Nicholas Choong

Nicholas Choong

A go-to conceptual artist for agencies and brands like MRT Gamuda, Uber Malaysia, Tiger Beer, restaurants as well as Accounting & PR Firms in Malaysia – Nicholas Choong is no stranger to the visual arts and design world.

He studied watercolors under a mentor at the age of 13 and when he was 16 he learnt Graphic Design and Photography working as a Production Assistant in the film industry.

By the time he was 19, Nicky (a moniker he goes by sometimes) was already working in the events, music & entertainment industry. The next 17 years of his life was spent working and raising a family before he began painting again in 2011. In 2014 he helped shape (and was the first artist in residence for) the sembilan Art Residency Programme in Seremban. During that time he also mentored under Wei Ling Gallery and has continued to exhibit his work in group and solo shows up till this day.

In 2015 he opened his own studio, Satu Arts and continued to perfect his craft. Nicky also dabbled in installations and collaborative mural projects. In 2016, he began his foray into video production and has since then worked as a director, Art Director and Creative Director in the media and corporate world. In his traditional paintings, Nicholas works in a series based format and is known for his strong ink and line work.

During my residency at Rimbun Dahan I’d like to explore the relationships between the environment (source materials) and mediums available to me (video, photography, paintings) and create a body of work that resonates on all levels to create a story.

Here you can find interviews he’s done/been a part of on BFM (with Jael Estrella and solo), The Star, and Chalk and Raddy. To find out more about Nick’s work, you can check his Website, Facebook, Youtube, or Instagram.

Wong Xiang Yi

Wong Xiang Yi

Wong Xiang Yi (b. 1987, Kuala Lumpur) received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2010 and her Master of Fine Arts from Taipei University of the Arts in 2016. Wong majored in ink painting and is trained in traditional Ling Nan Chinese Ink painting. She’s strongly affected by China’s new ink painting movement, Japanese style painting (Nihonga), and the impact of and trend of thought related to ink painting that she was exposed to while she was studying in Taiwan.

The medium of ink painting has always reminded Wong of the relationship between humans and the natural and how it contrasts with the rapid pace of life surrounding artificial objects. Wong can anticipate and work with fractional and overwhelming information through tedious preparations before painting. This process is like a ritual, a vacuum interval, where all the prattle of information is slowly processed, to intercept a process of thinking. She believes that a private natural space (Rimbun Dahan) will be a perfect place to calm down and experience ink painting media meeting the natural face to face.

Wong Xiang Yi is one of our 2018 Southeast Asian Resident Artists, and will be in residency for 3 months. To find out more about Wong, please check her website here.

Dessy TAB

Dessy TAB

Dessy Tri Anandani Bambang or Dessy TAB (b. 1984) is an Indonesian animator born in Brest, France. She  started her carreer as animator by participating in animation challenges during her college days at Bandung Institute of Technology. She has won national awards mostly for her short animations and public social advertisements. In 2014, Dessy received an honorable mention award from ASEAN Animation Festival as a representative participant from Indonesia, for her animation Kopas The Thief. She was also selected as one of three animators for “Animation 3”, an animation masterclass, held collaboratively by Goethe Institut Indonesien, Institut Français Indonesie, and SAE Institut Jakarta. Her animated work, Pulang ke Indonesia, was the result of the masterclass and was completed in July 2016.

I am actually feeling insecure about being away from home but I know I can’t be and I don’t want to stay at home for the rest of my life. So I am planning to make an animation about the insecurity of leaving home, in a place far away from home. I’ve been wanting to make an animation that combines my doll-making skill. Amigurumi is a kind of crocheted doll; aside from being an animator, I am an amigurumi designer and have written a book about them. While I didn’t make any amigurumi for my previous animated works, I’ve made a fabric puppet to use for stop motion animation during my residency in Rimbun Dahan. I still don’t know whether it will work or not, or whether I will go back to paper and ink or digital animation. As I was making the preparation for the project, I realized that making animation in a new place will be very challenging especially from the technical aspect, but when there is a challenge, then there will be a solution. I am looking forward to see what kind of animation I will make in Rimbun Dahan.

To find out more about her, you can check out her website or her Instagram.

Dhiyanah Hassan

Dhiyanah Hassan

Dhiyanah Hassan (b. 1989) is a full-time artist and writer whose works seek to map out the terrains between memory and healing. She explores how art, poetry, and storytelling are used to reclaim a sense of selfhood in the aftermath of trauma.

“Language forms our worlds. In the event of conflict or trauma, these worlds are held under siege by things beyond ordinary grammar. We kick so as not to sink. We build coping mechanisms to keep us afloat. We find other ways to speak, to scream, to not remain silent. We keep telling our stories.”

from 2016 Artist’s Statement

Dhiyanah spent a decade in between countries before returning to Malaysia with a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) from RMIT, Australia. While working on her studio project, she freelances as an illustrator and editor. Her writing has appeared in BACCARAT Malaysia, Star2, and Burning House Press. She performed at Georgetown Literary Festival 2016 and has created the cover art for two books so far – Wolf at the Door by J. Damask (Gerakbudaya, 2016) and All the Bodies We’ve Embraced by Sheena Baharudin (Perfect Binding, 2017).

For her stay at Rimbun Dahan, Dhiyanah will be extending on her investigation of the body’s relationship to water – how the sensation of swimming, floating, or moving underwater relates back to the act of remembering (or forgetting). Her project, ‘Swimming Pool,’ is a memoir-building process that combines visual art with writing, and will hopefully culminate into an art book in the future.

Find out more about Dhiyanah’s work on her website and Instagram.

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.

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.

The resulting project is described and photographed below (performance photos by Nazir Azhari). Kelvin updated his progress in weekly blog-like entries on his website.

Tidal Bulge is the rise and fall of masculinity caused by the combined effects of gravitational forces exerted by one’s racial and economic status and the self conflicts.

Initiated by the interest towards Laksamana Cheng Ho’s treasure fleet, the project navigates around Malaysian Chinese masculine identities by figuring various struggles faced. Approached through RPG game theories, the visual aspects of the works are designed to be decided by the participants in forms of paper collages and their performed elements.

The participants are imagined as crews or sailors of a treasure fleet in voyage. Sea travels utilize lunar navigation as compass which also becomes the underlying historical prescriptions of the Chinese ethnicity throughout Malaya Peninsula. Apart from that, other game characters-based visual decisions are motivated by Malaysian cultural elements that suggest close proximity and relevance to astrology and the science of gravity.   Within social context, this participatory work is a plea towards racial and ethnic representation, their potential of indigeneity as well as its masculine connotation within Malaysia.

 

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.