Tan Dee May

Tan Dee May

Dee May is the founder of Plates, a biannual print publication that uses food as a conversation starter for meatier issues.

Dee May recently launched her third issue, Plates, Vol.3: Water, supported by the INXO Arts Fund Foundation. During her three-month residency at Rimbun Dahan from October to December 2020, she will be working on the foundations of Plates’ upcoming issues (Vol.4 and Vol.5) as well as experimenting with potential side dish projects.

Having transitioned from a pre-Covid workflow—which often included working remotely from various locations, be it on the floor of a longhouse or transcribing in a garden while feeding the mosquitos—to a stay-at-home vacuum, she hopes her time at Rimbun Dahan’s kebun will revive that inertia that has jump-started many of her past stories, inspired by spontaneous conversations and interactions with space, nature and everyday ingredients.

About Plates

Plates is not just another cookbook nor is it a glossy food magazine. There are no celebrity chefs, CEO interviews or restaurant reviews. Instead, Plates seeks out the hidden figures and underreported human stories in everyday ingredients. In the current local and global climate, where animosity towards “the other” continues to grow, she believes in the power of food to transcend socially constructed barriers. Her hyperlocal and globally relevant stories speak to niche audiences in various pockets around the world—from Boston to São Paulo, Milan to Singapore, Langkawi to Christchurch.

About Dee May

Dee May is a recipient of multiple awards, including the international Chevening Award (2016); the national INXO Arts Fund Award (2019); the international Can Serrat Writers Residency (Montserrat, Spain, 2020/2021); and The Ideas Festival documentary award (Brisbane, Australia, 2011). She has previously been invited to speak at the Singapore Writers Festival (2019); AMAR Conference (Windsor Castle, UK, 2017); Runway 2.0 Asia Pacific supported by BMW (Kuala Lumpur, 2015). Her next speaking engagement will be at the upcoming Umbra Institute Biennale Food Studies Conference (Perugia, Italy) where she will present her paper on microaggressions in food writing.

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Dipika Mukherjee

Dipika Mukherjee

Dipika Mukherjee (Malaysia) is an author and sociolinguist. Her work, focusing on the politics of modern Asian societies and diaspora, is internationally renown. In the past years, she has given a keynote at the Asia Pacific Writers and Translators Conference (Bali, 2017), juried at the Neustadt International Literary Festival (USA, 2018), spoken at the Hearth Festival (Wales, 2018) and the Singapore Writers Festival (Singapore, 2017); she has also given public talks at the University of Stockholm (Sweden, 2018) and the International Institute of Asian Studies (Netherlands, 2017).

I have a very personal stake in telling Malaysian stories, especially those that promote social justice. I believe that the growing intolerance of our world today (in Malaysia, India, and the US) requires voices to advocate for tolerance with stories that span our imperfect, violent world and not merely shine a light on a particular region or nation or race.

Ode to Broken Things, Dipika’s Man Asia Literary Prize-longlisted debut novel, is set against the religious and ethnic conflicts simmering in politics and explores notions of nationalism and citizenship in Malaysia.

During her residency here at Rimbun Dahan, Dipika will be conducting a workshop called A Picture; A Thousand Words. Reviewing ekphrasis (the art of writing about images), this workshop will look at how art has inspired writers in the past by focusing on writing inspired by paintings and imagery. Then participants will review a number of Malaysian visual art on display at the Rimbun Dahan gallery to write poems and short prose. All writing levels welcome.