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Local Social Enterprise Catama Gathers Artist From Across Borneo & South East Asia To Present New Work In Contemporary Exhibition “Dalam”
Featuring 14 artists and collectives from Borneo- Sarawak, Sabah, Kalimantan and Brunei, as well as West Malaysia, United Kingdom and Australia, the exhibition is the first of its kind in Sarawak
Malaysia
December 2022

This December local social enterprise and cultural initiative Catama are hosting a 10-day contemporary art exhibition featuring artists, craft artisans, musicians and cultural practitioners from Borneo – Sarawak, Sabah, Kalimantan and Brunei – as well as West Malaysia, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Zakaria Pangaribuan’s piece ‘BALA’ represents his Dayak culture through a contemporary sculpture

Photo by Catama Borneo

Entitled “DALAM” the exhibition explores themes of the other, the interior, the seen and unseen, alongside the intersection between cultural and craft practices and creative expression. Hosted at Think&Tink, the site of the former Ting&Ting supermarket, an iconic Kuching landmark that has now become a creative hub, the exhibition features new works that have never previously been seen in East Malaysia. 

West Kalimantan photographer Hardiyanti will be exhibiting her series ‘Semengat Padi’ documenting the rice rituals carried out by the Iban community of Ulu Kapuas

Photo by HardiyantiCatama Borneo

Running alongside the 10-day exhibition will be a series of in-person talks, dialogues and artist tours, during which members of the public will have the opportunity to meet some of the 14 featured artists and collectives and discuss their work and inspiration with them.

Catama’s creative director and the exhibition curator Catriona Maddocks said: “This exhibition explores themes of identity, craft and the inner world; the dalam and the alam that we create, expressed through audio-visual storytelling, woven craft installations, textile art and spatial documentation”.

Leopold Garett will be presenting his work entitled ‘Memories’ which is a contemporary wool tufted pua kumbu cloth

Photo by Catama Borneo

Featured exhibits include a four-metre tall installation made from  100 woven mats created by artisans from the Iban community of Rumah Perdu, in Ulu Spak, alongside sculptures and photographs from West Kalimantan artists Zakaria Pangaribuan and Hardiyanti that explore indigenous traditions, beliefs and contemporary lives. Additionally, a number of audio-visual pieces will be presented in form of videos, sound installations and projections, by Ayesha Keshani, Harold Reagan Eswar @ EGN and Tiyan Baker. Textile works will be showcased by Bethany Balan, Elroy Ramantan, Iona Danald and Leopold Garett Anak Jawan. Sculptures by Anyshya Anak Jusam, an installation by Armanzaki Azrs and print works by Sharon Chin will also be featured.

Artist Iona Danald will be presenting her textile piece Resurrection, created from her grandmother, aunty and mother’s vintage sarong collection

Photo by Catama Borneo

Maddocks continued “The art scene in Kuching has really boomed in the past few years, especially with places like Think&Tink by Borneo Laboratory, and Seni Kita festival by HAUS KCH. We can see that audiences are interested in new, experimental work, but very often we still see exhibitions only featuring paintings of hornbills and longhouses. Whilst these are important symbols of Sarawak’s heritage, this exhibition is an opportunity for contemporary artists from Borneo and beyond to push beyond these themes to express their modern lives, experiences and artforms whilst still honouring craft traditions”.

Craft artisans from the Rumah Perdu community stand beside some of the 100 mats that were commissioned by Catama and will be turned into an art installation

Photo by Catama Borneo

The exhibition is collaboratively produced with Borneo Bengkel, an arts platform, and will feature their “sem/bunyi” exhibition which recently premiered at George Town Literary Festival in Penang to much acclaim.

Two of the exhibits in the line-up came about through the support of the British Council via its Connections Through Culture 2019 and 2020 grants. Ayesha Keshani’s Muzium Alam, was conceptualised to be a physical project but later transformed into a digital one due to the pandemic. The resulting online archive will be presented at DALAM. Meanwhile “sem/bunyi” was born out of Borneo Bengkel’s Bor(neo) NORTH+EAST collaborative project, which had four cultural exchange projects: Soundbank, Connections Through Camera, Lingua Franca, and a Curatorial Mentorship.

Brunein artist Jang Elroy Anak Ramantan will be presenting his pua kumbu-inspired textile work ‘Buaya Putih’

Photo by Catama Borneo

Curator of Borneo Bengkel Sonia Luhong Wan said “sem/bunyi features poetry and audiovisual installations produced by collaborators from across Borneo and the United Kingdom, and tells of stories ‘hidden in plain sight; stories that are often neglected from national narratives, or only discovered by curious observers.  After presenting the work in Penang we’re really happy to bring it back to our home state and share it with local audiences”.

Luhong continued “Borneo Bengkel is a platform that has been working with creatives from across the island for the past five years. DALAM exhibition features a majority of women and/or indigenous artists, representing all nations of Borneo Island, alongside international artists and we really want to provide spaces and opportunities for Kuchingites to engage in these conversations too”.

Sarawakian artist Anyshya Jusam will be presenting her belian wood and metal sculptures at ‘DALAM’ exhibition

Photo by Catama Borneo

Curated by Catriona Maddocks and presented by Catama and Borneo Bengkel the exhibition will be hosted at Think&Tink, Kuching from 9th-18th December 2022.

Exhibition tours: 14th Dec 7 pm.

Artist tours on the 17th and 18th of December at 2 pm, are part of Seni Kita festival programming, which will be running adjacently at the Old Courthouse on the same weekend.

Renowned West Malaysian artist Sharon Chin will be exhibiting in Sarawak for the first time with her work ‘Rich Country’ a series of 30 bacteria prints made from reused tetrapak 

Photo by Chincarok Studio / Catama Borneo

EVENT DETAILS

TITLE: DALAM

LOCATION:  Think&Tink (Old Ting&Ting Supermarket, Kuching City Centre)

DATES:

Friday 9th – Sunday 18th December 2022, 12 pm – 7 pm: 

Exhibition opening times

Wednesday 14th December 2022: 7 pm:

Exhibition tour

Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th  December 2022:

12 pm, 2 pm: Exhibition tour &  sharing session (Seni Kita) Free entry, donations gratefully received

Poster by Catama Borneo

For more information on the “DALAM” exhibition, head over to www.senikita.carrd.co.

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