Ruby Subramaniam

Ruby Subramaniam

Ruby Subramaniam (b. 1989) is a self-taught Malaysian visual artist.

In 2014, she quit her award-winning career in digital marketing to pursue her passion in arts.  Her experience in corporate communications now allows her to utilize digital marketing and social media as a tool to increase community engagement about art. She works actively with diverse communities to run art-related projects and events, including Art Battle Malaysia. This event gives the audience a chance to participate actively, allowing them to exercise their ability to discuss and appreciate art. With her own artworks, she draws inspiration from traditional Malaysian narratives and culture. She is fascinated by the romanticised idea of ephemeral art.

I believe art is a prayer and it has to dissolve. The sooner it decays, the faster it lifts your burden.”

Because of that, she is never loyal to any one medium, and instead, enjoys the creative process of experimenting with unusual and unexpected artistic formats.

For the past two years, Ruby has worked on huge contemporary kolams (traditional Indian coloured rice art on the floor) installation in public spaces for Publika and RapidKL. “As a traditional art form, how do we revive it using the same method that has been used for centuries? How do we bring it alive again?”

In 2017, using skin as her canvas, her project, This Body is Mine was inspired by the Hindu Goddesses to combat street-harassment and the general Malaysian society’s attempt stigmatise women and police their bodies. As a result of the work, the project was uploaded to social media platforms and consequently went viral and reached more than 2 million views across the world. This project was exhibited in several group shows locally, and internationally in “Be Bold for Change”, Adam&Eve DDB, London as well as a case study in ARTS and SOCIETY (IYGU) by Mémoire de l’Avenir, Paris. More recently, it was presented in UNESCO’s World Humanities Conference in Liege, Belgium in 2017.

During the month of March 2018, her new project, ANTIDOTE in Rimbun Dahan, she invited women to be active participants in her projects, by sharing their relationship with their bodies. Without imposing her ideas and concepts onto her “canvas”, for thirty days, Ruby listened to thirty intimate stories by thirty diverse women and interpreted them with body art.

Please check out her website, facebook and instagram to find out more about the artist.

 

 

Open Studio: Dhiyanah Hassan, Flor Alba, Morganne Mazeika, Zachary Khoo and Zulkifli Lee

Open Studio: Dhiyanah Hassan, Flor Alba, Morganne Mazeika, Zachary Khoo and Zulkifli Lee

On 3 September 2017, Rimbun Dahan opened our grounds and the studios of our current resident artists to the general public. The artists featured were Dhiyanah Hassan (Malaysia), Flor Alba (Switzerland) and Zulkifli Lee (Malaysia), Zachary Khoo (Msia/USA) and Morganne Mazeika (USA). The artists opened their workspaces to showcase their works in progress and answered any questions and discussed their work and process. Below are photos of the event:

 

 

Open Call: Southeast Asian Arts Residency 2018 [CLOSED]

Open Call: Southeast Asian Arts Residency 2018 [CLOSED]

Applications are CLOSED for Rimbun Dahan’s Southeast Asian Arts Residency for 2018. We are currently reviewing the applications and will endeavor to be in touch with all applicants by mid-October.

Open call poster for Rimbun Dahan Southeast Asian Residency 2018

One of our leading commitments is investing in emerging/developing artistic talents in the region and furthering artistic exchange with our neighbours. We invite visual artists (of all disciplines), writers, arts managers, and researchers/curators from and based in Southeast Asian countries to submit applications for residencies in 2018. Residencies can be minimum 1 month and maximum 3 months*. We have a set budget set aside for these residencies so spots will be limited.

All applications must be received by Friday, 15 September 2017.

*ASEAN nationals are given 30 days stay in Malaysia per visit – 30 days does not always equal one month, so be mindful of days and dates when booking flights. In our experience, Malaysian immigration prefers that ASEAN nationals have at least a week between their most recent departure date from Malaysia and their next re-entry date.

You can apply for an additional 30 day extension to your visa while in Malaysia before your initial visa ends by visiting an immigration office. Approval of extension is not always guaranteed. Processing can take anywhere from 2 days to a week, and it may require you to change the date of your original return ticket. So if you are planning to extend your stay, do be ready and make arrangements during your residency to go to the immigration office and go through the necessary processes OR to book multiple flights to renew your visa every 30 days during your residency. 


Eligibility criteria

  • Artists must be from and based in the listed countries only: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam
  • Former Rimbun Dahan and Hotel Penaga resident artists are not eligible to apply

Expectations of the residency

  • Resident artists must stay and work on-site full time in the accommodation and workspace provided and engage with the other resident artists
  • Resident artists must make themselves available (to the best of their ability) for student groups visits, general visitors, and other outreach events (artist talks, showcases, etc) organized by Rimbun Dahan throughout the year
  • At the end of a residency, a visual work may be requested from the resident artist for the Rimbun Dahan permanent collection, to be discussed between the artist and the Directors of Rimbun Dahan.

What’s provided by the residency

  • Accommodation and workspace is provided for all residents, including utilities
  • Monthly allowance of RM1000
  • Access to washing machine, exercise equipment, swimming pool, and our library and artist lounge (WiFi equipped)
  • Weekly grocery shopping trips
  • Basic administrative support

Please note that the following is not provided: travel funds, airport pickup and dropoff, meals, or materials.

How to apply

Please submit an application containing:

  • Biodata/CV
  • A selection of images/samples of recent work (Please provide a curated selection and context for the works where applicable/necessary)
  • A statement of why a stay at Rimbun Dahan would benefit your art practice and/or a project proposal for your time in residency
  • Dates for which you are seeking accommodation and the proposed duration of your residency. Please provide multiple options, if possible

Please send in COMPLETE applications only. You can choose to send either an electronic application OR a hard copy application, please do not send both. All applications are due by Friday, September 15 2017.

Send electronic applications to:

Ms Syar S. Alia, Arts Manager
syar@rimbundahan.org

Send hard copy applications to:

Ms Syar S. Alia, Arts Manager
Rimbun Dahan
c/ Hijjas Kasturi Associates Sdn.,
23rd floor Menara Promet,
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia

Please indicate if you’d like hard copy application material to be returned after selections are made.

Open Call: Yearlong Residency for Malaysian Visual Artists 2018 [CLOSED]

Open Call: Yearlong Residency for Malaysian Visual Artists 2018 [CLOSED]

Applications for this residency are now CLOSED. We are currently reviewing the applications and will endeavor to be in touch with all applicants by mid-October.

Poster for yearlong visual arts residency 2018

Rimbun Dahan has hosted year-long residencies for more than 20 years, and have seen Malaysian artists use their time with us to further their practice and become illustrious names in the local art scene. Our most recent yearlong resident artists are Zulkifli Lee (2017) and Azliza Ayob (2016).

We’re looking for artists interested in expanding their art practice, exploring new ideas/themes in their work, producing a new body of work, establishing themselves even further in the field of art, or all of the above. We’re looking for engaged and motivated artists who are looking to commit themselves to investing the time and resources provided by this residency into pushing themselves somewhere they couldn’t otherwise go. The year-long residency will culminate in an exhibition held at Rimbun Dahan’s underground gallery in November/December 2018.

All applications are due by Friday, September 15 2017

Eligibility criteria

  • Artists must be from and based in Malaysia
  • It is preferred for applicants to have education in art from a certified institution and some exhibition experience
  • Former Rimbun Dahan resident artists are not eligible to apply
  • Applications from former Hotel Penaga resident artists will be reviewed on a case by case basis

Expectations of the residency

  • The resident artist must stay and work on-site full time in the accommodation and workspace provided and engage with the other resident artists
  • The resident artist must make themselves available (to the best of their ability) for student groups visits, general visitors, and other outreach events (artist talks, showcases, etc) organized by Rimbun Dahan throughout the year
  • The resident artist must produce work for the exhibition and work together with Rimbun Dahan’s administrative and groundskeeping staff in putting together the show
  • The resident artist must leave behind 1-2 works at the end of their residency for the Rimbun Dahan permanent collection

What’s provided by the residency

  • Private accommodation with access to a kitchen and private bathroom
  • A private studio
  • Monthly living and materials allowance of RM1000
  • Access to washing machine, exercise equipment, and our library and artist lounge (WiFi equipped)
  • Weekly grocery shopping trips
  • Administrative support

How to apply

Please submit an application containing:

  • Biodata/CV
  • A selection of images/samples of recent work (Please provide a curated selection and context for the works where applicable/necessary)
  • A residency proposal (maximum 3 pages) telling us:
    • Who you are as an artist
    • How a year-long residency at Rimbun Dahan will benefit your art practice
    • Why we should consider you as a resident artist

Please send in COMPLETE applications only. You can choose to send either an electronic application OR a hard copy application, please do not send both. All applications are due by Friday, September 15 2017

Send electronic applications via email to Ms Syar S. Alia, Arts Manager at syar@rimbundahan.org

Send hard copy applications to:

Ms Syar S. Alia, Arts Manager
Rimbun Dahan
c/ Hijjas Kasturi Associates Sdn.,
23rd floor Menara Promet,
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia

Please indicate if you’d like hard copy application material to be returned after selections are made.

Laura Skocek

Laura Skocek

Laura Skocek is an artist with a focus on sculpture, installation art, smart materials, and video & animation. She is based in Vienna, and will be in residence at Rimbun Dahan for the month of February. For more information on her work, visit her website.

Physiological rhythms and non-tangible states of consciousness are the basis for my sculptures. Digital scan works revolve around the transformation of movement – fleeting moments caught on camera that are expanded into an infinite rhythmic composition. I am also interested in the interplay of art and societal processes.

citizens, Video, duration: 1 min. 40 sec. resp. 20 seconds, 2015. In citizens temporal and spatial structures around arriving people and playing children dissolve. The scene is situated in a non-defined ‘city haven’. The look of the city can be guessed during a brief moment when the temporal axis is shifting and one catches a brief glimpse of one of the buildings. It is hinted at the ambiguity that these people have to deal with. Winner of the ’20 seconds for art’ competition issued by KÖR and Infoscreen, 2015. The work can be viewed here.

Forced Leisure, Interactive hammock, 100x400x100cm, techniques used: sewn conductive thread, Arduino + vvvv, 2015. By Cristoph Gruber & Laura Skocek. For more information and video of the work, please click here.

reconfigure(d) – object 1 + 2. The works reconfigure(d) – object 1 + 2 are the result of ongoing artistic research in the field of consciousness, subjective experience and states between sleep and wakefulness. During the phase of falling asleep, the hypnagogue phase, we slowly drift into the world of associatively combining images and word chains. The thalamus makes it possible for us to follow logical thoughts. According to new research this structure of the brain falls asleep before the Cortex, that is why thoughts coming up during this phase are not regulated.

  • Kinetic Object, 100x200x40cm, spring steel wire and knitted wire, hidden Nitinol-mechanism, Raschendorfer Shift Shield, Ultrasonic Sensor, Arduino-microcontroller, 2013.
  • Installation, 300x200x300cm, spring steel wire and knitted wire, hidden Nitinol-mechanism, circuit board, Arduino, 2013

Res Artis Meeting of Southeast Asian Arts Residencies 2016

Res Artis Meeting of Southeast Asian Arts Residencies 2016

The Res Artis Meeting of Southeast Asian Arts Residencies 2016 was a 4-day regional meeting of arts residency representatives held on July 20 – 23 2016 at Rimbun Dahan outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The participants consisted of 20 representatives from 19 residencies and organizations from 7 Southeast Asian countries, as well as outside SEA, from Australia and China. The meeting was facilitated by Jean-Baptiste Joly, founding and artistic director of Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany, and Res Artis board member.

The meeting was a joint project by Rimbun Dahan, a private arts residency centre in Malaysia, and Res Artis, the largest global membership based residency network headquartered in the Netherlands, and was supported by Goethe-Institut Malaysia as the main sponsor.

The idea for the meeting arose from a feeling of disconnectedness as an operating arts residency within the Southeast Asian region, and was envisioned to foster stronger ties with arts residencies in neighbouring countries and in the general region, which would in turn strengthen ‘residency culture’ and its sustainability in Southeast Asia. Participants presented different models of running residencies, shared their different cultural contexts and traded ideas to troubleshoot issues and concerns. We hope the connections and networks developed during the meeting feed back into the development of programs that cultivate artistic talent and practice in the region, stronger and more productive external and internal exchange programs , and into building ongoing resources for the development of more residencies in the region.

The meeting was produced and project managed by Syar S. Alia, Arts Residency Manager at Rimbun Dahan, with an organizing team consisting of Bilqis Hijjas, Dance Program Director at Rimbun Dahan, Eliza Emily Roberts, Vice President of Res Artis and Arts Residencies Manager for Asialink, Mark Venegoor, Director of Res Artis, and Birte Gehm, Communication Manager/Web Editor for Res Artis. Documentation during the meeting was carried out by ARTERI and Malaysian Art Archive.

A short write-up on the meeting was also published on the Res Artis website, and can be read here. 

Program

Three of the meeting days were dedicated to roundtable discussions and panels, with the third day set aside for an excursion to three different residency spaces in and around Kuala Lumpur: Lostgens Contemporary Art Space, Shalini Ganendra Fine Art, and Toccata Studio.

Day 1 Sessions

  • Community engagement and the social responsibility of artist residencies
  • Residencies rooted in ‘place’
  • Thinking outside the field: Alternative approaches & residency spaces
  • Institutional programming: The role of artist residencies in the broader arts eco-system

Day 2 Sessions

  • Artist-Residency Relationships & Alumni
  • Residency Resources
  • Glocal Networks

Day 3 Excursions

Day 4 Sessions

  • Interdisciplinary Residencies; Keynote by Jean-Baptiste Joly (followed by a meet and greet for guests from the public to speak to meeting participants and ask about their residency programs)
  • Participant-Led Open Sessions
    • Facilities vs Programming
    • Feedback and Evaluation for Residencies
    • Virtual Residencies
    • Residencies as Soft Power

Participating residencies/organizations

Participants were invited from a compiled list of Southeast Asian residencies, with Res Artis members being given priority. The organizing team also prioritized getting representation from as many countries in the region as possible before opening up the meeting to Res Artis members from other countries that had an investment or interest in the Southeast Asian region. As Rimbun Dahan could only provide accommodation for a certain number of people, spots were limited. We hope that more residencies and countries can be represented in any future iterations of the meeting.

Photos

More photos can be found on our Facebook page.

Call for Applications: Rimbun Dahan Southeast Asian & Hotel Penaga Residencies 2017 Round 1

Call for Applications: Rimbun Dahan Southeast Asian & Hotel Penaga Residencies 2017 Round 1

Applications are now open for Rimbun Dahan’s Southeast Asian Residency and the Hotel Penaga Residency for 1 January to 30 June 2017!

RIMBUN DAHAN SOUTHEAST ASIAN ARTS RESIDENCY

We invite visual artists (of all disciplines), writers, arts managers, and researchers/curators from and based in Southeast Asian countries to submit applications for the period of 1 January to 30 June 2017. Residencies can range from 1 to 6 months. Please check the residency page on our website for details on the residency itself, eligibility criteria, and how to apply. Applicants are advised to read the information carefully to avoid any confusion in their application process. All applications must be received by 30 June 2016. 

Notes

  • Interested artists NOT from and based in Southeast Asia are eligible for our Open Residency Program, which has rolling applications
  • Applications for residencies between 1 July to 31 December 2017 will open at the end of the year in 2016. Keep up with announcements via our Facebook or our mailing list

RD Applications 2017 vs3

HOTEL PENAGA RESIDENCY

Applications are now open for Hotel Penaga’s Residency Program in 2017! We invite Southeast Asian visual artists to submit applications for the period of 1 January – 30 June 2017. Residencies can range from 1 to 3 months. Please check the residency page on our website for details on the residency itself, eligibility criteria, and how to apply. Applicants are advised to read the information carefully to avoid any confusion in their application process. All applications must be received by 30 June 2016!

Notes

  • The Hotel Penaga residency is also open to non-Southeast Asian artists, but these artists are subject to a monthly fee and are not eligible for any financial support from Rimbun Dahan
  • This residency is only open to artists working in the visual field – painting, illustration and drawing, textile art, printmaking, sculpture, etc. Artists in other fields are eligible for Rimbun Dahan’s Southeast Asian Arts Residency and Open Residency
  • Applications for residencies between 1 July to 31 December 2017 will open at the end of the year in 2016. Keep up with announcements via our Facebook or our mailing list

Hotel Penaga 2017 Residency call for applications

Genus Dryobalanops

A genus in the family Dipterocarpaceae.

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Dryobalanops aromatica
kapor
Sumatra, Rhiau, Borneo. In Malaya confined to northern east coast, except for small important area near Rawang. Distinguished by aromatic crushed leaf, wood resistant to fugal attack.
Dryobalanops-aromatica
Dryobalanops lanceloata

kapur paji

Latin, lanceolatus = shaped like the head of a spear (the leaf blade). Emergent tree to 80m. Endemic in Borneo. Saplings shade tolerant, but given a light gap grow very fast. Norsham 5.13. D. lanceloata on left, specimen on right seems to be D. keithii, with very large leaves and different tree architecture.

 IMG_2376
Dryobalanops oblongifolia Dyer
keladan
Malaya, e Sumatra, w & centr Borneo, seasonally flooded forest, but absent in deep peat. Used to build boats. Vulnerable due to habitat loss. Large canopy trees, bark closely studded w/small lenticels, heavy wingless fruits. Seed c 2.5 cm enclosed at base by 5-lobed calyx tube.2 new speciments June 2008, pictured below right.
Dryobalanops-oblongifoliaDryobalanops-oblongifolia_small

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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

 

Adelaide University Alumni Award for Hijjas

Adelaide University Alumni Award for Hijjas
Architect and former University of Adelaide student Hijjas Kasturi outside Bonython Hall, one of the University's many heritage buildings Photo by David Ellis, from The Adelaidean website of the University of Adelaide.

Architect and former University of Adelaide student Hijjas Kasturi outside Bonython Hall, one of the University’s many heritage buildings. Photo by David Ellis, from The Adelaidean website of the University of Adelaide.

In 2013, The University of Adelaide recognised significant contribution to the advancement of the University’s Alumni Relations Program by awarding Hijjas Kasturi an Alumni Fellow. The Vice-Chancellor and President and the Chief Engagement Officer presented the Alumni Fellow Award to Encik Hijjas at the University of Adelaide’s 140th Malaysian Alumni Anniversary celebration on 10 September 2014.