Malaysia-Indonesia art project reframes ‘border thinking’, regional connections


There is a proposed undertaking to demolish and rebuild Kapallorek Artspace in Seri Iskandar in Perak.

But it is a fictional endeavour, significantly like the large aquarium on the shores of Penang, the turtle statue in Perak, the giant binoculars in Kuantan, Pahang to admire the South China Sea, and the construction of a quite prolonged bridge involving Melaka and Dumai in Sumatra.

These are all portion of the Lintas_Laut study challenge currently on display screen at Kapallorek, a collaboration amongst Malaysian artists (KC Tan, Okui Lala, Mahen Bala and Izat Arif) and Indonesian artwork collective Tromarama, comprising Febie Babyrose, Ruddy Hatumena and Herbert Hans.

Developing on the literal translation of “lintas laut” (traversing the sea), the undertaking examines infrastructures that traverse the sovereignty of Malaysia and Indonesia, facilitating movements concerning these two international locations in the kind of cultural, political and financial transactions.

Led by curator Roopesh Sitharan, the consequence of this exchange is presented in two projects: Pasir Berbakti Kepada Rakyat by the Malaysian artists, and La Rendition by Tromarama in Indonesia.

The notion of exchange

This task was conceived as an expansion of an initial exchange programme by Kapallorek, exactly where the Lintas Batas initiative (2018) centered on creative and pedagogical exchange in between artists from Malaysia and Thailand.

Lintas Batas is not directly linked with this undertaking, but it instigated me to suggest Lintas_Laut to Kapallorek. It also serves as a precursor to Kapallorek’s ambition to hook up with the region.

At the 'Lintas_Laut' exhibition, a round platform invites visitors to touch and play with sand, and to weigh in on the idea that sand is not static and stable, but an object of high commodity value that is being moved without us realising it. Photo:  KapallorekAt the ‘Lintas_Laut’ exhibition, a round system invitations site visitors to touch and play with sand, and to weigh in on the notion that sand is not static and steady, but an item of large commodity worth that is getting moved with no us realising it. Photo: Kapallorek

“I was ready to set a far more crucial lens on the concept of trade impressed by the previously initiative of Kapallorek. The premise that connects these two programmes is the concept of ‘exchange’,” says Roopesh.

In Pasir Berbakti Kepada Rakyat, the artists observe the motion of commodity (sand) alongside the coast of Malaysia and Indonesia, and suggest these imaginary initiatives as an effort and hard work to justify the shifting of the sand.

“It investigates the motion of sand both equally actually and figuratively. The function as a complete would make visible the motion of sand throughout point out and worldwide borders, and how sand is framed as uncooked content (construction and land reclamation) and as a commodity (mining and exports).

“It signifies the sovereignty of Malaysia, basically the land in which we stand and assert possession,” says the 4-artist Malaysian group in a statement.

The team (from left: KC Tan, Mahen Bala, Izat Arif, Roopesh and Okui Lala) embarked on a research trip to several mining sites in Perak where sand samples were collected analysed. Photo: Roopesh Sitharan The staff (from still left: KC Tan, Mahen Bala, Izat Arif, Roopesh and Okui Lala) embarked on a study trip to a number of mining web sites in Perak where by sand samples were collected analysed. Photo: Roopesh Sitharan

They also replicate (genuine) ambitious assignments that have been abandoned.

At Kapallorek Artspace, these projects are introduced as pictures of electronic composites of enhancement signboards from the organic landscape.

“These web pages have been chosen as a response to different problems, for case in point land reclamation in Penang, rampant privatisation of seashores on the East Coastline, and sand mining in Perak. In spite of problems of increasing sea levels, coastlines of South-East Asian nations keep on to be aggressively formulated with little regard to environmental effects or sustainability,” the assertion carries on.

As aspect of this venture, the group embarked on a analysis vacation to quite a few mining internet sites in Perak exactly where sand samples had been collected and brought to Jabatan Mineral Dan Geosains Malaysia to be analysed.

“The objective of the exploration vacation was to expose ourselves to the challenge that we have determined to address by this exchange programme. Guided by the strategy of ‘traversing the sea’, the issue became apparent to us as we started searching at the shorelines of the Straits of Malacca when looking at the possibilities of crossing around to achieve Indonesia.

Founded by Fadly Sabran in 2014, Kapallorek is a non-profit, alternative platform for emerging/experimental artists and art researchers. Photo: KapallorekStarted by Fadly Sabran in 2014, Kapallorek is a non-revenue, alternate platform for emerging/experimental artists and art researchers. Picture: Kapallorek

“Witnessing the abandoned tasks and land reclamation in Melaka, we were driven to examine the motion of sand. The check out to Jabatan Mineral served us to greater comprehend how the sand as a material is classified for commodity needs and enabled us to see the distribution of different minerals and sands in the total Malaysia, importantly the marking of prospective web pages for long term sand mining and commercialisation,” suggests Roopesh.

Shifting sands

At the exhibition, a moving round platform invitations visitors to contact and enjoy with sand.

“The plan below is to elevate the materiality of sand as currently being some thing beneath us to a status of relevance that needs our focus.

“This interest is primarily to convey the notion that the sand is not static and steady, but an object of substantial commodity value that is remaining moved without us realising. Appropriately, these sands were bought from a industrial vendor to illustrate the availability of sand for obtain by anyone,” explains Roopesh.

Meanwhile, La Rendition at ROH Gallery in Jakarta is an installation that examines the legacy of Negaraku. In this setup, 16 soprano recorders play notes from La Rosalie, a music that was adopted as the royal anthem of Perak in 1901 and later on as the countrywide anthem of Malaysia in 1957.

Okui Lala gathering sand from a mining site at Bota, near Perak river, to be analysed. Photo: Roopesh SitharanOkui Lala accumulating sand from a mining internet site at Bota, around Perak river, to be analysed. Picture: Roopesh Sitharan

These recorders are
linked to a computer system the place a programme interprets any tweets with the hashtag #country into binary codes that interfere with the tune remaining played. This fluid adaptation of a melody throughout several regions is literally translated and represented as an data transaction that is familiar with no boundaries.

The online video of the physical set-up in Jakarta is broadcasted live and played at Lintas_Laut at Kapallorek.

“The audio from the piece is prolonged to the bordering space of Kapallorek in a variety of live audio broadcast utilizing a horn speaker. The audio rendition is played loudly akin to a simply call for prayer, hence achieving audiences further than the gallery readers,” claims Roopesh.

Kapallorek, established by Fadly Sabran in 2014, serves as a non-revenue, different system for rising/experimental artists and art researchers. It began as a smaller rented room in a shophouse.

The 'La Rendition' installation at ROH Gallery in Jakarta is broadcast live to Kapallorek Artspace in Seri Iskandar in Perak, as part of the Lintas_Laut exhibition.The ‘La Rendition’ set up at ROH Gallery in Jakarta is broadcast dwell to Kapallorek Artspace in Seri Iskandar in Perak, as aspect of the Lintas_Laut exhibition.

Today, in collaboration with Espresso Machine cafe, it has its personal 3-storey developing with an indoor and outside showroom, products shop, mini library, cafe and rooftop.

“We carry out many art functions right here, these kinds of as artwork exhibitions, conversations, workshops, performances and residencies. Primarily based on my working experience as an artist who has been associated in the present-day visible arts sector for virtually 15 decades, I would say that we absence room and opportunities that give artists the liberty to experiment,” says Fadly.

“For case in point, new media operates have been gaining acceptance all all over the earth, but in Malaysia, they do not get the room they ought to have. I imagine new media artwork or cross-disciplinary artwork is anything that is timeless.

“Art and know-how need to have to transfer with the times to shape a modern society that is not only resourceful but also critical.

“Art pursuits in Malaysia are quite a great deal centered in the Klang Valley so I hope that Kapallorek as an independent artwork area outside the house the major metropolis, can contribute in our have way to the development of the visible arts in Malaysia and help explore new expertise,” he adds.

Lintas_Laut is on at Kapallorek in Seri Iskandar, Perak until April 10 (10am to 5pm every day).


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