Khairani Barokka

Khairani Barokka

Khairani Bairokka, photo by Annie Marrs.

Khairani Barokka (b. 1985) is a writer, poet, and interdisciplinary artist. She is also a practitioner of think/do advocacy in the arts, particularly on the ways in which new media can increase inclusion and access for and by disability cultures and feminisms (both of which she is happy to be a part of). Born in Jakarta, Okka works, teaches, and is published internationally, with art, literature, disability culture and transdisciplinary performances and workshops held across India, the US, Australia, Malaysia, the UK, Austria, Singapore, and her native Indonesia. She has a masters from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, as a Tisch Departmental Fellow, and among her awards and honors was Emerging Writers Festival’s (AUS) Inaugural International Writer-In-Residence for 2013. Okka is the writer, performer, and producer of a (hearing-impaired accessible) solo poetry/performance art show, “Eve and Mary Are Having Coffee”, which premiered at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014.

Okka is delighted to be part of the Rimbun Dahan community for 6 months, where she is working on writing projects as well as using text in mixed media works.

 

www.khairanibarokka.com
twitter.com/mailbykite

Ashly Nandong

Ashly Nandong

ashly-performing-close-up

Ashly Nandong is a thirty-year old artist from Kuching, Sarawak who joins us for three months as short-stay artist-in-residence at Rimbun Dahan.

Ahsly completed a Bachelor’s degree in Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering at Swinburne University, in Victoria, Australia in 2009, returning to Malaysia in early 2011. However, it was his informal art education and exposure to traditional dance and music during his formative adolescent years that marked him for quite a different life direction. Eventually, and inevitably it seemed, what placed him firmly on this different road was his continued active involvement in the performance and visual arts, while living in Melbourne. Having been taught the sapeh lute as a teenager under different gurus, the traditional Dayak dance of the Orang Ulu and Iban people, and now as painter, Ashly crosses from performance to visual arts and back with ease.

A strong sense of his Iban cultural heritage is what binds; one medium of expression inspires the other in a non-hierarchy. Traditional motifs and metaphors make for meaningful markers and anchor him along the way in his berjalai, an ancient Iban custom of roaming or journeying in search of greener pastures of knowledge and hopefully the ‘wisdom’ that comes from hands-on experience.

At Rimbun Dahan, Ashly is given a much-needed time for contemplation in an important  part of his berjalai; an introspective time to connect with his creative aspirations in response to his current ‘spiritual’ situation. Ashly is presently working on a painting depicting the Tree of Life, a motif found in Iban symbolism and in religions, mythologies and philosophies throughout many different cultures, in varying permutations.

A unifying principle that unites all cultures and religions is something Ashly gravitates towards, being very keen to understand deeper the creative force that at core animates all living entities with spirit. The living tree, rooted in earth but with branches reaching upwards for the heavens is aptly symbolic of Ashly’s current station of berjalai at Rimbun Dahan, a place of lofty trees and sounds of ancient cicadas and birdsong.

Anthony Pelchen

Anthony Pelchen

Asialink Resident Artist, 2010

Australian visual artist Anthony Pelchen spent three months at Rimbun Dahan on an Asialink residency in 2010. During his stay he contributed works to the 2010 Art for Nature exhibition, and helped to produce the Melaka Art & Performance Festival 2010. In 2013 he presented the exhibition Kuang Road Prayer at the Horsham Regional Arts Gallery in Horsham, Australia, with works inspired and begun during his time at Rimbun Dahan.

Anthony Pelchen in his studio at Rimbun Dahan, photographing Shima, who lives and works at Rimbun Dahan.

Anthony Pelchen in his studio at Rimbun Dahan, photographing Shima, who lives and works at Rimbun Dahan.

Kuang Road Prayer

Kuang Road Prayer - work in progress, Malaysia, July 2010 C type print, 29.9 x 42cm.

Kuang Road Prayer – work in progress, Malaysia, July 2010 C type print, 29.9 x 42cm.

In 2010 on an Asialink artist residency at Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia, Pelchen witnessed life in the balance and produced the foundation of a body of work titled Kuang Road Prayer.

Through reflection and continued artistic engagement with Malaysia, Pelchen has expanded this evocative body of work. Issues of change, vulnerability and resilience, at the core of  Kuang Road Prayer, are explored in this exhibition through drawing, photography, video and sculpture.

The exhibition entitled Kuang Road Prayer was opened by Angela Hijjas at the Horsham Regional Arts Gallery on 18 August 2013 — read the opening speech here. For more about Kuang Road Prayer, see Anthony Pelchen’s website.

Biography

Born 1960 in Horsham in North West Victoria, Anthony Pelchen studied Economics at Monash University and a decade later painting at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Common to all his work is an overriding interest in the fine lines and shifts between physical and psychological states and how a dominance of one inevitably points to the absence and potential of another. This has involved work across media – painting, drawing, photography, video, sculpture and installation – all incorporating elements of repetition, austerity and subtle change within set structures.

Throughout the 1990s he lived in Melbourne and exhibited widely in artist-run, institutional and alternative spaces. He has exhibited twice in Osaka and has been represented in various surveys of painting and drawing over the past twelve years. He has had numerous residencies in Australia and Japan and has been the recipient of Arts Victoria grants for new work, presentation and international cultural exchange.

Since 1998 he has periodically collaborated with Melbourne-based performers Yumi Umiumare and Tony Yap in gallery, church, landscape and performance environments in Australia, Japan and Denmark. Between 1999 and 2007, he jointly conducted Butoh/drawing workshops at his base on the Wimmera River, west of Horsham. In 2007 he continued a biennial use of the local Natimuk Lutheran Church as an installation space, collaborating with 222 local and Japanese children.

In 2008/9 he participated in Drought – Cross Cultural Collaborations. Curated by Lella Cariddi,  it resulted in new solo and collaborative work being presented in 2008 in Melbourne at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australian Centre for the Moving Image and Federation Square. In 2009, installation work was commissioned for the Murray Darling Palimpsest #7, Mildura, and the Gold Mining Exchange Building in Ballarat.

His work is represented in collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, John McBride Collection, Australian Print Workshop and Artbank.

Since 2000, he has lived back on land on the Wimmera River in NW Victoria.

Al Seed

Al Seed

From 16 to 21 September 2008, British physical theatre artist Al Seed conducted an intensive workshop for actors and dancers interested in exploring physical theatre.

Al Seed giving feedback during the workshop.

Al Seed giving feedback during the workshop.

Al Seed is the Artist in Residence at The Byre Theatre, St. Andrews, and a Creative Associate of The Arches, Glasgow. He also works as a free-lance performer, writer and director and hosts master-classes in a range of disciplines.

Al received an M.A. in Theatre, Film & Television from the University of Glasgow before studying Physical Theatre and Contemporary Circus Skills at Circomedia, Bristol. He now creates both solo and collaborative works of theatre drawing on a variety of physical disciplines including clown, buffoon and mask-work and often combines the use of these disciplines ith original text.

Al is an award-winning artist who performances have toured in Europe, and he also has acted extensively for film and television. For more information, see his website http://www.alseed.net/.

Physical Theatre Workshop with Al Seed & Lina Limosani

From 16 to 21 September, British physical theatre artist Al Seed conducted an intensive workshop for actors and dancers interested in exploring physical theatre.

Al was invited to Rimbun Dahan by Australian resident choreographer Lina Limosani, to help her lay the foundations for her new contemporary dancework to be performed in Malaysia in December 2008. A number of the workshop participants will perform in the work.

Eight participants — Low Shee Hoe, Grace Ng, David Lim, Elaine Pedley, Suhaili Micheline bt Ahmad Kamil, Shirley Ng, Mcebisi Bhayi, Lee Hui Ling and Teresa Chian — spent long hours in the Dance Studio at Rimbun Dahan with Al and Lina working with masks and costumes, concentrating on rhythmic isolations, developing movements for inhuman creature characters, and being introduced to the painful and confronting truths of clown work.

 

Above: First day, taking creature work out into the garden. The task: reacting to every sound.

Below: The last day, creature work with self-made costumes in the dance studio, exploring what a costume wants to do.

EU & ME Dance Collective

EU & ME Dance Collective

pond

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).

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