Carlo Gernale

Carlo Gernale

Visual Arts Resident, 2013

Artist’s statement:

carlo_gernaleCarlo “Caloy” Gernale (b. 1979) is a Filipino visual artist based in Southern Tagalog, Philippines. As a contemporary social-realist artist, he attempts to articulate not only his personal views, but more importantly, the collective stand and the national democratic aspiration of the marginalized.

As an artist, Gernale is driven by the past and present events that mould Philippine history; he also has a penchant for indigenous and contemporary myths, fables, and banter, and tries to incorporate them into his works of art. Guided by his socio-political leaning, he attempts to come up with a cohesive body of works that are visually and semiotically potent.

Gernale studied Bachelor of Fine Arts in Philippine Women’s University. In 2006, he mounted his first solo exhibit “Ispup.” His most recent exhibit titled “Allegories and Allergies” was held in May 2013 at West Gallery, Philippines.

Felicity Fenner

Felicity Fenner

felicityFelicity Fenner is an Australian curator of contemporary exhibitions including Primavera 2005 at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the 2008 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art and Once Removed, Australia’s group exhibition at the 2009Venice Biennale. She is a contributing editor of Art Asia Pacific and publishes regularly in a variety of journals including Art in America and Art and Australia.

Felicity is Senior Curator at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales and Deputy Director of UNSW’s Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics. She is completing a PhD on curatorial strategies in major international exhibitions. During her time at Rimbun Dahan, Felicity is continuing her ongoing research into contemporary Asian art in preparation for a major exhibition exploring how artists and designers envisage our future urban and social environments in the context of global warming and climate change.

Rochelle Haley

Rochelle Haley drawing during a rehearsal of 'Strings' in the dance studio at Rimbun Dahan.

Rochelle Haley drawing during a rehearsal of ‘Strings’ in the dance studio at Rimbun Dahan.

Rochelle Haley was one of the Australian resident artists of the year-long Malaysia-Australia Visual Arts Residence at Rimbun Dahan in 2009. In addition to her practice creating works for the joint exhibition with Australian artist Monika Behrens and Malaysian artist Shamsudin Wahab which was presented in the Underground Gallery at Rimbun Dahan from 28 February to 14 March 2010, Rochelle also participated in the contemporary dance performance Strings at The Actors Studio Theatre in January 2010.

high_teaThe exhibition at Rimbun Dahan included the ancillary event, ‘High Tea at the Pleasure Garden’, a discussion moderated by the managing editors of online arts writing platform ARTERI (Eva McGovern, Simon Soon & Sharon Chin) based on the site-specific installation Pleasure Garden by Monika Behrens and Rochelle Haley in the newly constructed Penang House at Rimbun Dahan.




‘Pendulous Heart’. 2009. Reflective film, metallic paint and etching on glass. 30 x 21 cm.

Rochelle Haley is a Sydney based artist working broadly within the fields of experimental drawing and installation. She has recently completed a PhD at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales where she also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours degree. Haley has held several solo exhibitions of her work the most recent of which in February 2009 titled Land Incorporated at the Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney. She has also shown extensively in group exhibitions in Australia and abroad including the Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship at Artspace, Sydney, CIGE, Exhibition Hall China World Trade Centre, Beijing, Fading Lines, Nomad Gallery, Islamabad and the 3rd International Triennial, Marmara University, Istanbul.

Central to Haley’s work is the exploration of the relationship between the human subject and their physical and social environment. Recently this concern has been expressed through a series of incised paper works investigating the relation between the land, the body and its representation. Imaging the landscape using unusual methods of ‘drawing’ with blades and carving into heavy white paper, Haley creates artworks that require a viewer to negotiate light and texture.  The appearance-disappearance of the landscape is dependant upon the proximity and changing position of the viewer as they attempt to achieve a clear view. The drawings create awareness in the viewer of the position and movement of their body in relation to the work. The subjects Haley primarily takes for her work are landmarks of great cultural value recognised by their inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


In a collision between dance and drawing, the movements of a dancer are transformed into a series of lines drawn live by Rochelle Haley. Other dancers then use these visual cues to interpret their own movement. A unique performative process which changes every time it is performed, Strings gives us insight into new ways to produce art and movement.

Performed by Australian visual artist Rochelle Haley and dancers of Rimbun Dahan and ASWARA, at The Actors Studio Theatre at Lot 10, 23 January 2010.

Moves & Sorts is part of FUSED, a bi-monthly experimental series at The Actors Studio Lot 10, hoping to bring new audiences into theatres and to give emerging talents a chance to perform. Moves & Sorts is a joint production of The Actors Studio and MyDance Alliance.

Angela Goh

Angela Goh


The current choreographer-in-residence at Rimbun Dahan, Australian dancer-choreographer Angela Goh graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts (Dance) from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 2007. Since then, she has performed in Lisa Wilson’s Elbow Room and in Soft Landing directed by Solon Ulbricht. As a founding member of the independent dance collective little moving poets, Angela has choreographed and performed in three shows at The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Art in Brisbane. She also created Like No Place for the Judith Wright Centre last year.

Angela previously performed in Kuala Lumpur with QUT at Tari! 07, and is excited to return to explore her Malaysian heritage through new choreography. She presented a site-specific solo performance entitled Octagon in the Round for ‘Dancing in Place‘ at Rimbun Dahan from 23-24 May.

After two months of physical and conceptual experimentation and investigation as resident choreographer at Rimbun Dahan, Angela presented the new works she created at Rimbun Dahan — see I’m seen it seems and filled and spilt — at a work-in-progress performance at KLPac on 11 July.

The Choreographer’s Residency at Rimbun Dahan provides accommodation, studio space and limited funding and production support for contemporary dance choreographers from Southeast Asia and Australia to live and work in Malaysia. For more about the residency, click here.


Angela will conduct a contemporary dance workshop in the main dance studio at ASWARA on Friday 17 July from 10am to 12.30pm. During the workshop she will teach a class and excerpts of her new group work, see I’m seen it seems.For more information about the time and location of the workshop, contact Yunus 012 332 1657.


Angela will perform the solo work she created at Rimbun Dahan, filled and spilt, in a group show at ASWARA:

Lepas….tetap menari
17-19 July 2009
Experimental Theatre, ASWARA
Entrance free

The show will also feature work by Liu Yong Sean, Kim Jungyeon, James Kan, Wendy Rogers and Jennifer Twilley (guest lecturers at ASWARA from UC Riverside), Shafirul Azmi, Naimsyahrazad, Melinda Kwong and Fairul Zahid.

For more information, please contact Bilqis Hijjas at 017 310 3769 or

A Delicate Situation

A Delicate Situation


The contemporary dance work A Delicate Situation was created by Australian choreographer Lina Limosani. It was first developed during Lina’s Asialink residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2008, and was aso redeveloped with a short residency funded by Arts SA in 2012.  Lina initially worked with four Malaysian dancers to create the version of A Delicate Situation which was performed at Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, 12-14 December 2008.

A Delicate Situation (2008) was nominated for 3 awards at the 7th Annual BOH Cameronian Arts Awards:

  • Best Featured Performer — Elaine Pedley
  • Best Choreographer in a Feature-Length Work — Lina Limosani
  • Best Costume Design for Dance — Eve Lambert

Performance Notes

In the darkness, things are waiting. Their past is sorrow, their
future is pain, and their hunger cannot be satisfied.

In an empty house, a cold room, they cling tenaciously to the walls.

Are her fears normal, or is her imagination running away with her? Is
he a prisoner or merely insane?

Choreographed by Lina Limosani (and dancers)

Performed by Malaysian dancers Suhaili Micheline, Rathimalar Govindarajoo, Elaine Pedley and Low Shee Hoe
Sound design by Hardesh Singh
Costume design by Eve Lambert
Photography and graphic design by David Loke

12-13 December 2008 (8.30pm)
14 December 2008 (3pm)
Pentas 2, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre,
Jalan Strachan, off Jalan Ipoh,
Sentul 51100 Kuala Lumpur.

Supported by MyDance Alliance, KLPac, Asialink, Arts South Australia and Scottish Arts.

Promotional Images

Photos by David Loke

In Rehearsal

Photos by Bilqis Hijjas.


Check out the photos of ‘A Delicate Situation’ in performance, taken by Philip Craig.

Donna Miranda

Resident Choreographer March-June 2007

Artist-in-residence at Rimbun Dahan from March to June 2007, Donna created new performance piece bringing together local Malaysian dancers, video and sound artists to explore the idea of waiting, passing time, momentum and interruption in Extended Periods of Waiting, which was performed on June 8 2007 at The Annexe Central Market. The work featured live sound by SiCKL, video projection by Saiful Razman and Au Sow Yee, lighting by Roman Cruz and performance by Donna Miranda, Bilqis Hijjas, Yuka Tanaka, Louise Yow Sing-Hwa, Low Shee Hoe, Shaifuddin Mamat and Chan Seau Huvi.


The trio section from Extended Periods of Waiting was performed again as part of the Tari! 07 festival at ASWARA in July 2007.

During her stay, Donna also created I Will Think About It, a contribution to the 2007 Art for Nature exhibition in collaboration with visual artist Saiful Razman, and featuring Poodien. She also conducted a workshop in contemporary dance, creative process and free movement improvisation at the Annexe Central Market in June 2007.

Donna and Poodien creating I Will Think About It.

Donna and Poodien creating I Will Think About It.

Donna received dance training as national government scholar of the Philippine High School for the Arts, pursuing professional practice and further training with Ballet Philippines, Philippine Ballet Theater, Myra Beltran’s Dance Forum and specialized training in contemporary dance at the 2005 DanceWEB Europe Scholarship Programme, in Vienna, Austria. She has since been actively involved in multimedia projects that explore new possibilities through works that combine contemporary dance, new media, fashion, physical theater, spoken word and sound. In 2000, she co-founded Green Papaya Art Projects, building a research platform for contemporary dance in Manila through its Anatomy Projects (AP+). Her solo ‘Beneath Polka-dotted Skies’ recently received 2007 Jury Prize Award in the Yokohama Solo X Duo Competition in Japan.

EU & ME Dance Collective

EU & ME Dance Collective


The four-person dance collective EU & ME (European Union & a little MISTAKE and an EXCUSE) consisting of

Joey CHUA Poh Yi (Singapore, Hong Kong)
Marie CHABERT (France, UK)
Csilla NAGY (Hungary)
Rhys TURNER (Australia)

performed their work FIND.MOVE.PLAY, an interactive physical theatre performance with digital art, for the opening night of the Art for Nature Exhibition at Rimbun Dahan on Saturday 24 July 2010. [Photos below by Anthony Pelchen.]

The Collective began in 2008 in New York, in the frame of the Dance Collective programme organised by OMI international Arts Centre. Then the artists collaborated in the Czech Republic as resident artists of CESTA Festival. After four successful presentations in Hong Kong and Singapore this performance at Rimbun Dahan is the closing show of a one-month tour.

EU & ME arrived at Rimbun Dahan on Saturday 17 July, and within the space of a week created a 45-minute work tailored to the specific spaces of Rimbun Dahan as well as inspired by the artists’ own experiences of being on a residency in Southeast Asia and discovering life in Malaysia.

FIND.MOVE.PLAY was performed at 10pm on 24 July as the final event on the opening night of Art for Nature. Information about the performance was provided through an announcement during the opening ceremonies, and by flyers distributed on the dinner tables.

The performers used a number of different sites around the property, including the central space of the underground gallery, the reflective lotus pond, outdoor sculptures and herb garden. The performers invited the audience of 100-200 people to follow them from site to site, linking the vignettes with a narrative about Orpheus and searching for love.

The performance incorporated digital art, with a dance film taking a comic look at residencies at Rimbun Dahan, and an interactive soundscape in which selected audience members wearing headphones heard the accompanying music change as they moved around the space. The audience was also invited to participate in the work, manipulating the dancers, helping them with specific tasks, answering questions and holding flashlights.

FIND.MOVE.PLAY alternated impressionistic romantic moments – Joey Chua wearing a traditional Chinese cheongsam and singing a Chinese love song while paddling herself about among waterlilies, or Marie Chabert flinging herself about among towered sculptures of lit glass – with moments of slapstick comedy, as when Marie slapped Rhys Turner on the face in retaliation for his bad pickup lines, and moments of unforgettable eeriness, such as Csilla Nagy’s mysterious inhuman emergence from the darkened pool followed by her literally stalking a quivering audience member. The tone of the work transitioned easily, tracing the natural atmospheres of the various different performance sites.

In addition to being a fun, funny and thought-provoking work in its own right, FIND.MOVE.PLAY also functioned perfectly as a teaser for Dancing in Place, a weekend of site-specific contemporary dance performances that will take place at Rimbun Dahan during the final week of the Art for Nature exhibition. By using multiple venues in very different ways, the audience was able to appreciate the potential for site-specific work at Rimbun Dahan. For many members of the audience more used to visual art, it served as an accessible introduction to contemporary dance and audience participation.

This performance was supported by nka and National Arts Council (Singapore).


Choy Chun Wei

Malaysian Resident Artist 2005

Choy Chun Wei is enjoying his time playing the “collector” and the “engineer” in Rimbun Dahan. Look around and you will find his workspace populated by jars and tubes of paint in different degrees of exhaustion, while piles of unidentifiable junk and a plethora of paraphernalia lay scattered across the floor. When I visited his studio recently, he tells me “I still return to the city to collect all this junk”. The process of collecting and constructing, or building, forms the root of Chun Wei’s artistic approach. Whether in the form of photographs, paint, ink, or other found materials, the potential in each of the artist’s materials will be stretched out, deconstructed, reconstructed and layered to present unique views of life within an urbanscape. Those familiar with Chun Wei’s body of work will recall his early photo-collage series such as Citadel and Link House from 2001. They were the result of a morning ritual whereby the artist would walk with his camera to work, photographing random exteriors of homes in Bandar Utama to relieve the monotony of this routine. The collection of photographs captured from these walks later grew into a series of musings about home within our fragmented urban environment seen through the eye of an outsider.

In his latest series, Construction Site, paint and found materials have replaced photographs to become the building blocks in the artist’s work. He tells me that every single paint mark and object is treated as an individual units, “like Lego blocks”, built layer upon layer, one over the other. Each work begins with the overlaying of paint onto the surface ground in broad sweeps. “I rarely know what is going to happen during the early stages so I just let it happen.” Once these initial sweeps have been established, ‘units’ of paint and materials are incorporated into and over the initial foundation through the use of a diverse range of tools – hands included – as well as other media to create a spectrum of marks and textures. It is clear, through this new body of work, that the artist has discovered a more instinctive and energetic process in creating image and texture; there is an obvious sense of play, as well as a newfound confidence in distilling the images to near abstraction.

The urban landscape and mapping continue to figure prominently in Chun Wei’s work. The ritual of returning to the city to collect the artist’s ‘junk’ bears poetic resonance in the artist’s dedication to his subject matter. While his mapping process may have begun within the immediate confines of Bandar Utama, his concerns have since extended into farther reaches, taking on a wider worldview beyond geography and tangible matter. Perhaps this development has been prompted by changes in the artist’s personal life. Marriage and moving out to a new home has shifted his outlook on life; he is no longer the wandering outsider looking in, but rather someone who has found hearth and home.

Construction Site begins with The Construction of Metaphysical Site I. While the spatial arrangement in this painting may appear conventional to the eye, it is nonetheless striking in its composition and form. It recalls the imaginary maps many of us would have drawn during childhood. Colours and simple geometric shapes are employed to demarcate different territories and densities while incidental marks may imply roads, railway tracks or borders. The Construction of Metaphysical Site II suggests a fantastical yet apocalyptic cityscape alluding to Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. Vertical forms, or monoliths, grow from opposite directions; they weave in and out of the dramatic foliage, moving towards each other, drawing closer to convergence.

Subsequent works such as The Changing Mindscape, Intimate Dwelling Site and Configuration l, demonstrate to the viewers that the spatial configuration in each painting has grown progressively tighter and denser through the course of development. The drama and density of this series culminates in the epic Big Dwelling Site. Impressive and intense, the painting’s expanse and tight overlapping layers of paint and found materials overwhelm the senses. The eye picks out the random details and unexpected textures as it roves through this dense forest of marks and colours; you will find bits of corrugated board here, unidentifiable slices of plastic and dried materials there, a shaved off bar code somewhere above. The painting possesses a cubistic resonance as the artist breaks up the picture plane to create multiple perspectives. They also remind us of Mondrian’s earlier paintings where grid and lines form the artist’s primary motives. Spaces move in and out, shifting from two-dimensional to three-dimensional planes, taking our eye on a manic ride through tightly wound nooks and crannies, before launching into exhausting claustrophobic areas that slowly ease off towards the edges.

Configuration lll (Breathing Space), one of the later pieces, sees the artist side-stepping his usual media employed in this series. It is perhaps the most carefree piece in this body of work, and as the title suggests, this painting provides a beguiling reprieve from the intense concentration of heavy impasto marks and texture. Here, the brush takes over from the palette knife to create a delicate yet intricate web of lines. They float evocatively in space, layered in muted neutral shades, amidst collaged drawings of furniture culled from the pages of an IKEA catalogue. The minimal treatment draws attention to the construction of the image, allowing the visual narrative and emotional content to exude its understated charm.

Adeline Ooi
December 2005, KL

Garden Objects

This is part of a series exhibited in Art for Nature 2005 that delves into the formation of mental maps to explore human dwellings within the landscape. The garden is a place for tactile and sensory engagement, where one may expand sensibility within space. Click on the thumbnails above to view larger images.


Choy Chun Wei (b. 1973) is a graduate and full scholarship holder from the faculty of Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, majoring in Illustration. He has been actively painting and exhibiting in a number of exhibitions in Kuala Lumpur and won an Honourable Mention at the Philip Morris Malaysia/ASEAN Art Awards in 2003. In 2004, Chun Wei received the Juror’s Choice Award (2D) at the Malaysian Young Contemporaries Exhibition organized by National Art Gallery. He became the artist-in-residence at Rimbun Dahan Artist in Residence Programme in 2005.

See more of Chun Wei’s work on his blog website