I have been doing a lot of consideration this week into the work/s I want to develop during this residency, and somehow thoughts have left Cheng Ho pretty far behind. At this point of time, it is difficult to position him as a character within the narrative I am developing but let's see how it progresses eventually.

So, to summarize my second week in Rimbun Dahan, I am currently working on three works:

1. The Wau, frottage collages and performance with participants

2. Bad Apple, performance with objects and installation

3. Sylph, found images and winged seed collage

And this week's entry will document the progress I have done with each works.

Work #1

The Wau

This is the continuation of what I posted last week with the plan of creating images with collections of Wau. I am preparing the materials to create so, and outcome at this point of time is very much undetermined.




I managed to prepare the materials ready for construction next week; 6 colors with an approximate of 300-400 paper coins each.

I have always find it rather easy to deal with monochromatic colors when producing works so this can be considered to be the very few when I tried to use otherwise. The choice of colors are not necessarily referring to anything in particular but images that remind me of Malaysia- or what I, as a visitor perceives the city, the country, the extraction of culture and associate them with colors I can get myself familiar with.

They are two shades of blue, green, red, grey and gold. These colors are also commonly found in Peranakan furniture, designs and objects which I suppose follow the interest towards racial and cultural amalgamation.

I enjoy the process of frottaging, despite it being time consuming and ca be physically straining but the child-like quality is attractive. Furthermore, the idea of duplicating coins, is almost a childish way of counterfeiting, almost an indirect performative act of illegal trade and crime. I suppose this is also a reflection upon Cheng Ho's Treasure Fleet (where the word is taken on a rather literal level).





Work #2

Bad Apple

I was given the opportunity to participate in a dance event on Saturday and Sunday in Rimbun Dahan and took the first few days of the week to think about a work. While chain of thoughts were not necessarily or consciously related to the Wau, it ended up with a performance piece I had always wanted to create, which is to a movement based piece with Touhou Project's Bad Apple. Unfortunately, I could not find enough time to prepare and had to back out from the event, but I will still pursue this as a complimentary project during the residency.

So just a start, Bad Apple is a famous soundtrack from Touhou Project (東方 Project) which in itself is a 2D vertical-scrolling danmaku (bullet hell) shooting game developed by Team Shanghai Alice. (PS: despite it being a Team, it is actually a one man developer codenamed ZUN whose real name is 太田順也 Junya Ota. I think this guy is a legend, he practically developed the games, which have already been released twenty over versions by himself. It was first released in 1996 under PC-98 console and up to date it has been developed (mostly fan based, mind you that Touhou Project is also- according to Guinness Book of Records, the most prolific fan-based game) to other genre of video games (in fact almost every genre- you name it), as well as card games, manga, novels and even anime. So basically, Touhou Project is beyond amazing and what keeps making it so, is also the great soundtrack it has- Bad Apple among the top of the list.

So without further ado, here you go, this is the song, Bad Apple:

The music video was also fan-made which have been implemented to various styles, even very popular in Vocaloid.

The original sketch (on the left) is uploaded by the 'creator' (not ZUN) and he asked others to create a music video- and apparently some really talented person did end up finishing it. 

This is also a good link to know about the characters behind the silhouette:


And if you youtube Bad Apple, you can find various adaptation, from videos carved from an actual apple, to minesweepers collage, to silhouette of other games. I think it really shows how expansive Japanese fan-based communitiesare and the creativity is something very commendable.

and in case you are still wondering what the hell (pun intended) Touhou is all about, this short youtube video is a good introduction:

I got to learn about Bad Apple from Vocaloid- no less and was instantly attracted to it. Although I have never had the chance to play Touhou Project, and in fact not the biggest fan of danmaku, my fascination was in the beat itself and the very female-centric, in fact bishoujo-centricness of Touhou itself. It was kawaii in general but not as sexualized as compared to other bishoujo titles.

So it was a material that I want to work with. A performance piece borrowing Bad Apple.

Work #3


I think it is inevitable to be attracted and inspired by the nature while in Rimbun Dahan. And I found winged seeds scattered around the complex. This is definitely what I have been attracted and definitely another material for another work. I collected some and they are back in my cottage. I have been searching for magazines to continue this work for the past days but to no avail, will look again next week.






On a side note, I managed to visit an exhibition on Orang Asli (indigenous community) at Galeri Petronas titled MANAH: A LIVING LEGACY.

I feel it was quite relevant to the development of my work and as expected, the exhibition leans towards anthropological showcases. I personally find that the showcase was too one dimensional.

However though, at the end of the circular route of the gallery, audience are encountered with two a more contemporary forms of indigenous creative products. One work by Kendy Mitot titled Bilayar Simonggi l'end D'e Plobuo (The Last Voyae of the Souls) was interesting.

I guess it resonates to what I am planning to develop, with the ship images, material-specific among many other elements.




And on the weekend, Rimbun Dahan hosted a dance event, showcasing 13 choreographs. A friend, Rithaudin Adul Kadir presented a piece about his root  that aims to explore his indigenous identity. I enjoy the images he create through costume and material, as wel as his response towards the site. The part where he sliced through the lotus pond was simply spot on.