Clara Chow

Clara Chow

Clara Chow (Singapore) is the author of two short-story collections: Dream Storeys (2016) and Modern Myths (2018). The former was born out of interviews with Singapore architects about their imaginary buildings, while the latter reworks Greek myths in Singaporean settings.

Her work has also been published in the likes of Columbia Journal, Asia Literary Review, Cha, Litro and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore (QLRS). In 2018, she was awarded Prairie Schooner‘s Jane Geske Award for her story “Siren (Redux) by Haley Tien-Warrior – 25th Anniversary Oral History/DJ Cliffhanger Remix – MUST LISTEN! THE FEELS…Awesome…”.

A former journalist and arts correspondent, she has taught creative writing at Nanyang Technological University and English literature at the Singapore University of Social Studies. She co-founded the online literary and art journal WeAreAWebsite.com in 2015. 

Clara is a writer in our Southeast Asian Arts Residency program of 2018. At Rimbun Dahan, she is working on a joss-paper novel, meant to be burnt after reading. The work will explore taboos associated with book-burning, funeral rituals and Asian superstition.

Links to stories online:

“Bare Bones”

http://columbiajournal.org/fiction-by-clara-chow-bare-bones/

Excerpt from “The Wheel”

https://www.asiancha.com/content/view/3385/692/

Excerpt from “Siren (Redux)…”

https://muse.jhu.edu/article/686564/pdf

Lily Yulianti Farid

Lily Yulianti Farid

Lily Yulianti Farid is a media, communication and gender & development specialist, researcher, trainer and translator with more than 15 years of experience in Indonesia, Japan and Australia. Lily has worked as a communication specialist, writer, radio journalist, producer, presenter, translator and interpreter (English – Indonesian Language). She holds a PhD in Gender studies at the University of Melbourne through an Australian Leadership Award scholarship. She is the founder/director of Makassar International Writers Festival in Indonesia and the co-founder of Indonesia’s first citizen journalism website. Lily has led media and communications training and capacity building workshops for Members of Parliament, government officials, Indonesian journalists, and community organisations, and has extensive experience designing media campaigns and engagement strategies for Indonesian women’s organisations. She is a professional translator and interpreter (Indonesian/English). In 2013 she translated Anita Roddick’s Book, Business as Unusual from English to Indonesia. Roddick is the founder of the Body Shop and a pioneer of social-entrepreneurship. She also produced monologue/play for women and produced Singing Your Poetry Program for youth in Indonesia.

Since 2011, Lily is the founder and director of Makassar International Writers Festival, co-founder and executive director of Rumata’ Artspace Indonesia, executive producer of Makassar South East Asian Film Academy, the producer for INDONATION (2011), Charity Concert in Melbourne in association with Indonesian Students Association, Deakin University.

Lily participated at Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (2008-2013), Singapore Writers Festival (2009), Word Storm Writers Festival Darwin (2010), Byron Bay Writers Festival Australia (2012), Melbourne Writers Festival (2013 and 2017), British Council Edinbrugh Festival (2016), Frankfurt Book Fair (2015), Europhalia Arts Festival (2017), George Town Literary Festival (2014), Indonesian International Book Fair Festival (2017), Winternachten Festival (2009), Pasar Malam Paris (2008).

Lily will be at Rimbun Dahan for one month under our Southeast Asian Arts Residency program. She is working to document and examine narratives and creative works in Malaysia and to interview Malaysian writers, publishers and literary communities during her residency.

Dhiyanah Hassan

Dhiyanah Hassan

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.

Find out more about Dhiyanah’s work on her website and Instagram.

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

Ineza Roussille

Ineza Roussille

Ineza Roussille

Ineza Roussille is an independent documentary filmmaker from Malaysia. She’s produced videos for local NGOs on various social issues. These include videos for Yayasan Chow Kit on street children, for the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG), a coalition of local feminist civil society organisations, on the importance of women’s participation in the elections (Undi Anda, Suara Anda), a series for PT Foundation on People Living with HIV (PLHIV), and for UNICEF on children’s rights in Malaysia. Currently Ineza is working on an ongoing campaign called I Am You: Be A Trans Ally, which aims to raise awareness on the issues of the Transgender community in Malaysia, and complement the efforts regarding the recent judicial challenge against laws that infringed on the rights of the Trans* community.

Other than her documentary work, she has also worked on several creative side projects, including a short film entitled Blackbird, and a mockumentary on lesbians in KL entitled, Angmo & Amoi. Angmo & Amoi has been screened at various queer film festivals including in Manila, Philippines, Jakarta, Indonesia, and Austin, Texas in the USA. She recently won first prize for the PLHIV series at the Red Ribbon Short Film competition, organized by the Malaysian AIDS Council.

She’ll be in residency at Rimbun Dahan for January 2016 to work on a memoir project to explore the story of her father’s life, which may be turned into a graphic novel further down the line.

“As fulfilling as my journey into video activism has been, I feel like I need to step away from the camera and focus more on my writing. My father passed away in March this year, and while clearing out his apartment, I realized I was surrounded by his life story. From the primary school report cards that he kept, to the disgustingly smoke stained walls of his apartment, the visuals in that space painted a picture of him I knew so well, and yet did not understand at all. I realized I needed to write his story, from the perspective of the only person who had the experience of being his child. In writing his story, I hope to allow myself the space to personally grieve his loss, and at the same time produce a story that would make him proud.”

 

Kafayat Quadri

Kafayat Quadri

Kafayat Quadri is a poet (poetographer), singer-songwriter, music producer and a certified attorney. She was the first African to speak and perform at the TEDxKLwomen, Malaysia in 2013. Her music and poetry have been performed on the stages of George Town Literary Festival, KAKISENI International Arts Festival, Generation-Y Music Festival, Lake Garden Music Festival, Coffee & Fringe Art Festival, and so on.

Her first album ‘KQ the EP’ which she co-produced with Aman Junaid, a Grammy Award Recipient and her second album ‘April 16′, instrumentals in honour of her mother can both be found on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music & VEVO. Her prose poem was recently shortlisted by the PWDC Writers Workshop by Bernice Chauly for the End Violence Against Women Campaign & GTLF 2015. She is a recipient of the Hotel Penaga Artist Residency 2016 and her first poetry collection is due to be published by Garden Bench in the same year.

In anticipation of her first collection of poems, Kafayat is working on interpreting some of the poems from the upcoming poetry collection, Aquarius, alongside her photography as printed on canvas, which would be exhibited at the Penaga Hotel at the end of her residency. The photography exhibition would be from the 30th January until the 29th of February 2016.

Also, during her residency, she would commence work on the composition of the music to be featured in her 3rd album in collaboration some Malaysian rappers and poets (especially the Penang-based ones) for her newly found music & poetry genre – RAPCOUSTICS, which comprises mainly of a single musical instrument accompanied to a rap or poetry rendition with musical choruses at intervals which would come from a direct and on-spot musical interpretation of the poem or rap as rendered by the featured artist.

She is the founder and the Managing Editor of the Poetry Digest Magazine in Nigeria and hopes to get the world reading, writing and sharing poetry everyday.

Golda Mowe

Golda Mowe

Golda Mowe is a fiction writer from Sarawak, author of Iban Dream, a book about Bujang, a young boy orphaned in the rainforest and brought up by a family of orangutans, but whose adult future has already been decided for him by Sengalang Burong, the Iban warpath god. On reaching adulthood, Bujang must leave his ape family and serve the warpath god as a warrior and a headhunter. The follow up to Iban Dream is titled Iban Journey.

I have loved folklore, myths and spooky stories since I was a child growing up in Sarawak and, the funny thing is, instead of dampening my interest, the more I immersed myself into the ‘practical’ world, the more stories I began to think up. In addition to that, living on Borneo allows me to explore the beliefs and superstitions of multiple cultures, because apart from our own Asian ones we are also exposed to western beliefs from our colonial heritage.

— Golda Mowe

Golda is now working on the manuscript for her third book, set in the ancient trading port of Santubong in the 7th Century, during the rise of Srivijaya in Sumatra and before the fall of Tarumanagara in Jawa. She is hoping the lush surroundings in Rimbun Dahan will give her the distraction free environment she needs to write the story to completion. To find out more about her work, please visit her website.

Golda Mowe Photo

Caption from author’s website: The tall four-post baskets are called lanji and are used for carrying the rice harvest back to the longhouse. The smaller basketsare sintong and are used to collect rice panicles during harvesting. These baskets are heirlooms from the family of Penghulu James Semilan anak Gaong, Bawang Assan.

Martha Soemantri

Martha Soemantri

Martha Soemantri (b.1984, Berlin) is a trained art & cultural manager, researcher and writer. She has worked in managerial & curatorial capacity in art & cultural projects for years with invested interest in mutual heritage, material objects (cultural artefacts, textiles in particular), women artists and art & cultural education for young audiences. Her past projects span several cities such as Singapore, Shanghai, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bali, Bandung, Utrecht, and Arnhem.

Her focus of research at Rimbun Dahan during her one month residency is on women artists’ practices in the Southeast Asian Region. Her journal and writings can be found on her blog.

Martha Soemantri

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.

Zedeck Siew

Zedeck Siew

zedeck

In 2011, Malaysian writer Zedeck Siew spent three months in residence at Rimbun Dahan.

Bio

Zedeck Siew has been a journalist, editor and critic for art journal Kakiseni, news website The Nut Graph, lifestyle magazine Klue, and community-level information portal Poskod Malaysia. He has written about bad lobby art at the UMNO General Assembly, seen some truly horrendous theatre, and covered a by-election in rural Kelantan. He has also dabbled in performance – most notably in Five Arts Centre’s 2009 experimental shadow-puppet play Wayang Fajar. In 2011, he left gainful employment in media to work on fiction.