I finally found a draft of the narrative and has shaped them to (I hope) a more concrete idea despite being very open still to changes.

So, I decided to have a working title for this residency:


characters I am working on:

1. the Moon Sailors, they are the soldiers carrying the Wau
2. the Laksamana, who is Cheng Ho
3. the Nameless, who is Joker from Flame of Recca or Nanashi from MÄR
4. the Magician, who is the yet to be named from Bad Apple
5. the Sylph, they are the half men half flying seed creatures

I am considering to include: (but I will not work on these during the residency)

6. the Seabird, Michiru who is Sailor Neptune from Sailor Moon
7. the Landbird, Haruka who is Sailor Uranus from Sailor Moon
8. the Nothing, who is Kaoru from Flame of Recca
9. The Tuxedo Mask, who is Mamoru from Saior Moon

I was reading up on the moon (from the Wau Bulan at the back of 50cent coins), sea voyages (Cheng Ho's treasure fleet) as well as gravity (Bad Apple). The pouzzle-like Wau brought me to Koganei whose weapon's fourth form is in the shape of cresent and while he fights with Joker, who wields a gravity-changing staff, things just seem to go together. I was afterall, looking to include Gravity or Demi from Final Fantasy series into this project.

Let's talk about the physics of tide itself.

Tide is the rise and fall of both sea and land level (although it is much more visual in sea) as a result of earth's gravitational forces exerted by both the moon and the sun as well as the earth's rotation itself.

I think it is a context which I have never touched before- but I see the relationship between the moon, gravity and earth (summarized as tide) as some form of the conflicting or ever balancing pressure within a society. There is always a pulling in and pulling out factor that affect a situation, a person, life in general. In this interest of work, of course I am focusing towards masculinity and minor ethnic identity and how those two elements often become reasons towards actions. At the same time, I feel that gravity, tide and both two bulges of the earth towards and against the moon create some sort of balance, not necessarily equal weight kind of balance but an equilibrium, a peace of mind, an acceptance of reality, a solution to deal towards problems.

At the same time, when it comes to gravity, it always reminds me of Demi or Gravity magic from Final Fantasy series, and at the same time Comet and Meteor spell. Just a side note.

1. The Wau

This brings me to my first work as mentioned last week. In regards to the above statement, I wish to collaborate with Malaysians who identify themselves as men and of Chinese ethnicity who are comfortable to share or talk about their penises. This will affect the shape and size of the sublunar and antipodal of the work which will be based on paper collage. I have created a rough sketch this week for this.




The three section circular shape will be part of the inner circle, while the sublunar and antipodal shape will be added on its exterior. Hence the work is almost like a puzzle of 5 different parts that can come together as a single oval or five smaller sections.

The color and texture will be something like the picture on the left.


sublunar and antipodal study 1

sublunar and antipodal study 2

2. 花儿为什么这样红 Why are the flowers so red?

This work is the one that will focus on Cheng Ho, and although I had a decision to put this on hold, I feel it is unfair to do so. One of the resident, Richard Orjis from New Zealand invited the resident artists to respond to the herbs found in Rimbun Dahan. It was a rather confusing list as they all mostly look alike but I am going with:

a. Etlingera Ittoralis Alpinieae (a kind of ginger flower that sprouts from the ground)
b. Capsicum Frutescens Solanaceae (red chilli padi)
c. Zingiber Griffithi Zingiberaceae (torch ginger)

So I had a thought of instead of using hibiscus as part of the visual element towards this character, who not the red flowers of the herbs? Since hibiscus itself might be too over exoticizing Malaysian identity, I think by smoothing it down a little bit by utilizing more towards visual element of color can result in a more universally available piece.

I have been creating the material for this work, which is frottage of RM1 coins with the keris design at its back.

Eventually, I plan to create a three-dimensional paper sculptures using this.







3. The Nameless, or the Joker
8. The Nothing or Kaoru

I have yet to think about what work for this- or maybe there is no need of one. But I will post some photos that also inspired the puzzle-like decision of work#1.

All of the images are from Flame of Recca manga.



4. Bad Apple

This is the Magician work. I have bought the lidi broom and grey/silver paint. Costume is pretty much ready too.

5. The Sylph

The plan is to get images of bodybuilder, preferably from local magazines, image transfer them onto wood and collage with the helicopter seed. But seems like those kind of magazines are a bit difficult to get hold of, so I am still looking for this.

6. The Seabird, Michiru
7. The Landbird, Haruka

9. The Tuxedo Mask, mamoru



I have been trying to attend a talk/discussion/workshop during my residency- something which I miss quite dearly from back when I was still in school. Last week was a talk on the history on Southeast Asian art writing by the acclaimed art historian TK Sabapathy. I did not cover that during last week's entry as it did not cover the topic that is related to my residency works. 

This week however, I attended a two hours discussion on forest logging and the blockade performed by the Orang Asli (indigenous community) in Kelantan, Malaysia. Cut the discussion short, it was highlighted the injustice experienced by the Orang Asli in regards to their home being taken away from them (the forest). It makes me question the state of ethnicity- as the Orang Asli are after all, 'Melayu', just that they might not exercise Islam as religion.

Another point what I find interesting was also the headdress that the two Orang Asli wore during the forum. I find it to be too exotic- almost highlighting their cultural background to fit other's expectations. However at the same time, it was also a showcase of pride and identity- which I greatly admire.

It made me think regarding social injustice with ethnicity and cultural background- that I hope will be able to compliment the context I am working on.

The forum was titled; Whose Forest Is It Anyway? and organized during Art for Grabs. The panelists were:

Nora Kantin & Mustafa Along, Temiar-Orang Asli activists from Gua Musang
Roger Chan, Malaysian Bar Council’s Committee on the Environment
Lim Teck Wyn, Forestry consultant, Technical Director, Resource Stewardship Consultants Sdn Bhd Moderated by Colin Nicholas, Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)