Ipoh makes cre­ative in­roads

Perak state cap­i­tal stakes its claim as a des­ti­na­tion in the in­ter­na­tional arts cir­cuit.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Culture - By DARYL GOH life­[email protected]­tar.com.my

WHEN you have two ex­per­i­men­tal-minded Bas Bis­ing (noisy bus) shows to book­end an arts fes­ti­val, you know you have some­thing spe­cial in the works.

The Bas Bis­ing se­ries, cu­rated by Ipoh-based Dr Ka­mal Sabran, an aca­demic and avant mu­si­cian, fea­tures a cast of re­gional ex­per­i­men­tal mu­si­cians who will give the up­com­ing Ipoh In­ter­na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val 2019 pro­gramme an edgy di­men­sion.

“There is no bet­ter time to push the bound­aries. Ipoh has a strong arts back­ground and it has been buzzing this year with var­i­ous cre­ative com­mu­ni­ties band­ing to­gether to put it on the na­tional map. From mu­sic to visual arts to ar­chiv­ing and cre­ative fo­rums, Ipoh has a net­work in place. With Bas Bis­ing, we also have a re­gional line-up to take things fur­ther,” says Ka­mal, who is the founder of the Space Gam­bus Ex­per­i­ment.

The Ipoh In­ter­na­tional Art Fes­ti­val 2019, which takes place at four main venues and sev­eral popup des­ti­na­tions in the Perak state cap­i­tal from Nov 30 to Dec 8, marks a new be­gin­ning for a dor­mant arts fes­ti­val se­ries that was last held in 2000.

The up­com­ing IIAF 2019, pre­sented by an eye-catch­ing team of nine cu­ra­tors, will fea­ture more than 100 arts prac­ti­tion­ers fill­ing out a week-long pro­gramme that in­cludes a con­tem­po­rary art ex­hi­bi­tion, pho­tog­ra­phy ex­hi­bi­tion, per­for­mance art, theatre, ex­per­i­men­tal and new mu­sic gigs, film and video art screen­ings, work­shops and fo­rums. In­die rock mu­sic and graf­fiti art events are also prom­i­nent in the fes­ti­val list­ings.

The fes­ti­val is free ad­mis­sion for all pro­grammes.

“The idea was to work with Tourism Perak and Ipoh’s artis­tic com­mu­ni­ties to re­boot the IIAF plat­form, in­tro­duced in the mid1990s. We started from scratch to re­build and re-en­er­gise the IIAF se­ries. The plan­ning and work has taken two years,” says Nur Hanim Mo­hamed Khairud­din, IIAF 2019 artis­tic di­rec­tor.

“We wanted to give it a broader, more con­tem­po­rary out­look, to present a fes­ti­val - more eq­ui­table and di­verse - that re­flects the times we’re liv­ing in,” she adds.

The IIAF 2019 fes­ti­val’s theme is “Cli­mate”.

“Cli­mate is about the con­di­tions we live in as hu­man be­ings. Cli­mate is about how we deal with changes in our en­vi­ron­ment – nat­u­ral, po­lit­i­cal, so­cial and eco­nomic – wher­ever we may be in the world,” says Nur Hanim.

IIAF 2019’s main ob­jec­tive is to help tourist/her­itage town Ipoh take on ad­di­tional vis­i­bil­ity – and re­spon­si­bil­ity – as one of the ma­jor Malaysian cities with its own “sig­na­ture” an­nual art fes­ti­val.

“The arts fes­ti­val model is chang­ing rapidly. It’s not about a big tent cir­cus com­ing to town. We have to recog­nise and sup­port lo­cal artis­tic com­mu­ni­ties, and create a fes­ti­val plat­form that has a last­ing im­pact and place in a city’s con­tem­po­rary cul­ture. Ipoh to­day is a vi­brant city for the arts and the IIAF has ar­rived at the right time to en­gage the masses,” she says.

This year, Ipoh has been busy with arts events such as Fes­ti­val Kolek­tif 2019, Perak Car­toon Fes­ti­val and the Ipoh Mu­sic Sym­po­sium, which fo­cused on Malaysian in­die mu­sic.

Mohd Jayzuan (or Jay), who is the main man for Pro­jek Rabak, an Ipoh-based in­die lit­er­a­ture and arts out­fit, will be cu­rat­ing a lit fo­rum at IIAF.

He re­veals that Ipoh as a cre­ative hub is not a fan­tas­ti­cal propo­si­tion.

“We’re just two hours away from KL, and that means peo­ple out­side Ipoh can eas­ily make their way here. What we have to en­sure is that Ipoh has enough art spa­ces and ac­tive com­mu­ni­ties to keep the mo­men­tum go­ing. Even if we have to do things on a shoe­string bud­get, we move ahead and place this IIAF as a model for the ‘can do’ spirit, which can be in­fec­tious when ev­ery­body comes to­gether,” says Jay.

The venues for IIAF are Muz­ium Darul Ridzuan, 22 Hale Street, PBUY Store and the PORT (Peo­ple Of Re­mark­able Tal­ents) space. The main high­lights of IIAF 2019:

Bas Bis­ing Ex­per­i­men­tal/ New Mu­sic Se­ries

Venue: Hale Street Park­ing Lot (Dec 1) and PORT (Dec 8)

Time: Dec 1 (9pm on­wards), Dec 8 (8pm on­wards)

To co­in­cide with the cli­mate theme, the Bas Bis­ing “stage” is a re­pur­posed bus, sal­vaged from the Ipoh City Coun­cil. It can be towed from venue to venue. These shows, driven by Ka­mal, will set stall (or vintage bus in this case) with new mu­sic, avant po­etry, noise “bomb­ing” acts and all things as­so­ci­ated with sound ad­ven­ture. It will see Ipoh ex­per­i­men­tal group Joni Mustaf, led by Mohd Jayzuan, shar­ing bus space with Lin­tang Ra­ditya, a prom­i­nent name in In­done­sia’s bur­geon­ing com­mu­nity of synth builders and noise artists, Sin­ga­porean per­former Has­nul Rah­mat, Azlan Dawai and LHTV/ EFN on Dec 1 at the Hale Street Park­ing Lot. The show at the PORT arts venue on Dec 8 fea­tures Dharma Shan (from Sin­ga­porean act The Ob­ser­va­tory), Wukir Suryadi (from In­done­sian ex­treme Nu­san­tara group Sen­jawa) along­side names such as Ran­jit Bois, Bart Ri­doos, Amin Arawi, Hafiz Chai, Ghost69, Amir Zain­orin, DJ Miko and FVRNV.

Cli­mate Art Ex­hi­bi­tion

Venue: Muz­ium Darul Ridzuan Date: Nov 30 to Dec 8

Time: 10am to 6pm

No state art gallery, no prob­lem. This con­tem­po­rary art ex­hi­bi­tion, fea­tur­ing 33 artists, at Muz­ium Darul Ridzuan is one of IIAF 2019’s an­chor events. Na­tional Art Gallery cu­ra­tor Tan Hui Koon and Bayu Utomo Rad­jikin (Hom Art Trans gallery founder) pro­vide cu­ra­to­rial sup­port. Malaysian artists in­clude Ram­lan Ab­dul­lah, Raja Shah­ri­man Raja Azid­din, Bayu Utomo Rad­jikin, Ah­mad Shukri Mo­hamed, Ah­mad Fuad Os­man, Mas­noor Ramli Mah­mud, Noor Az­izan Rah­man Paiman, Chang Yoong Chia, Bibi Chew, Hamidi Hadi, Sharon Chin, Sai­ful Raz­man, Sam­sudin Wa­hab and Cheng Yen Peng. Sev­eral re­gional artists are also on board, in­clud­ing South-east Asian artists such as Moe Satt (Myan­mar), Je­hab­dul­loh Jehsorhoh (Thai­land), Mo­ham­madsuriyee Masu (Thai­land), Ja­nuri (In­done­sia), Mo­hamad “Ucup” Yusuf (In­done­sia) and Ah­mad Abu Bakar (Sin­ga­pore).

Cli­mate Art Work­shops

Venue: Muz­ium Darul Ridzuan Date: Nov 30 and Dec 1

Time: 10am to 6pm

This art­mak­ing week­end, pre­sented by the Na­tional Art Gallery

and part­ners, at the mu­seum fea­tures a di­verse line-up of es­tab­lished artists, col­lec­tives and new­com­ers. The high­lights: The Af­ter­math Thinker artists col­lec­tive from Sarawak will con­duct a re­cy­cling work­shop to com­plete a life size sculp­ture to­gether with par­tic­i­pants. A lino print work­shop by Syari­fah Nad­hi­rah, who has just com­pleted her res­i­dency at the Rim­bun Dahan South-east Asian Art Res­i­dency Pro­gramme, is also an in­ter­est­ing ses­sion with her use of botan­i­cal el­e­ments. Not to be missed is also Chained To Plas­tic: The Un­man­age­able Waste, an ed­u­ca­tional work­shop on plas­tic waste cri­sis fu­elled by the oil and gas in­dus­try by Sharon Chin and Zedeck Siew. Both artists will teach par­tic­i­pants on how to de­sign plac­ards cre­atively to send a pow­er­ful mes­sage to the world. This work­shop wil­lend with a mock pa­rade. Check the list­ings for the full pro­gramme line-up.

Se­man­gat Pho­tog­ra­phy Ex­hi­bi­tion

Venue: 22 Hale Street

Time: Nov 30 to Dec 8

Date: 10am to 6pm

This ex­hi­bi­tion show­cases pho­tog­ra­phy works by a group of ex­pe­ri­enced Malaysian pho­tog­ra­phers. Se­man­gat, cu­rated by Syed Zarul Hisham, rep­re­sents the liv­ing con­di­tions and land­scapes that are in­flu­enced by na­ture’s el­e­ments of wa­ter, earth, wind and fire, or even the re­sults and ef­fects of the so­cial, cul­tural and po­lit­i­cal shifts. Par­tic­i­pat­ing artists are Seth Ak­mal, Ron­nie Ba­hari, Khairel Anuar Che Ani (Perak Man), Than­wan Singh, Za­nariah Salam, Nick Ng, Aerial Works, Chot Touch, Je­free Salim, Steve Tan, Senye­orita Os­man and Zamri Jasi. A fo­rum en­ti­tled Life As An Asli Artist ,in col­lab­o­ra­tion with arts out­fit Sharp­ened Word, will be held on Nov 30 at the venue prior to the open­ing cer­e­mony.

Film Week­end

Venue: PBUY Store

Date: Dec 6-8

Time: 3pm-11pm (Fri­day), 11am-11pm (Sat­ur­day/sun­day)

IIAF’S Film Week­end will be held dur­ing the fes­ti­val’s sec­ond week­end. Fea­tur­ing se­lected short films and videos cu­rated by Khaled Ra­madan (Le­banon-born artist, cu­ra­tor and film­maker) and Den­mark-based Malaysian visual artist Amir Zain­orin. This pro­gramme will take off with a screen­ing and talk ses­sion on Dec 6 with Amir, Khaled and Sin­ga­porean con­tem­po­rary artist, Zai Kun­ing who will be talk­ing about their film projects. IIAF 2019 will be pre­sent­ing se­lected short films and video works by Hanna Hus­berg (Fin­land), Fer­hat Ozgur (Turkey), Oliver Ressler (Aus­tria), Ste­fano Cago (Italy), Ur­sula Bie­mann (Switzer­land), Khaled Ra­madan (Le­banon), Hanna Ljungh (Swe­den), Zai Kun­ing (Sin­ga­pore), Amir Zain­orin (Malaysia-den­mark) and other Malaysian short films.

IIAF 2019 is an art fes­ti­val co-or­gan­ised by PORT and Tourism Perak with sup­port from the Na­tional Art Gallery, MOTAC Perak, Ipoh City Coun­cil and Muz­ium Darul Ridzuan. Face­book: Ipoh In­ter­na­tional Art Fes­ti­val 2019 (IIAF2019).

— sany mohd

dj miko is in the line-up for the bas bis­ing new mu­sic se­ries at the Ipoh In­ter­na­tional art Fes­ti­val 2019.

— Filepic

ac­claimed sin­ga­porean artist Zai Kun­ing, who is cur­rently based in Ipoh for re­search work, will be pre­sent­ing an acous­tic show­case on dec 5. He is also part of the film dis­cus­sion sur­round­ing his Riau doc­u­men­tary on dec 6.

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