Jel Suarez

Jel Suarez

Jel Suarez (b. 1990) is a visual artist born and based in Manila, Philippines. Her craft is centered on the practice of collage, in which mostly old master works of art and past exhibitions – sourced from old books and catalogues – are intricately cut in an unconscious process. Her fascination with the body of draperies and structures, allows her to form, paint, and sculpt them in her attempt to produce ideas, narratives, dimensions, and landscapes.

The act of manipulating the archives is her way of understanding reproduced images – further distorting its original sense, and fragmenting them into multiple meanings.

Suarez has been exhibiting her works since 2014, with solo exhibitions at Vinyl On Vinyl Gallery, and several group shows under Artinformal Gallery, Underground Gallery, VOV Gallery, Blanc Gallery, etc. She has also participated in art fairs here in Manila, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore.

Her work can be found on her website.

During the first month of my artist residency, I plan to finish my pieces for an upcoming exhibition this June at Underground Gallery (Manila). The themes and focus of my work have shifted since last year’s proposal project – triggered by the current madness and repercussions of the Philippine government’s war on drugs, I seek to explore and intersect a narrative of its influence on our country’s social fabric. I want to develop new works which will look at how it has possibly structured the society’s landscape and perception of power, social class, and human life.

Rimbun Dahan’s living environment is ideal for cathartic work. I think that the cultural and creative dialogue between me and its resident artists will help strengthen my practice and extend the narrative for this project.

Stephen Eastaugh

Stephen Eastaugh

Stephen Eastaugh is a mixed media visual artist with severe wanderlust as over the past few decades, he has traveled to over ninety countries scattered across all continents. While on the road he has managed to present over one hundred solo exhibitions in a wide range of venues. Studios have been set up on a Russian icebreaker at the North Pole, in a science building one winter in Antarctica, and many places in-between. On three occasions the artist has been awarded the Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship along with numerous art residencies, awards and grants. Travel is the artist’s muse as over the past thirty years, rarely has Eastaugh stayed longer than four months in any single location. It is interesting to see all his work as strange maps or landscapes where he attempts to both locate and lose himself simultaneously.

His work is primarily landscape derived, either representational, symbolic or connected to experiences and objects picked up while on the road. There is a strong textural element which ranges from damaged paper to thick paint and currently, embroidery is utilized. In mid 2017 Eastaugh will plant himself at Rimbun Dahan in Malaysia to explore new work in a new longitude and latitude.

Eastaugh’s work can be found in the National Gallery of Australia, state galleries across Australia, the Nevada Museum of Art, USA and private collections worldwide. In 2017 the artist will be exhibiting in Melbourne, Sydney and Amsterdam as well as working in temporary studios in Argentina, Norway and elsewhere.

You can find more of his work on his website.

Citra Pratiwi

Citra Pratiwi

Citra Pratiwi (b. 1981 in Pati, Indonesia) works intensely between body, story, movement and  expression — presented in her works in dance and theater. She’s a founder of Migrating Troop Performing Art Network, a hub for artists who want to work in multi and interdisciplinary art to refresh their work and expression. Citra is a graduate of Ethnomusicology from Indonesia Institute of Art Yogyakarta, and was one of the awarded artists for Empowering Women Artists by Kelola Foundation. She is an art-activist, engaging her work to speak about women’s issues, especially women’s issues in Indonesia and she’s also worked as a curator at Padepokan Seni Bagong Kussudiardja, a private cultural centre in Yogyakarta.

During her one month residency at Rimbun Dahan, Citra will be developing her new project named Finding Stillness. It will be a research project exploring body memory, conscious and unconscious body, using Jathilan or Kuda Kepang folk dance as entry material.

I want to research what is stillness in the unconscious and bring this concept into contemporary dance work.

Kelvin Atmadibrata

Kelvin Atmadibrata

Kelvin Atmadibrata (b.1988, Jakarta, Indonesia) recruits superpowers awakened by puberty and adolescent fantasy to assemble formidable armies of outlaws. Equipped by shōnen characters and macho ero-kawaii, his antiheroes contest the masculine and erotic in Southeast Asia. He works primarily through performances, often accompanied by and translated into drawings, mixed media collages and objects compiled as installations.

During his residency in Rimbun Dahan, he plans to expand a narrative that is triggered by a Malayan historical figure, Laksamana Cheng Ho. He seeks to learn the Admiral’s influence in today’s society, in particular in regards to his masculine identity and how it has potentially structured the perception of power, race and religion in modern politics. This will also be motivated by cultural findings during his stay in Malaysia, discussions and exchanges with locals as well as his constant interest in virtual RPG elements.

He will be updating his progress in weekly blog-like entries on his website.

Elise Luong

Elise Luong

Elise Luong is an Australian-born artists’ manager who has spent the last ten years working extensively within a diverse number of contemporary art platforms. Bilingual in English and French, her work includes the project management, development and curation of wildly unique exhibition spaces in Brussels, Berlin and Hanoi, showcasing visual arts, performing arts, and new media. A recent co-author of the internationally distributed book Street Art Today, Elise is dedicated to working alongside and within an international network of artists, designers and creative thinkers.

During her residency at Rimbun Dahan she will be continuing her research concerning artist-in-resident programs following on from her recent residency at Bamboo Curtain Studio in Taipei which saw her produce the podcast What’s up with Taiwan?

Using Rimbun Dahan as a starting point for her research in effective residency management, she will explore the surrounds interviewing a range of residency managers, artists and creative activists in order to gauge the attributes and problematics facing creative hubs based in Asia. During her time in Malaysia she will be focusing on a new topic: that of the artists’ experience in residency settings. She will also be developing her own residency project which shall see the light in Hanoi during the course of 2017.

Elise is co-founder of Undecided Productions to see more of her previous event work click HERE.

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.

Audrey Tan

Audrey Tan

Now that I have begun my one-month residency at Rimbun Dahan, the quietness, seclusion and
darkness at night is a complete contrast to living in the hustle and bustle of Singapore. Being a
distance away from the city and its conveniences in getting my photographic work made is a new
challenge for me, in making work and would involve working out of my comfort zone. On a
positive note, Rimbun Dahan’s living environment surrounded by nature is the ideal residency
space for me to work therapeutically without the noise and daily stresses whilst engaging with
the emotional themes of death and loss.

Ever since I adopted my second senior dog, Milo, in August 2013 from an animal shelter, I had
been his caretaker till his sudden and painful passing from Cancer in December 2015. Going
abroad or even for a day out was no longer an option due to his separation anxiety and other
existing medical issues. Looking after Milo was the priority. Making work took second place.

This residency is my first proper trip out of Singapore since I returned from London in 2012. I
am now able to dedicate the time and focus in making this new work – a personal book as a form
of catharsis, documentation and in memory of “man’s best friend” – my best friend – which will
involve confronting my fears and coming to terms with the traumatic experience of Milo’s
passing. Travelling across to Malaysia is symbolic for Milo and myself; it’s like going on a road
trip together.

________

Audrey Tan is an international award-winning Singaporean photographic artist who received
her MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London in 2008. Her work has
been exhibited in the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Switzerland, Israel, Japan and Singapore.

She has a self-published book titled, ‘You see me, I see you’, which is a chronological visual record
of work made in London over a seven-year period showcasing the artist and various muses in
making the ‘Artist and Model’ series using conceptually experimental and technically playful
processes involving sight/intuition in the photographic process, analogue/digital mediums, and
progressing to 2D/3D modes of representation.

Si Jie Loo

Si Jie Loo

Si Jie Loo is a multi-disciplinary artist who is interested in capturing the spirit of humanity, primarily with Chinese Ink. She graduated from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, USA with an honors in Studio Art and has since lived and worked in both US and Malaysia. As an artist in the diaspora, she is constantly on the move between places, cultures, music genres and languages. She inks down captivating people, musicians, dancers and nature during her travels, most recently the Tibetan plateau and the Silk Road in Northeast China. She calls this body of work INKounters and further develops larger abstract paintings that convey that essence in another series INKnovations.

Her spontaneous and dynamic strokes are generated from her ever-wandering eyes and ready-to-go ink brush and paper in her pocket. Behind the scenes, she eagerly search for inspirations, whether it is from traveling, reading, calligraphy, visits at the museums and art galleries, music, drum or dance sessions, concerts, and/or art residencies.

Si Jie hopes to use this residency to ask questions such as: What’s the future of Chinese Ink Painting? If it were an important Nanyang (Southeast Asian) heritage and legacy, how can it blossom and grow beyond the Malaysian Chinese art circle? How can she innovate within a tradition that has once inspired the likes of Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin? How can she expand the medium’s limitations by collaborating with other artists of dance, music and theater background?

Southeast Asia is an exciting hub of trades and inter-cultural exchange. Its tropical colors and wide array of craft and folk arts were subjects of studies for many foreign scholars and local artists. Si Jie wishes to immerse herself at her residency at Rimbun Dahan, to share her understanding of the new and the old based on her own cultural roots that she re-discovered upon returning from abroad, thereby expanding her repertoire to a contemporary Malaysia that she and many other artists aspire to shape.

Si Jie’s work can be found online at her website. Footage of her painting processes and interviews can be found on her YouTube channel. She has also posted her residency statement of purpose in full here. Si Jie will be a resident artist at Rimbun Dahan from October to December.

Si Jie Loo with her mentor Malaysia's Chinese Ink Painting Master Dr. Cheah Thien Soong.

Si Jie Loo with her mentor Malaysia’s Chinese Ink Painting Master Dr. Cheah Thien Soong

Le Hoang Bich Phuong

Le Hoang Bich Phuong

Le Hoang Bich Phuong (b. 1984) is a visual artist based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Her art is an outlet for expression and a means to deliver her concerns regarding sexuality and eccentricity. Recently, Phuong’s focus has shifted more toward nature, time, space and social awareness in her country, Vietnam.

Even though Vietnamese culture doesn’t emphasize on individuality, I often wonder about the state of individuality in the other countries. My works are usually a blend of imagery of human sexual organs twisted into seemingly familiar distortions and contrast elements that do not seem to belong together. For me, these unlikely combinations often create the perfect piece. I have been using Vietnamese traditional silk paintings as my primary medium, but I always experiment with new mediums as it could be the new language in my art. I enjoy reflecting my thoughts on contemporary issues through art, using traditional medium and materials as a way to challenge to the dogmas of society.

To view more of Phuong’s work, visit her website. You can also view the process of making one of her works (pictures below), here on YouTube.

Irwan Sofwan

Irwan Sofwan

Irwan Sofwan is a poet and writer from Indonesia. His biography is written below in his mother tongue with a rough translation appended after:

Irwan lahir dan tinggal di Serang, Banten – Indonesia. Karya-karyanya terdapat dalam beberapa buku antologi puisi bersama, di antaranya: Dari Batas Waktu ke Perjalanan Kamar sampai Kabar dari Langit (2006), Candu Rindu (2009), Akulah Musi (2011), Narasi Tembuni (2012) dan juga di beberapa media massa.

Sehari-hari ia bekerja sebagai guru Bahasa dan Sastera Indonesia di SMP PGRI 2 Kota Serang dan aktif berkegiatan di Kubah Budaya (Komunitas untuk Perubahan Budaya) – sebuah komunitas sastera dan budaya yang didirikannya bersama Wan Anwar (alm) dan beberapa kawan satu angkatan. Ia kemudian dipercaya menjabat sebagai ketua Kubah Budaya dari tahun 2006 ke 2009. Bergelut dan berdiskusi bersama komunitas membuatnya lebih mencintai dunia sastera dan semakin terjerumus ke dalam belantara puisi. Puisi seolah menjadi magnet yang menarik keinginannya untuk selalu menulis dan berkarya, meski ia juga sesekali menulis esei dan beberapa artikel yang berkaitan dengan sastera  dan dunia pendidikan.

Baginya, menulis puisi adalah mencatat kehidupan. Mengekalkan sekaligus menyatukan pengetahuan, pengalaman batin dan pikiran untuk kemudian dilepaskan mengarungi lautan kehidupan itu sendiri. Dalam lawatannya ke Rimbun Dahan sebagai artist resident, ia berharap dan akan berusaha untuk menemukan pengetahuan dan pengalaman-pengalaman itu – yang seutuhnya baru – untuk diolah kembali menjadi karya-karya yang memiliki corak berbeda dengan karya-karya yang ia tulis sebelumnya.

Sekarang, Irwan sedang menyiapkan puisi-puisinya untuk diterbitkan dalam sebuah buku yang akan menjadi buku kumpulan puisi pertamanya. Menjadi penyair dan guru adalah hal yang tidak pernah ia cita-citakan semenjak kecil, namun ia bersyukur dapat menjalaninya sekarang ini. Ia pun percaya dengan apa yang dituliskan Herwan FR (penyair, guru dan sahabat) dalam sebuah ulasan untuknya, “Penyair yang baik adalah penyair yang santun. Penyair yang santun adalah penyair yang rendah hati. Penyair yang santun dan rendah hati, berkemungkinan besar termasuk penyair yang beriman dan beraamal sholeh, sehingga terhindar dari azab Tuhan, karena penyair, menurut tuhan, adalah orang yang suka mengembara ke lembah-lembah khayalan. Maka sebagai penyair dan guru adalah sebuah kenikmatan yang harus disyukuri, sebagaimana seorang penyair dan sekaligus kyai.”

Irwan was born and lives in Serang, Baten in Indonesia. His works have appeared in a few poetry anthologies, such as Dari Batas Waktu ke Perjalanan Kamar sampai Kabar dari Langit (2006), Candu Rindu (2009), Akulah Musi (2011), Narasi Tembuni (2012) and have also appeared in other mass media.

His day job is as a teacher of Indonesian language and literature SMP PGRI 2 Kota Serang, and he is also active in Kubah Budaya (Community to Change Culture) – a cultural and literary community founded by himself, colleague and friend Wan Anwar, and a few other peers. Irwan was entrusted with the heading Kubah Budaya from 2006 to 2009. Engaging and conversing with the community increased and deepened his love for literature and involvement with poetry. Poetry to him became like a magnet for his deep interest in writing every day; he has also written a few essays about the world of literature and education.

To him, writing poetry is to record life, a way to preserve as well as unite knowledge, experience, and thought to then be released into the flow and waves of each person’s life. During his residency at Rimbun Dahan, he hopes to discover new knowledge and experiences to be formed into works that contain different patterns to works he has written before.

Currently, Irwan is working on writing poems for his first poetry collection. Being a teacher and a poet was something he never even dreamed of, but he is grateful now for the opportunity to be both. He believes in what Herman FR (poet, teacher, and friend) once wrote, “A good poet is a poet that is a mannered poet. A mannered poet is a humble poet. A mannered and humble poet has a high likelihood of becoming a poet of deep belief and piety, escaping the punishments of God – because poets, according to God, are those who like to explore the wilderness of fantasy and the imagination. Therefore to be both a poet and a teacher is a pleasure to be appreciated.”

Irwan Sofwan 2

Irwan Sofwan