants of Rimbun Dahan and what they reveal. I aim to continue exploring the themes of identity, surface and contact using the garden plants of Rimbun Dahan and Malaysian butterflies as sources of inspiration.

Curriculum Vitae

Master of Fine Arts and Applied Crafts HDK, Göteborgs Universitet
Bachelor of Textiles, HDK, Göteborg Universitet
Undergraduate Student, HDK, Göteborg Universitet
Undergraduate Student, Newcastle University Australia
Sketches from Rio, Art in Motion, Frank & Ernest
Sketches from Rio, Galleri mitt i centrum, Gothenburg, Sweden
Sketches from Rio, Galleri Mosebacke, Stockholm, Sweden
Broderia Fantasia, Floras Rike Gallery, Botanical Gardens, Gothenburg
Butterfly Stomach & Hunter, Gothenburg City Library
Hunter, Galleri D Lyx, Malmö, Sweden
wouldwork, Knot Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Watt Space, Newcastle, Australia
Omfång, 25m2 Stockholm, Formargruppen Malmö, Galleri 5 Visby
flickers, Gothenburg, Sweden
Talente, Munich, Germany
Omfång, Galleri Koch, Stenungsund, Sweden
Masters Exhibition, Rohsska Museét, Gothenburg, Sweden
Under det blå tacket, Magnus & Magnus, Gothenburg, Sweden
Centrum, Frölunda Kulturhuset, Frölunda, Sweden
HDK 150 år, Rohsska Muséet, Gothenburg
Karin and Carl Larsson, Nordiska Museét, Stockholm, Sweden
Suecos, Centro Cultural La Santa, Barcelona, Spain
Den Lilla Svarta, Rohsska Muséet, Gothenburg
Teaching, Fashion Drawing, Art & Design, Tillskarakademin in Gothenburg, Sweden
Teaching, Fashion drawing, Screen Printing, Art Collage, Folkuniversitetet, Sweden
Downup & updowN, Costume Design & Makeup, Tortosa Theatre Festival, Spain
’Objector’, Bachelor Examination, Borås school of Textiles, Sweden
Screenprinting workshop, Stenebyskolan, Sweden
Costume for the stage, Assistent, Lindköpings University & Vadstena Akademin
Drömmar (Dreams), GöteborgsOperan, Costume Design, Costumer & Makeup
The Lion King, Beading, Anthony Philips Costumes, Sydney, Australia
Howard Katz & Holy Day, Breaking Down, Sydney Theater Company
Downup & updowN, Dance production, Costume Design
Infra Exhibition, Installation, The Gothenburg Museum, Sweden
pillow room, ’Noll Vision’, Trollhättan, Roads and Trafic Authority, Sweden
The Merry Widow, Costume Design & Millinary, Arbisteatern, Norrköping
Gående bord (Walking Table), Dance production, Costume Design, Göteborg
Lethe-The Urban mytoplay, Costume Design, Gothenburg Culture night
flickers, Costume Design & Production Management
flickers, Gothenburg Dance and Theater Festival & Hedens Lustgård Opening Ceremony
Konstnärsnämnden (Swedish Artists’ Committee) One year Artists’ Working Grant
Företagarna (Association for small businesses in Sweden)
Konstnärsnämnden (Swedish Artists’ Committee)
Gothenburg City Arts Grant
Markarna Lindeqvists Scholarship
Estrid Ericsons Scholarship – group
Slöjdskolans Scholarship
Anna Ahrenbergs Scholarship
Goteborg&Co sponsorship
Stiftelsen Erik och Lily Philipsons Minnesfonds’ Scholarship
Theodor och Hanne Mannheimers fund
Slöjdskolans Scholarship
University of Newcastle Student Exchange Scholarship
2008 Represented
Gothenburg City Arts council
Golden needle, Täcklebo Embroidery Academy, Sweden, silver needle prize
World Wide Wool, Australia
Near Distance, Lochem, The Netherlands, 2nd prize
Fashion Design Competition, Barcelona, Spain, 1st prize
Hunter Institute of Technology, Mardi Gras Costume Design, 3rd prize

Ilham Fadhli

Ilham Fadhli

aka Kojek

Malaysian Artist for the Malaysia-Australia Visual Arts Residency 2010

Exhibition of Ilham Fadhli’s Work

The 16th Rimbun Dahan Residency Exhibition
6th to 20th March 2011 in the Underground Gallery at Rimbun Dahan

The cover of Ilham Fadhli's catalogue for his exhibition at Rimbun Dahan in March 2011, featuring Seasonal Abyss, 2010-2011, oil & collage on canvas, 229cm x 305 cm.

The cover of Ilham Fadhli’s catalogue for his exhibition at Rimbun Dahan in March 2011, featuring Seasonal Abyss, 2010-2011, oil & collage on canvas, 229cm x 305 cm.

When we look at various artworks, a certain definite chemistry sparks our senses. An artwork (should) never lie. Time spent on its surface, every moment of neglected emotions and

Ilham Fadhli Shaimy in his studio at Rimbun Dahan at work on a mixed-media on paper artwork for his contribution to Art for Nature 2010 'SURVIVAL'.

Ilham Fadhli Shaimy in his studio at Rimbun Dahan at work on a mixed-media on paper artwork for his contribution to Art for Nature 2010 ‘SURVIVAL’.

unspoken words turns into images that represent the maker’s sentiments. Again, only interesting artists produce interesting artworks. I find Ilham Fadhli a.k.a. Kojek an interesting person. From his ‘dark realms’ university days back in year 2000 up until now, he is, in my own three words – fascinating, promising and uncertain. These words describe his artworks too.

Some viewers may be interested in his landscapes, while others are more into his cynically narrated paper collages. He seldom sketches. If he did, the drawings were then overlaid with final images on the same canvas. When he starts to paint, I noticed he would almost constantly choose a central dominant image and with this, he keeps the enthusiasm or momentum going by rendering clouds and smokes. The images change so rapidly within just one day that it makes me eager for the final outcome. Small figures against vast landscapes remind one of J.W.M. Turner and Kalkitos (the 1980’s version) game. Kojek would totally immerse himself in the paintings. The artworks are visions of the things that he can never say in words directly. His “apocalypse and the end of the world whilst little people continue to survive” idea is a reflection of what we are today; whatever and however the outcome, we have to make good if not the best.

His current works is similar in concern and stylistically familiar but Kojek has started to insinuate more hope through his selection of images and colours. We can also trace these subtle transitions from the titles and the figures collaged onto his canvases. At first few glances, the viewer often thought that the small figures were painted. This approach with collages blends well with his chosen media. It has become his trademark to merge the smokes from burning buildings or fields with the clouds in the sky. He also develops a habit to watch the clouds while driving from home to Rimbun Dahan and vice versa. His favourite would be the biggest and darkest cumulonimbus against the clear blue sky. Cloud watching has become our pastime and breaks the unspoken silence between husband and wife.

He works every day, at home or at the studio, now or before this residency. Making artworks puts his mind at ease. He is definitely absorbing and benefiting from Rimbun Dahan’s positive atmosphere of fresh oxygen, loyal crew of dogs and his new circle of friends. Kojek’s debut in manipulating oil paint gave him certain pleasures. At first, his oil palette seems more vibrant. However, when the works were completed it looks almost exactly as his acrylics. Talking about such discoveries has become part of our lively discussions and dialogues in the studio at home.

A multi-faceted artist, making little trees or buildings for his (miniature world) dioramas is one of his interests. He also does stop-motion videos. In fact, he co-directed MONOPOL, my instructional video for the Fukuoka Triennale in 2005. Artists have the pleasure of creating and engrossing themselves in their own invented world. Some people may enter this realm, with open arms invitation and some with an extra effort. We can expect a more varied approach from Kojek in the future. Anyway, I saw him first.

Azliza Ayob, Equine Park, 5th January 2011


About Ilham Fadhli

Born in Pasir Mas, 1980. Lives and works in Selangor, Malaysia.

Kojek graduated from UiTM Shah Alam with Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts in 2003. After winning the Major Prize for Young Artist Award 2006 and Consolation Prize for Mekar Citra, Merdeka Show, Galeri Shah Alam, Selangor 2007, his paintings and dioramas were exhibited at renown galleries such as Kebun Mimpi, Pace, RA Fine Arts and Galeri Nasional, Jakarta. Most of his works deals with contemporary issues in an absurd/surrealistic setting with collages of delicate figures. He is nominated for five awards at the IMCAS Iskandar Malaysia Show, to be announced soon. He is currently having his first solo show at PACE Gallery in October 2009. He is married to installation artist Azliza Ayob and blessed with 3 children.

Art Exhibitions & Activities


  • SPICE Show, PACE Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
  • MATAHATI ArtTriangle, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
  • Anniversary Show, PACE Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
  • Once Upon A Time in Malaysia, SOLARIS Kuala Lumpur
  • WWF Art For Nature – SURVIVAL, Rimbun Dahan, Selangor


  • Unfolding, RA Fine Arts, Ampang, Kuala Lumpur
  • Living Room: Art Couple Project, The Annexe Central Market & Jendela KL
  • IMCAS Iskandar Malaysia Art Exhibition, Danga Mall, Johor Baharu
  • WWF Art For Nature, Rimbun Dahan, Selangor


  • Force of Nature, Pace Gallery, KL
  • Palestine Fund Raising Show, The Annexe, KL & National Library KL
  • Anniversary Show, Pace Gallery, KL
  • NIKE Pop Up Space Exhibition, Pavilion, KL (Beijing Olympics)
  • Rapat Umum Merdeka Show, RA Fine Arts, Ampang, KL
  • Friction, Two-Man Show, KebunMimpi, Bangsar, KL
  • Mea Culpa, RA Fine Arts, Ampang, KL
  • BANGUN, LostGenSpace, Taman Seputeh, KL


  • Mekar Citra, Merdeka Show, Galeri Shah Alam, Selangor (Consolation Prize)
  • Jejak, Galeri Nasional, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Not That Balai Art Festival (Performance), Annexe, Central Market, KL
  • SUPERSTAR 00:15, Rimbun Dahan, Selangor
  • Exhibition of Young Artist, Jeri’s Studio, Bangsar
  • Bau-Bau Café Opening Exhibition, Annexe, CM, KL


  • Young Artist Award KLPAC/Gudang/Arts&Earth (Major Prize)
  • TABIK JERI, Balai Senilukis Negara
  • Mural Relief PROJEK 49 Merdeka, Balai Senilukis Negara
  • Video art director & technical assistant for MONOPOL interactive installation, Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, Japan


  • performance & video art : DIGEST THIS, notthatbalai art festival, Taman Seputeh, KL
  • Art4All international : artist & art donation, Bangkok, Thailand
  • video art director & technical assistant for SO, WHY SO SAD? :Footsteps, NAG, KL
  • set designer : Hari Keputeraan Sultan Pahang, Dewan SUKPA, Kuantan.
  • mural artist : Sek. Men. Sains Ulu Yam, NAG outreach programme.
  • interior & logo designer : Treehouse art & craft studio, Sri Hartamas, KL.
  • Art4All special needs children : volunteer, Arab Women Association & NAG, KL.
  • facilitator assistant : Gombak district art teacher refresher course, NAG, KL.
  • set design : PAHANG TOURISM CENTRE.


  • VOLUME Fine Arts Degree show, UiTM Shah Alam.
  • technical assistant for RETURN TO INNOCENCE, the young contemporaries, NAG, KL.


  • crew : SITI DI ALAM FANTASI, Istana Budaya, KL.


  • OPEN SHOW, Galeri Shah Alam.
  • KEMBARA ILHAM group show, UiTM Shah Alam.

Felicity Fenner

Felicity Fenner

felicityFelicity Fenner is an Australian curator of contemporary exhibitions including Primavera 2005 at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the 2008 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art and Once Removed, Australia’s group exhibition at the 2009Venice Biennale. She is a contributing editor of Art Asia Pacific and publishes regularly in a variety of journals including Art in America and Art and Australia.

Felicity is Senior Curator at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales and Deputy Director of UNSW’s Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics. She is completing a PhD on curatorial strategies in major international exhibitions. During her time at Rimbun Dahan, Felicity is continuing her ongoing research into contemporary Asian art in preparation for a major exhibition exploring how artists and designers envisage our future urban and social environments in the context of global warming and climate change.

Angela Goh

Angela Goh


The current choreographer-in-residence at Rimbun Dahan, Australian dancer-choreographer Angela Goh graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts (Dance) from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 2007. Since then, she has performed in Lisa Wilson’s Elbow Room and in Soft Landing directed by Solon Ulbricht. As a founding member of the independent dance collective little moving poets, Angela has choreographed and performed in three shows at The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Art in Brisbane. She also created Like No Place for the Judith Wright Centre last year.

Angela previously performed in Kuala Lumpur with QUT at Tari! 07, and is excited to return to explore her Malaysian heritage through new choreography. She presented a site-specific solo performance entitled Octagon in the Round for ‘Dancing in Place‘ at Rimbun Dahan from 23-24 May.

After two months of physical and conceptual experimentation and investigation as resident choreographer at Rimbun Dahan, Angela presented the new works she created at Rimbun Dahan — see I’m seen it seems and filled and spilt — at a work-in-progress performance at KLPac on 11 July.

The Choreographer’s Residency at Rimbun Dahan provides accommodation, studio space and limited funding and production support for contemporary dance choreographers from Southeast Asia and Australia to live and work in Malaysia. For more about the residency, click here.


Angela will conduct a contemporary dance workshop in the main dance studio at ASWARA on Friday 17 July from 10am to 12.30pm. During the workshop she will teach a class and excerpts of her new group work, see I’m seen it seems.For more information about the time and location of the workshop, contact Yunus 012 332 1657.


Angela will perform the solo work she created at Rimbun Dahan, filled and spilt, in a group show at ASWARA:

Lepas….tetap menari
17-19 July 2009
Experimental Theatre, ASWARA
Entrance free

The show will also feature work by Liu Yong Sean, Kim Jungyeon, James Kan, Wendy Rogers and Jennifer Twilley (guest lecturers at ASWARA from UC Riverside), Shafirul Azmi, Naimsyahrazad, Melinda Kwong and Fairul Zahid.

For more information, please contact Bilqis Hijjas at 017 310 3769 or