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Eric Goh pieces together a history of Taman Sari, reading between the lines of existing sources and questioning how we write art.
The Politics of Pleasure in Taman Sari
Delving into previously unpublished sources, Noelle paints the life of rickshaw pullers in the city of Zamboanga during the turn of the century.
The Jinriksha Puller Is There
Adam Farhan writes about his experience visiting Kampung Cunex, the land of the Temiar in Perak. What emerges is a story about deforestation, politics and knowledge.
Cunex: The Rock Where the Sun Descended
Faris Joraimi translates an excerpt from the Hikayat Seri Rama, giving form to a lyric about the kampung.
The Kampung in Hikayat Seri Rama
An introductory reading, watching and looking list combating racism in Malaysia.
Anti-Racism in Malaysia: An Introductory Resource List
Nicole Ong takes a closer look at the album art produced by Koh Lee Meng, one of the first graphic designers in Malaysia. Through a study of his designs in the 70s and 80s, she tells a story about an emerging industry.
Designing Record Sleeves in 1980s Malaysia
Okui Lala takes a closer look at the plants at People’s Court, a block of 1950s-era flats in Penang. Plants tell different stories of endurance and accumulation, here communicated in video.
It takes a decade to grow a tree
Artist Hoo Fan Chon presents a series of paintings and drawings by Wu Ma, a self-taught artist in Penang, Malaysia.
Wu Ma of Thieves Market
On the sixth day of the Movement Control Order, Malaysia’s coronavirus lockdown, Kar Jin reflects on truth.
Truth in a Time of Coronavirus I
Examining a tranche of early 20th-century photographs of Malay women, O for Other critiques the layered histories behind the images, reckoning with their legacies.
Postcards of 20th-century Women in the Malay Archipelago
Where does the creole stand in the construction of Malayness? Simon pays attention to spaces of encounter, enacting a counter-cartography.
Shadows and Shades of Sovereignty (5/5)
A pair of tomb ancient tomb pillars from China during the Western Han dynasty open up a world between life and death filled with monuments, spatial rituals and quests for immortality.
Tomb Pillars: The Spatial Practice of Permanent Obscurity
How did the kebaya come to take on national significance across Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia? Yvonne Tan traces the cultural and social history of a costume, and how it became intertwined with the image of the state.
Nationalising the Kebaya in the Nusantara
Tracing a personal journey across three continents, Adam Farhan tells a global story of learning and teaching gamelan.
Jann Choy and Amanda Gayle spend some time with the owners and workers at the Kwong Yik Seng Crockery Shop in Kuala Lumpur before their closure in 2019. Their video is a tender, intimate portrait of a community about to bid goodbye.
Kwong Yik Seng Crockery Shop
This article is a parody of a 1994 Men’s Review article imagining the world in the year 2020. We extrapolate their logic in 2020, with its absurdities, impossibilities and the visions it telescopes.
In the Year 2020
How did British colonialists use language and maps used to establish dominion over the land of Malaya? In this article, Simon traces the idea of indigeneity in maps, texts and photographs.
The Bahasa of Politics (4/5)
In a wide-ranging survey of sources, Simon tells a story of how nature was implicated in the colonial project of making of the Malay archipelago.
Splendid Possibilities for the Planter and the Merchant (3/5)
Mahen Bala’s social history of Malaya and Selangor Mansions emerges from a loose series of recollections from those who call or have called it their home.
In this video, Justin Seng wonders how he can position herself in the feminist canon. A play on the now-classic feminist video art piece “Semiotics of the Kitchen” by Martha Rossler, Justin images and imagines himself in her wake.
Semiotics of the Kitchen
Kendy introduces the belief systems and a sacred object, the rasang, of the Bidayuh community.
Rasang and the Spirit World: Rituals, Symbols and Initiation in the Life of a Bidayuh Dayung Borih at Bau Sarawak
Artist Hoo Fan Chon explores the representational politics and history behind the aesthetics of his sampling of motifs and symbols of Georgetown.
“Bermimpi Demi Negara”: Reinterpreting Penang’s Coat of Arms
Lay Sheng looks at how the child slave controversy in the early 20th century elucidated larger debates on hygienic modernity, gender propriety and endemic racism at the heart of empire.
The Mui Tsai Controversy
Jin Tee reimagines the mythological creatures of nusantara as folktales for a contemporary audience.
History, Fantasy and Mitos Nusantara
Simon dwells into how one early colonial journal rigidified geographical, racial and language categorisations.
Indonesia, Melayunesia (2/5)
Dennis introduces us to the original site of Merdeka Park and its transformations as new urban infrastructures were layered atop, through the lens of national history and change.
The Forgotten Park on an Urban Promontory
With Welyne Jehom, we explore the significance of Pua Kumbu textiles for Iban women and their community, and how this has changed in recent times.
Textile Cultures – An interview with Welyne Jehom (Part 1)
Sifting through the detritus of various objects from the year 1969, Ong Kar Jin tells a speculative, weaving exploration of the memories of the racial riots of 13 May 1969.
Di Pinggiran May 13
Simon maps British cartographical ambitions, seen through a Map of the Malay Peninsula.