As a programme, ARTICULATE exemplifies how art continues to inspire hope even in the bleakest of times. The pandemic may have thrown a damper across the globe, yet ARTICULATE managed to bring together 40 young artists from 12 UK regions and 5 ASEAN countries, to collaborate and grow together through art.
Stories from Connections Through Culture 2020
Spearheaded by East Malaysian-based Sonia Luhong Wan and UK’s Catriona Maddocks, Bor(neo): NORTH+EAST is a collaborative project that creates meaningful cultural exchanges between creatives from North East of England, East Malaysia and Kalimantan. Since 2017, Borneo Bengkel, a collective of artists, musicians, social activists, and researchers, has been hosting creative residency programmes physically. However, when the pandemic struck, the Borneo Bengkel team decided to take their initiative virtually.
‘Life Cycle’ or ‘IMoTAS' as it was originally called, was first composed by Paul Philbert MBE in 1994 inspired by the sudden passing of his tutor, and friend earlier the same year. In 2011, Paul rearranged the piece using a combination of electronica, live and pre-recorded percussion and the Gamelan, for Hands Percussion’s debut gamelan concert ‘RI YUE CHU YIN’ telling a story of birth, life, tragedy and hope. The British Council Connections Through Culture Grant brought Hands and Paul together again to collaborate online for Life Cycle 2021.
At a time when climate change is affecting the entire planet, global connections using natural materials are important to explore for solutions. Narratives of Soil is the brainchild of UK designer, Eliza Collin and Malaysian architect turned multidisciplinary artist, Wendy Teo. Their research project, Narratives of Soil, explores the cultural and artistic significance of mud in design.
What happens when a few theatre practitioners get playful with Shakespeare? Can we tell a Shakespeare story with mundane objects and perhaps digital ones too? These were some of the questions that led to the outcome of OBJECTing Shakespeare.
On the Queer Time of Elephants is an evolving project that melds physical, long-distance exchanges over the pandemic that eventually weaves into an experimental film. It draws parallels between the impacts affecting important queer venues in the UK and the wild Asian elephants inhabiting the rainforests in Malaysia.
Reciprocal Space is an online collaborative residency and cultural exchange between Malaysian-based artist Lee Mok Yee and UK-based artist Laura Porter, who both work in sculpture and installation. Across a span of eight-weeks, the two artists created art pieces in response to one another; pushing each other to experiment, share research and set tasks that challenge their practice.