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.