Christopher Strong

Christopher Strong

During my residency I will continue my recent practice of finding small instances of beauty in every day life and magnifying it. By limiting my focus to a tiny space, I can find shapes, forms and colours that always around me but not often the focus of me attention. Usually my subject is nature thriving within an urban environment, but sometimes I focus on food or industry.

During my residency I want a new artistic experience by letting the environment change my work, both in the subject matters that will capture my attention as I live at Rimbun Dahan and travel in Kuala Lumpur, and how the physical environment that is very different to Melbourne.

I am a self-taught visual artist, painting with oils and watercolour. See more information about me and my work at my website.

Karyn Coxall-Leong

Karyn Coxall-Leong

Karyn Coxall-Leong (Australia) was a resident artist in the last year of Hotel Penaga’s residency program, in July 2017. During her short residency she engaged often with local residents and guests, distributing pamphlets on good photography sites, taking photos of people and giving them prints, and offering walking tours.

My photography is driven by a strong passion for people and their stories. Thus, over the years I have developed a portfolio of over thirty thousand images. I have been honored to capture special moments in the lives of others, including: weddings, portraits, expecting parents, and baby photos. Via street photography I aim to portray the raw beauty of every subject, and capture a brief glimpse into the lives of those whose paths I happen to cross.

For more of her photography, check her out on Facebook.

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.

Laura Wills

Laura Wills

Laura Wills is an Adelaide based visual artist. She has a multidisciplinary practice and a strong interest in using found materials, collaboration and basing projects on social/ environmental themes. She is represented by Hill Smith Gallery Adelaide. She will be in residency at Rimbun Dahan for 5 weeks until mid-February.

At Rimbun Dahan I will be developing a new series of works on maps. My research will be drawing and painting based and also involve exploring the local environment to inform the development of new works, particularly the Taman Sari, vegetable and spice garden. I am interested in the social relationship and connection people have to it. I would like to continue in this line of thinking about intimate relationships, memories and habits we have towards culinary plants and nature.

For more information on Laura’s work, visit her website, Instagram, or Hill Smith Gallery’s website.

Laura’s residency was supported by a professional development grant from the South Australian Government through Arts SA.

 

John Mateer

John Mateer

 

 

John Mateer is a poet, writer and curator. He has published books in Australia, the UK, Austria and Portugal, and the prose Semar’s Cave: an Indonesian Journal and The Quiet Slave. His most recent book of poems is Unbelievers, or ‘The Moor’. With the Cocos Malay community, he wrote an account of the settlement of the Cocos-Keeling Islands for a sound installation. During his residency at Hotel Penaga he will research the historical encounters between the Malay peoples and the Asian and European traders; focusing on the peripheral, Asian characters in the 17th century epic The Conquest of Malacca.

 

 

Following my previous projects related to European colonial encounters in Asia, foremost Southern Barbarians and Unbelievers, or ‘The Moor’, I have become interested in investigating the canonical texts of those encounters to see what understanding the explorers had of the local cultures. Often they disguised their knowledge and their
surprising sympathies. I have mostly looked to Portuguese accounts, the most famous of which are Fernão Mendes Pinto’s prose Peregrinaçam and the earlier epic poem, Os Lusiadas, by Luis vas de Camões. The latter is not only the subject of poems in Southern Barbarians, but also of The Bones of the Epic, my project with the Lisbon puppet-master Delfim Miranda and
art-noise ensemble A Favola da Madusa.

Now, after researching the slave-trade in South-east Asia as it influenced the forebears of the Cocos Malays who lived first in Malacca in the early 19th Century, I would like to write a long poem based on the Asian figures who appear in the periphery of a now largely forgotten Portuguese epic, Francisco de Sá de Meneses’ The Conquest of Malacca. These include the ‘kings’ of Sumatra, Malacca and Korea, and other characters from Cathay and Siam.

Due to my recent engagement with translation and sound production, even though the long poems will be written as in English, I aim to have it translated into both Malay and Portuguese, and produced, ultimately, either as a performance or multi-media work. I have started discussions about this with translators and others in Portugal, Singapore and Malaysia.

John was a resident artist in Hotel Penaga from December 2016 to end January 2017, supported by Asialink.

Awards:

  • Shortlisted for the Inaugural Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry, and for the Victorian and New South Wales Premier’s prizes for poetry. 2012
  • Centenary Medal for my “contribution to Australian culture and society”. 2003
  • Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry. 2001

Grace Blake

Grace Blake

Grace Blake is a visual artist working between Canberra and Sydney. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts in printmaking and drawing with a Bachelor of Arts art history from ANU.

Her fascination with the virtual landscape manifests in works that map the line between real and simulated. Blake acts as a cartographer of boundless digital space where the tension between the natural dimensions has been compressed into binary logic.

Currently Blake’s studio practice is working to examine ecologies, resulting in attempts to parallel dense natural ecologies with those that exist in data centers and online. Trans-humanism and future predictions of dense mega-city infrastructure lead toward an interest in arcologies. Various Archo-structures will be examined across animation, installation and interactive web platforms with using both recorded-footage and 3D generated material.

Blake was recently included in group show ‘My Feet Would Hurt If They Still Existed’ at Alaska Projects, ‘Personal Geographies’ at the ANU School of Art Foyer gallery and ‘SafARI 2016’.

She is currently on the Australian New Colombo Plan Scholarship studying and interning in Thailand and Singapore and will undergo a three month residency at Rimbun Dahan from August to October.

Soraya Abidin

Soraya Abidin

Soraya Abidin (b. 1971) is a textile artist based in Sydney, Australia. The subjects and materials she uses to create her works are born of a love for the Primitive and Spiritual practices within her Malay cultural heritage. Soraya embroiders in natural raffia representing matter from the jungle and embellishes with gold leaf, as a mark of status and the prestigious gold culture worn by her aristocratic ancestors. During as recent visit to Malaysia, where her father is from, interpreted inquiries of her family members revealed her art making practice as an inherent genetic trait directly traceable to her Malay culture, which the artist expands on below:

“I am an Embroidress, the only member in the entire family that has inherited the passion for Benang Emas Sulaman from my Opah (grandmother). I have studied my parents wedding photos for many years, loving and attempting to recreate the motifs seen on all the wedding decorations. I had no idea these works even still existed, till I showed copies of the wedding photos to my family and the next thing I knew these incredible items where in front of me, in my hands to touch and marvel at the perfection of each piece. It was then that I learnt all the embroidered pieces in the photographs had been made by my Opah.

I never could have imagined what this information would do for me, so astounding that I am finally able to make this connection. Now I understand my passion for Embroidery has a strong thread directly linked to my inherent bloodline. This may seem simple but to me it provides powerful and auspicious meaning to the medium I have always instinctually gravitated towards as an artist. Now I have found the origins of my practice and that I am the one to carry on the family tradition.

During the residency I would like to study the use of motifs in traditional Malay textiles, Tekat and Songket, and gather motifs and their meanings to create a glossary for reference in my artmaking. I would like to create an artwork representing my cross cultural parentage, by use of the Traditional Quilting practices of my Australian mother, layered and embedded with embroidered Islamic Arts motifs of my Malay father.

The work will be embroidered with natural raffia and pure white silks and embellish with gold leaf, metallic threads and glass beads. My focus will be on the selection and placement of motifs that are layered over a quilt top created by my mother. The base cloth will be embellished with a combination of appliqued silks motifs then layered with interconnecting embroidered Malay motifs, intentionally leaving gaps and spaces to create a cross cultural conversation in both the positive and negative space.

The intention of the work is to portray a new found clarity and definition in my identity. Through the layering of motifs and utilisation of the powerful meanings in their symbolism to bind together the genetic behavioural traits of my two cultural heritages.”

Soraya will be in residency at Rimbun Dahan for the month of August. You can find more of Soraya and her work on Instagram.

Bridie Gillman

Bridie Gillman

Bridie Gillman’s practice is grounded in her experiences of living in Indonesia when she was younger and further experience of being ‘in-between’ places and cultures since. Her work explores ways in which experiences of awkwardness and the ‘unknown’ can be translated through found materials, installation and photography.

Gillman is an emerging artist based in Brisbane, Australia and completed her Bachelor of Fine Art with Honours at Queensland College of Art in 2013. Since graduating she has conducted a residency in Indonesia and exhibited nationally and internationally.

She was in residency at Hotel Penaga from August to October 2015, where she researched the transient space of hotels, tourism and souvenirs in our increasingly globalised and transnational world. Her residency culminated in an exhibition titled Round Island Tour, held at Run Amok Gallery in Georgetown. For more information on her work, visit her website.

left:  Souvenir: Tropical Fruits of Malaysia 2015, oil on canvas. right: In Thailand I got a girl in every club 2015, oil on canvas board.

left: Souvenir: Tropical Fruits of Malaysia 2015, oil on canvas. right: In Thailand I got a girl in every club 2015, oil on canvas board.

Left: Sprite at night 2015, Batik painting. Right: Local Lingo 2015, Set of 6 digitally printed postcards, edition of 100

Left: Sprite at night 2015, Batik painting. Right: Local Lingo 2015, Set of 6 digitally printed postcards, edition of 100.

Omar Musa

Omar Musa

Omar bin Musa (b. 1984) is an award-winning author, poet and rapper from Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia. He won the Australian Poetry Slam in 2008 and the Indian Ocean Poetry Slam in 2009. He has released two solo hip hop records (The Massive EP and World Goes to Pieces), two self-published books (The Clocks and Parang) and a self-titled album with international hip hop group MoneyKat. His debut novel Here Come The Dogs was published in 2014. Here Come the Dogs received praise from novelists Irvine Welsh and Christos Tsiolkas, was long-listed for the Miles Franklin Award and Musa was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Novelists of the Year in 2015.

Omar is the son of Australian arts journalist Helen Musa and Malaysian poet Musa bin Masran. He studied at the Australian National University and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Omar has combined hip hop music and poetry throughout his career. He was runner up in the 2008 Australian Poetry Slam, before winning in 2009 at the Sydney Opera House. He went on to win the Indian Ocean Poetry Slam in 2010. In 2010 he also did support for Gil Scott-Heron in Munich, Germany. In 2011 he was a guest panellist on ABC’s Q&A. In 2013 he received a standing ovation at TEDxSydney at the Sydney Opera House.

He has been a guest at numerous international writers festivals, including Jaipur Literary Festival in India and the Ubud Readers and Writers Festival in Indonesia, as well as touring extensively in Asia, Europe and Australia. He has collaborated with numerous musicians and hip hop artists, including Akala, Soweto Kinch, Impossible Odds, The Last Kinection, Hau Latukefu from Koolism, Candice Monique, The Tongue, Lotek, Koolta and Geoff Stanfield.

He did a split residency in Hotel Penaga and Rimbun Dahan from June to August 2015.

Nina Rupena

Nina Rupena

Nina Rupena is a Bosnian born project-based artist currently located in Melbourne. She works across mediums and practices using both visual art and design as tools for communicating ideas. Painting and drawing are her passion and she has a great interest in collaborative work. Since 2008, Nina worked on numerous collaborative projects with artists, designers, filmmakers, organisations and communities.

We wrap ourselves in cotton wool and try to iron, bleach and polish our emotions. We constantly try to predict the future and ignore the uncertain and fleeting nature of our existence. But isn’t the intensity of human experience what makes that very existence beautiful? Pain is intrinsic to the human experience. Without it something of our humanity, dignity and beauty of human life is trivialized. Life without experiencing pain breeds complacency, ignorance and passivity. Beauty is all around us I look for it in human experiences such as disability, old age, displacement and tragedy.

Nina is currently in residency at Hotel Penaga in Penang from February to April 2015. While in Penang, she started a project FACE IT:

“What do you wish you had known when you were younger? For the duration of my art residency I posed this question to the guests and staff at Hotel Penaga, trishaw drivers, backpackers, food vendors, people I met on the streets and bars. Then I drew their portraits, often on the spot or later from a photo. FACE IT is an ongoing project. The aim is to create a meaningful interaction and a space where people let their guards down and show their vulnerabilities.

Portraits and answers are uploaded daily at http://ninarupena.com.au/faceit/ or follow on Facebook and Instagram. You can find out more about her and her work at her website.