Stream time: Making a gambus, futurism in Asian art history

  • Arts
  • Saturday, 11 Jun 2022

A screen shot of the 'Fragmen: Seni Pembuatan Gambus' mini documentary.


Date and Time: June 11, 8pm

Artistic director Yap Sau Bin, a member of KL-based artist initiative Rumah Air Paas, will moderate this talk, featuring Takamori Nobua, a Taiwanese independent curator with Japanese descent. The talk will focus on the 2021 Asian Art Biennial: Phantasmapolis, which was organised by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts and co-curated by the speaker.

The 2021 Asian Art Biennial: Phantasmapolis project seeks to evoke the hidden context of futurism in Taiwanese and Asian art histories. The discussion will also focus on how South-East Asian artists reflect their imagination for this topic, and what "future" means to South-East Asian societies and cultures.

Phantasmapolis: Toward Asian Arts Futurism will be streamed for free via Zoom.

More info here.


Date and Time: Unlimited

The gambus (a short-necked lute) and the Zapin dance (a traditional dance mostly associated with Johor) are inseparable. It is this specific instrument that makes the music for Zapin. Follow Halidan Ithnin from Kampung Parit Hailam in Johor, a gambus-maker who is keeping the trade and the craft alive. This short video - in Bahasa Malaysia - by the Malaysian National Film Development Corporation (Finas) gives viewers a glimpse of how the gambus is made and why it is so important to zapin.

Fragmen: Seni Pembuatan Gambus can be streamed for free via Finas’ Youtube channel.

Find out how textiles have become an important cultural material that brings the different ethnic groups together in Sarawak. Photo: HandoutFind out how textiles have become an important cultural material that brings the different ethnic groups together in Sarawak. Photo: Handout


Date and Time: June 23, 5pm

This is the sixth episode of Badan Warisan Malaysia’s six-part webinar "Spotlight On Sarawak" series.

Did you know that the earliest evidence of textiles in Sarawak are fragments associated with burials that were recovered from the Niah Cave in Sarawak? This cave was inhabited by prehistoric humans 40,000 years ago. And that the first known material to be used for clothing was the bark of trees, which was practised by indigenous peoples all over Sarawak?

Find out from Dr Welyne Jehom all about the various types of textiles that are used in Sarawak and how, despite the fact that the various ethnic groups in Sarawak come from different social backgrounds and have been raised in different cultural environments, these textiles have become an important cultural material that brings the groups together.

More info here.

Pauline Fan (left) and Swarna Rajagopal in conversation in GTLF's 'Shut The Blinds' series. Pauline Fan (left) and Swarna Rajagopal in conversation in GTLF's 'Shut The Blinds' series.


Date: Unlimited

The "Shut The Blinds" online series, an initiative by George Town Lit Festival (GTLF), features conversations with writers, publishers, filmmakers, and artists locally, around the region, and globally. In this latest edition, Pauline Fan, the GTLF director, speaks to host Swarna Rajagopal, about the challenges in organising and curating such an event in Malaysia.

Fan also shares her thoughts and experiences of running the festival as an online concern in the last two years where the pandemic forced on-site events to take a backseat.

For this year GTLF, Fan is joined again by Izzuddin Ramli, who resumes the role as festival curator. This year, the team will be joined by guest festival curators M. Navin (Tamil literature) and Dr Florence Kuek (Mahua Literature). The festival returns to George Town, Penang from Nov 24-27.

More info here.


Date and Time: Unlimited

Anak Muda Buka Panggung is a new segment in the Dramatic Dialogue podcast hosted by Syafiq Syazim. This segment features five young traditional arts practitioners and activists who will be sharing about their respective fields - the origins, the traditions and the challenges.

Get to know the Minangkabau folk theatre randai from Adieyka Zainal, bangsawan from Aim Zackry, wayang kulit Kelantan from Kamarul Baisah, Kedah’s mek mulung from Saifulwazien and teater tutur from Yusmar Yusof.

This new segment is supported by the Cultural Economy Development Agency (Cendana).

Buka Panggung refers to the performance structure present in any traditional performance that marks the beginning of a story.

This project aims to start a conversation about Malaysian traditional art forms and raise public awareness.

Anak Muda Buka Panggung can be streamed on Spotify.

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