Tag Archives: malaysia

Times New Romance

Best known as the Malaysian winner of the second season of Asia’s Next Top Model who now walks runways around the world, Sheena Liam has also crafted a name for herself as an embroidery artist. Her delicate, minimalist art is sewn through with images of freedom and self-care.

She first picked up needlework from her mother in childhood, but only later on in her modeling career did she revisit the old-fashioned craft. It started out as a peaceful, expressive activity to keep herself occupied during downtime between jobs, but she slowly began taking it more seriously, and before she knew it she’d made a series.


人们记得 Sheena Liam 这个名字,是在她荣获了第二季超级名模大赛Next Top Model)马来西亚赛区冠军之后。她在追求全职模特生涯的同时,也为自己打造了一个刺绣艺术家的名号。她手下精致的极简艺术刺绣,一针针缝进了自由和自爱的女性形象。

小时候,在母亲的影响下,Sheena 第一次拿起针线。但直到后来她开始了模特生涯,才重新拾起了这门工艺。一开始,刺绣只是一种令人平静而又富有表达力的手工,Sheena 目的是让自己在工作间隙中保持忙碌。但渐渐地,她开始更认真地对待刺绣,不知不觉中一个系列的作品已经完工了。

“I was never really drawn to it as a practice until I started seeing all these other artists breaking boundaries with embroidered work, and I realized we weren’t bound to tradition and stagnant designs,” Liam says. Like the carefree movement of the hair detail, each piece is open to interpretation. “I’m not pushing any agenda on anyone.”  


直到我看到那些用刺绣来打破界限的大批艺术家们,我才真正为它吸引,我意识到我们并不受制于传统和死板的设计了。”Sheena 说。就像一针一线穿引发丝的动作,每一个细节都可以被细细解读。我不会催促任何人做任何事情。

The figures in her works are often based on Liam herself, stitched with dark-green thread that stands out against the off-white linen. They can take anywhere from four days to a month to complete, depending on their size and complexity. “Sometimes I’m doing something completely new, so it takes some trial and error before I have a finished product I’m okay with,” she explains.


她作品中的人物通常是以自己为原型,用深绿色的线缝制,与米色的亚麻布形成鲜明的对比。根据大小和复杂程度的不同,完成一幅作品可能需要四天到一个月的时间。有时候我正在做一些全新的尝试,所以在我完成一个作品之前,我需要一些反复试验。

Each piece explores a moment in a woman’s life, from simple daily routines, like changing clothes or getting ready for a girl’s night out, to subtle moments of empowerment, like independently braiding or cutting off one’s hair for the first time. Just as she does in her modeling, her figures convey a mood or feeling through posture and pose. The free-flowing hair adds a gentle movement to contrast with the static figure, making the whole piece come alive. Though the style is minimalist, the figures are rich in detail.

“The actual embroidering is my favorite part of the process, so I try to prolong it by adding as much detail as possible,” she says. “The hair can be frustrating because I don’t have a set formula or technique. Every piece is different, and sometimes at the hair stage, which I usually do last, I might ruin a piece I’ve spent hours on.”


每一件作品都探讨了女性生活中的一些时刻,从简单的日常事务:比如换衣服或为“女生之夜”做准备的时候,到女性的微妙时刻:像是第一次自己梳长辫或剪头发的时候。就像她在当模特时做的那样,通过女性的姿势和姿势,传达出一种情绪或感觉。自由飘逸的头发增加了形象的柔和度,与静态的刺绣形成对比,使人整个活了起来。虽然风格极简,却不乏丰富的细节。

着手刺绣是我最喜欢的部分,所以我尽量增加细节,以延长这个时刻。头发可能会困难一点,因为我没有固定的公式或技巧。但每一件作品都是不同的。我通常会最后再做头发的部分,因为很有可能我可能会毁掉之前用了几个小时做的作品。

Inspiration comes from anything: a song, a general mood, or even a feeling. Liam compiles images from the internet onto her mini mood board and has even sought inspiration in life drawing classes. “You get to explore other different types of bodies and poses through the models,” she explains.

As someone who’s made a career out of being someone else’s canvas, here she has the freedom to express her own creativity.


对 Sheena 来说,灵感来自任何东西:一首歌,一种心情,甚至一种感觉。她把互联网上的图片编辑到自己的迷你心情板上,甚至还在绘画课上寻找灵感。“你可以通过模特来探索其他不同类型的身体和姿态。”她解释说。

作为一个模特,这个以身体作为他人“画布”为职业的人,Sheena 在刺绣上得以自由地表达自己的创造力。

In April 2017, Liam decided to share her work on Instagram under the handle @times.new.romance, a play on the name of the popular font. The handle suggests a romantic feeling of viewing peaceful modern moments fleeting by, in keeping with her art—but perhaps this writer has put too much thought into it. “I just thought it was a nice name for an account,” Liam says. The account eventually gained widespread attention from media, art-lovers, and fans, leading to her first solo exhibition, a milestone in any artist’s career.

In October, the embroidery works were presented at Item Gallery in Paris in a show also titled Times New Romance. As it happens, Liam dismissed the idea of a solo show when she was first approached about it. “I didn’t think too much of my embroidery to start with,” she says. “Honestly, it was a lot of people putting a huge amount of faith in me from the start that propelled me to work on a body of cohesive work. I had collectors and other artists who took care of me, so I could work in the capacity that I did.”


2017 4 月,Sheena 决定在 Instagram 帐号 @times.new.romance 上分享她的作品。这个名字让人联想到一种浪漫的感觉,当下平静的瞬间飞逝而过,与她的艺术同出一辙——但也许这是笔者过虑了。我只是觉得这是个很好用户名。” Sheena 说。这一说法引起了媒体、艺术爱好者和粉丝的大批关注,也让她开办了首次个展,这对任何一位艺术家的职业生涯来说,都算是一个里程碑。

今年 10 月,这些刺绣作品在巴黎 Item Gallery Times New Romance”的展览上展出。在 Sheena 第一次听说要办个展时,她却拒绝了。我一开始就没有想太多我的刺绣。老实说,很多人从一开始就对我抱有很大的信心,这促使我创作了一系列的作品。有一些收藏家和其他艺术家对我很是照顾,所以我可以充分发挥我的能力。

So what’s next for Sheena Liam’s art?  

“I’m not sure. I’ve held out on a lot of projects because I wanted to be focused on creating pieces for my show. But maybe now I can relax a little and have more fun with it. If offered the right space and gallery, I’d consider a show in Malaysia. But I don’t have any pieces anymore, so it’ll probably take a few more years.”


那么对作为艺术家的 Sheena Liam 来说,下一步又是什么呢?

我不确定。我做了很多项目,因为我想把精力集中在展览上。但或许现在我可以放松一下,去玩得更开心。如果我有合适的空间和画廊我想去马来西亚看场演出。但现在我没有更多刺绣作品了,可能还需要几年的时间来酝酿吧。

Website: www.timesnewromance.net
Instagram: @times.new.romance

 

Contributor: Joanna Lee


网站: www.timesnewromance.net
Instagram: @times.new.romance

 

供稿人: Joanna Lee

Malaysian Colors

Bright. Bold. Brilliant. Just a few words that might come to mind when you see Daniel Adam’s photography. Currently based in Kuala Lumpur, Adam is inspired by social issues in Malaysia and by the visual stimulation of the country’s daily life, which he saturates with color and turns into something fresh. This is especially true in the vibrant photographs of his Batik series.

In this series, Malaysians of all colors, shapes, and sizes, predominantly women, are clothed in richly patterned fabric dotted with floral motifs and set against a backdrop of the same material. There aren’t any elaborate props, just designs and tones that catch the eye.


鲜艳、大胆、精彩——当你看到 Daniel Adam 充满活力的摄影作品时,脑海可能也蹦出这几个词。Daniel 现在生活在吉隆坡,他以日常生活中看到的视觉刺激以及马来西亚当地社会问题为灵感,创作出一系列满溢色彩与创意、令人眼前一新的作品,譬如他最近的摄影系列《Batik》(《蜡染》)。

在这一组照片中,不同肤色、体形与身材的马来西亚人(大部分为女性)身穿点缀花卉图案的华丽面料,站在同样色彩丰富的背景布前,没有任何精心设计的道具,画面中的色彩与图案已经足够引人入胜。

Adam first started dabbling in photography at the age of 14, armed a compact camera and a budding curiosity about the medium. His curiosity soon grew into passion, and he went on to take a degree in photography at Falmouth University in Cornwall before moving back to Malaysia late last year.

After returning from the UK, Adam felt something was missing. Having spent so much time outside of his home country, he was out of touch with his culture, and wanted a way to reconnect to his roots. For an artist, what better way to do so than to channel his feelings creatively?

Thus the Batik series was born.


Daniel 第一次接触摄影是在 14 岁的时候,带着一部小型相机,他开始好奇地探索着摄影这一种媒介。这种好奇心很快发展成一种热爱,之后,他前往英国康沃尔(Cornwall)的法尔茅斯大学(Falmouth University)修读摄影专业,直到去年年底回到马来西亚。

从英国回来后,Daniel 总觉得若有所失。在国外生活了这么长的时间,他感觉与自己的文化逐渐脱节,他想要重新与自己的文化根脉相联结。对于一个艺术家来说,还能有什么更好的方法来表达情感呢?

由此,《Batik》系列诞生了。

Batik is a cloth-dyeing technique that originated in Indonesia, and it’s used both for traditional garments like sarongs and everyday wear such as men’s shirts. Patterns are first drawn on the cloth with a pencil and then redrawn with a hot wax made from beeswax or paraffin and sometimes mixed with plant resins. The wax acts as  a “dye resist,” so that when the fabric is soaked in dye, the treated areas retain their original color, forming a contrast and thus creating the pattern.

The wax is applied to the cloth using a pen-like instrument called a canting or tjanting (in old Dutch orthography) for small dots and fine lines, a stiff brush for larger patterns, or a copper block stamp called a cap for very broad areas. After soaking, the wax is finally scraped or boiled off, and the process is repeated if there are multiple colors involved in the design. Malaysian batik differs from Indonesian Javanese batik in its larger and simpler patterns and its emphasis on brushwork. Most designs are derived from nature and are symbolic.


Batik,蜡染,是一种布染色技术,源自印度尼西亚,既用于制作传统服装,如“纱笼”(sarong,裹在腰或胸以下的长条布裙),也用于制作男式衬衫等日常服装。先用铅笔将图案画在布料上,然后用蜂蜡或石蜡(有时还会加上植物树脂)制成的热蜡重新绘画。蜡的作用是防止染色,所以当织物浸泡在染料中,有蜡的地方就能保留原来的颜色,从而通过不同色彩的对比,构成各种图案。

涂蜡时会用到不同的工具。用以绘出小点和细线的笔,是一种名为 canting 或 tjanting(古荷兰语)的笔尖式蜡染工具,而硬毛刷则用来画较大图案,被称为“盖子”(cap)的铜块印章,则用来印画更大面积的图案。浸泡后,蜡最终会被刮掉或煮掉,如果布料的设计涉及多种颜色,就要多次重复这个过程。

不同于印度尼西亚爪哇岛蜡染,马来西亚蜡染的图案更大、更简洁,同时更强调图案的笔触,大多数的图案设计灵感源于自然界,蕴含象征意义。

Daniel sourced his batik pieces from a corner shop in Chinatown for RM10 apiece, and then just started shooting. His models are set against giant sheets of batik, with clothes and headpieces made of the traditional fabric. But the portraits themselves are far from traditional, with faces of Malaysians with skin and features that show the many branches of the country’s family tree.

This blended aesthetic is fully intentional. Instead of photographing only the three “main” races of Malaysia—Chinese, Malay, and Indian—Adam wanted to break down racial barriers by including people of mixed heritage, like Chinese-Malay, Indian-Chinese, or Eurasian. What became the unifying point was Malaysian-ness itself, and batik stood in as its flag.


Daniel 在唐人街的街角小店以每件 10 马币的价格购买蜡染面料,然后直接开始拍摄。他让模特穿上色彩鲜艳的服装与头饰,然后站在巨幅的 batik 蜡染布前。然而不同于传统的肖像摄影,他的这一系列作品展现了来自不同种族、文化的马来西亚人们的面孔和特色。

这种多元化的美感正是 Daniel 的创作意图。他不想只拍摄马来西亚的三大种族,即华人、马来人与印度人,他希望打破种族壁垒,拍摄那些不同种族的混血儿,如中马混血、中印混血或欧亚混血儿,表达出他们之间的统一点,即他们作为马来西亚人的身份,而 batik 蜡染可以说是这一主题的鲜明代表。

“I wanted to showcase diversity,” Daniel says about his series and his inclusion of every kind of race in the photographs. “I want to take away all the barriers and labels that we put on each other—for everyone to see that we just belong to one community. This beautiful and traditional art form, this design—it’s Malaysian, so it’s all linked, it brings everyone together. It’s not just about educating others and myself on batik. It’s about this connection, that we’re all Malaysian.”


“我想展示出多元化。” Daniel 解释这个系列的创作初衷以及他为什么要拍摄不同种族的人群,“我想把人们所设立的所有隔阂与标签都去掉,让每个人明白,我们全都同属一个社区。而这种美丽的传统艺术、它的设计,代表了马来西亚,它是所有人的连接点,将大家联系在一起。这不仅仅是在向别人和我自己宣传 batik 蜡染,更重要是让人们联结起来,我们都是马来西亚人。”

It didn’t take long for this series, initially a self-education and reconnection project, to become a full-blown celebration of Malaysian diversity. On Hari Merdeka, the Malaysian Independence Day, celebrated every year on August 31, the Batik Series was on full display alongside works by two other fellow local photographers, Emma Khoo and John Kam, in an exhibition at APW in Bangsar, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur. This exhibition aimed to illustrate what it means to be Malaysian: differences were recognized, celebrated, and brought together in a single exhibition.

It was truly a moment of reconnection, as Adam fondly remembers. “It was really nice for opening night—especially since we only planned it a week and a half before the event!” he says. “You got to see different people from different cultures and religions coming together and mingling—that’s the Malaysia that you expect to see.”


很快,这个充满教育意义和促进社会团结的项目,也成为了对马来西亚多元文化的一次盛大展示。每年 8 月 31 日是马来西亚独立日(Hari Merdeka),为了庆祝这个国家最重要的日子,《Batik》与其它两名当地摄影师 Emma Khoo 和 John Kam 的作品一起,在吉隆坡的郊区孟沙 APW 的展览中共同展出。本次展览旨在表达“何为马来西亚人”的主题。在这个展览中,多元化得到了承认并被呈现出来,且将来看展的人们牢牢凝聚起来。

这是真正意义上的重新联结。Daniel 开心地回忆道:“开幕夜真的特别棒,尤其那是我们在活动举办一周半之前才开始筹备的!来自不同文化和宗教的人们全都聚集在一起,这正是我们所期望看到的马来西亚。”

Cloakwork’s Street Art

Australia

“I want to paint something that represents youth, freedom and of course, rebelliousness.”

Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Cloakwork is an illustrator and street artist who’s traveled the world in search of blank walls. His colorful murals have found homes in the streets and alleyways of Mongolia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, England, Australia, and beyond.


“我想要画出能反映青春、自由、当然还有反叛精神的东西。”

常居在马来西亚吉隆坡的涂鸦艺术家、插画家 Cloakwork,同时也是一位旅行家,他走遍世界各地许多地方,一路上寻找空白的墙。现在在蒙古、日本、韩国、台湾、香港、英国、澳大利亚等地方的大街小巷里,都可以发现 Cloakwork 的創作。

Malaysia
Malaysia
Australia

Cloakwork has been making street art for the last eight years, citing as motivation his “rebellious personality and trying-to-do-something-extraordinary mentality as a student.” Using vibrant colors and bold line work, he creates narrative-driven pieces with astounding details. A look at his work makes clear that each wall he paints is a work of love.


Cloakwork 从事涂鸦已经有八年的时间,“一开始,我想是我的叛逆性格,以及从学生时代就开始发迹,那种总是想要做点大事的憧憬,让我成为一位涂鸦艺术家。” 于是他将热情淋漓尽致地挥洒在墙面上,他尽兴地画, 大胆的笔触和鲜明的用色,充满故事性的篇幅设计,让每一幅涂鸦都具有丰富、又不失细节的饱满视觉感。

Taiwan
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia

“My style is myself,” Cloakwork says. “But I am still soul-searching and exploring the world.”

The different people, places, histories, and cultures he’s encountered influence the aesthetic and creative direction of each piece. Including local culture into his graffiti has become a hallmark of his work.

“I always keep myself inspired, and I’m also endlessly interested in different cultures and countries. Every place is different and unique,” he notes. “When I paint at a spot, I usually create something that fits the surroundings to make the mundane wall into something that’s both alive and humorous.”


“我的风格就是我。我也还在寻找自我和探索世界的路上。” 在 Cloakwork 的涂鸦旅程中,每一个地方不同的人民、街景、历史和文化都成为启发创作的来源,让他的作品始终充满地方性的文化色彩。“我接收灵感的开关始终保持在开启的状态上。我也对于各个国家的文化很感兴趣,每一个地方都是独一无二的。我希望能创作出符合当地情景和环境的涂鸦,让一面平凡无奇的墙能获得新生,获得被观赏的乐趣和幽默感。”

U.K.
U.K.
U.K.
Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia

As in much of Asia, in Malaysia street art still hasn’t quite reached mainstream status. A lot of people remain skeptical about the artistic merits of graffiti art. Often street artists are seen as just vandals. “In Malaysia, to be honest, graffiti is still in a grey area of public opinion,” he says. “There are those who appreciate street art, but there are also some who are just following trends. But I do believe that public perception is slowly changing for the better as people become more educated and are appreciative of art. Street art is for everyone, and whether they approve of it or not, it will always be around.”


然而,在亚洲许多地方,街头艺术的文化还在发展的进程中。部分民众对涂鸦抱持质疑的眼光,甚至把它视为一种破坏公物的行为,不是一种艺术的表现形式。“在我的家乡马来西亚,涂鸦艺术依然处在大众和政府认可的灰色地带。有些人是真心欣赏,有些人只是为了跟随潮流而已。但我相信未来会更好,人们会慢慢被教育去欣赏街头艺术。毕竟,街头艺术是画给每一个人的,无论你同意或不同意,它还是会在那里。”

 

South Korea
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Australia
Australia

Cloakwork says that graffiti for him is a way to have fun and delight anyone who stumbles across his work. “The future is hard to predict, but I feel I’ll keep doing graffiti until my body tells me to stop,” he says. “So why is street art so irreplaceable to me? Perhaps that’s the answer.”

If you’re lucky, perhaps one day on your travels you too might just stumble across one of his colorful pieces.


对现在的 Cloakwork 来说,涂鸦单纯是为了享受这个过程,并在同时娱乐观众。“未来的事还很难说,我只知道我会一直涂鸦下去,直到我的身体告诉我该停止了为止。” 所以为什么涂鸦对他来说如此重要?也许这句话本身就已解释了所有。

关注更多 Cloakwork 的消息,有机会的话,也许你能在旅行路上的墙与墙之间,幸运找到他到访过的踪迹。

Websiteiamcloakwork.com
Instagram@cloakwork

 

Contributor: Yang Yixuan


网站: iamcloakwork.com
Instagram: @cloakwork

 

供稿人: Yang Yixuan

An Inner Journey

The story goes like this: in a gorgeous world drawn from a fantasy or a dream, a faceless girl is floating in an unfamiliar place. She’s been searching, longing to find a way out of this strange land, but she keeps tumbling down again and again, constantly tumbling down.

This colorful and expressive music video is a collaboration by Malaysian animator Yan Dan Wong and Swedish animator Annalotta Pauly. Their images are accompanied by the upbeat melody of Vulfgang Rainstorme’s recent track “Semblance.”


故事是这样的。在一个也许由幻觉,抑或是梦境,所构成的绚丽世界里,有一个失去了容貌的女孩,在这个陌生的地方潜游着。一路上她在寻找,寄望能找到一个出口,让她脱离这个奇怪的地方,可是身体却一再地往下坠落,不断坠落。

伴随着这一首轻快节奏的音乐,我们跟着女孩踏上一段 “寻找” 的旅程。这个画面缤纷、意寓鲜明的音乐视频是马来西亚动画师 Yan Dan Wong,协同另一位动画师好友 Annalotta Pauly 共同创作的动画作品。

 

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“I was approached by a Canadian artist, Vulfgang Rainstorme, for a commission for an animated music video for a song on his new album A Yellow Spot,” says Wong. “When we found out that the album was dedicated to his late mother, we thought of themes of loss, searching, feeling incomplete, and finding peace to let go. So we thought of a narrative about a faceless female character embarking on a journey to look for something or someone.”


“一开始我们接到了加拿大音乐人 Vulfgang Rainstorme 的委托,为专辑《A Yellow Spot 》当中的一首歌《Semblance》创作动画。后来我们得知这张专辑是他献给母亲的怀念之作,于是构思了关于失去、探寻、感到迷失、最终重拾平静、和放下这个主题。并以一个无脸女孩为主角,出发去寻找的故事。”

 

This kaleidoscopic world full of challenges is all in the girl’s mind. Her quest is a healing process. “Grief creates a hole inside of you. We sometimes experience unfathomable sadness, but not everything is bad all the time. The world the girl finds herself in is neither good nor bad, it just is,” Wong explains. “After getting reassured by the memories of a lost loved one, the girl gets the courage to dive down through the dark and stormy waters, and she ends up at the surface again.”


原来这一个充满挑战的奇幻世界,是存在于女孩心底的。这个探寻之旅就是一个治愈内心的过程。“有时候悲伤会在你心底窜出一个洞,我们也许会经历深不可测的忧伤,但事情并不会一直都那么糟糕。女孩也发现了,自己所处的世界不好也不坏,不过就是如此罢了。直到她被所思之人的回忆再次安慰,重获了勇气,于是她向未知一跃而下,穿过黑暗和暴风雨,最终重回了表面,回到一切起始的地方……”

“She finds herself in the place where she started. Maybe not much has changed, but she knows she’s stronger now. You can’t avoid grief, but you can work through it. That’s our understanding of the music video.”

The girl eventually ends up in the same place of shelter—the only difference is that she’s found what she was looking for. After crossing through grief, she’s again recovered her face. She’s no longer the person she once was.


“她发现自己回到了原点,旅程就结束在这里。周遭事情没有太大的变化,但她知道自己更坚强了。你没有办法避免悲伤,但你可以试着克服它。这是我们对这个音乐和视频的理解。”

女孩终究落脚在同一片安身之地,唯一不同的是她找到了心想的东西。度过了悲伤,重获了容貌。她不再是原来的自己。

Websiteyandanwong.com / apauly.com

 

Contributor: Yang Yixuan


网站: yandanwong.com / apauly.com

 

供稿人: Yang Yixuan

My Language Proficiency

Okui Lala, real name Chew Win Chen, is a fourth-generation Chinese Malaysian. Living in a country well known for its multicultural makeup, Chew is a multimedia artist who explores issues of language, migration, and identity through photography, video, and performance art. Today, we meet up with her in Penang’s Komtar Tower, a once iconic landmark in George Town that the state’s tourism board does not want to give up on despite dwindling public interest.


Okui Lala 原名 Chew Win Chen,是第四代的马来西亚华裔。 在这样一个以多元文化著称的国家里成长,Chew作为一名多媒体艺术家,喜欢通过摄影、影片和表演 艺术来探讨语言翻译、移民和身份认知等问题。今天,我们和 Chew 约好到槟城的光大大厦(Komtar)见面。这幢大厦曾经是槟城首府乔治市的标志性地标,尽管近年来这幢建筑对公众的吸引力已不断式微,但当地旅游局仍然不想放弃它。

Inside the shopping mall, 80s brutalist architecture adds to the grimness of the unoccupied storefronts. It’s here where many of the city’s migrant workers set up their grocery stores, restaurants, and hair salons. It’s also here where many of the city’s Filipino workers send parcels and remittance back home to the families they left behind. Young Burmese men gather in the poorly lit eateries sprinkled throughout the mall, chatting over cigarettes and tea on their only day off.


在这幢购物中心里,80 年代的野兽派建筑让空置的店面显得更加萧条。在这里,许多移民工人开起了杂货店、餐馆和美发沙龙。也正是在这里,许多菲律宾工人往他们家乡里的亲人寄送包裹和汇款。年轻的缅甸男人在他们唯一的休息日里,聚集在商场内各个灯光昏暗的就餐角落,一边抽烟、喝茶,一边闲聊。

In 2015, Chew started working with Burmese migrants on a piece called Let’s Drink and Eat Tea! One of the standout tutorials of the series was a live performance of making lahpet thoke, a simple Burmese appetizer. In the tutorial, Chew learned how to prepare the dish via translated instructions. The normally quick-to-prepare dish took thrice the time to cook as Burmese was translated into Malay, and then Malay translated into English. The video aims to demonstrate the possibilities and limitations of using translation as a tool for understanding.


2015年,Chew 开始以缅甸移民为对象,进行名为《Let’s Drink and Eat Tea!》的系列项目。其中她还试过现场制作茶叶沙拉(Lahpet Thoke)的表演。茶叶沙拉是一道制作简单的缅甸特色开胃菜,但 Chew 要通过翻译后的说明来学习如何准备这道菜。因为多了先将缅甸语翻译成马来语,再把马来语翻译成英语这个步骤,最后 Chew 完成这道原本很简单的菜式花费了比平时多三倍的时间,以此说明,翻译作为交流理解的工具的可能性和局限性。

Let’s Drink and Eat Tea! kickstarted Chew’s thought process on her latest project – My Language Proficiency, a short film in which she holds a panel discussion with herself in Malay, Mandarin, English, and Hokkien. Confronted with an art scene that’s often segregated by language barriers, Chew wanted to explore what intellectual discourse would sound like in a multicultural society if everyone could have a seat at the table and speak in the language that they are most comfortable with. The project also examines the deep influence that history, education policy, migration, and upbringing have on a person’s choice of language.


《Let’s Drink and Eat Tea!》这个项目启发 Chew 开始思考自己的最新作品《My Language Proficiency》(我的语言能力)。她分别拍摄下自己说着四种不同语言的四部短片,用马来语、普通话、英语和闽南语与自己进行一场小组讨论。面对一个经常被语言障碍所隔离的艺术场景,Chew 想探究在多元文化社会中,如果每个人都可以坐在一起,用他们最熟悉的语言来交流,这样的“知性对话会是怎么样的”。此外,这个项目还会探讨历史、教育政策、移民和家庭教育对一个人语言选择的深刻影响。

An excerpt from My Language Proficiency / 一段来自《My Language Proficiency》的影片

 

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As we wander around Komtar, Chew notes how the two waves of Malaysia’s migrants intersect – the “official faces” of Malaysia’s multiculturalism (Malays, Chinese, Indians), and the second influx of foreign workers from Myanmar and the Philippines. “There is xenophobia among our rakyat,” Chew says, using the Malay word for citizens, a word that is usually associated with patriotism and unity on a national front.

In light of recent news of Malaysia’s racial segregation, the country was slapped with a temporary ban from the Indonesian government, stopping the intake of Indonesian workers as a reaction to cases of abuse and the death of an Indonesian maid. Penang itself, with its cosmopolitan past as a trading port, enforced a ban last year on foreign cooks in efforts to protect the authenticity of its famed hawker fares. But Penang’s food, a tourist draw on its own, is a byproduct of Chinese and Indian Muslim traders assimilating with the local culture. The irony was lost on a majority of Malaysians who voted in favor of the ban.

“We’re in George Town, and we have a lot of fixed ideas about what George Town’s heritage is,” says Chew, reflecting on the almost aggressive ownership Penang’s heritage center holds on what it deems as authentic. She says that the new wave of migrant workers is viewed by many locals as “the ‘others’ who will come and take over our jobs”.


“目前马来西亚人(rakyat)中存在一种仇外心理,” Chew 说道。“rakyat”一词是马来语中“公民”的意思,这个词往往还意味着爱国主义和团结。

鉴于最近不少新闻聚焦于马来西亚的种族隔离,甚至被曝有一名印尼女佣被虐待致死,当地政府已暂时禁止印尼工人入境,以作为对多宗虐待案件的回应。槟城以前曾凭借贸易港口的地位发展成为大都市,但在去年,政府下令禁止雇佣外国厨师,目的就是要努力保护当地著名的小贩市场。槟城的美食本身就是一个充满吸引力的旅游资源,也是中国和印度穆斯林商人为了融入当地文化而产生的副产品。但讽刺的是,大多数马来西亚人最后竟然投票赞成这一禁令。

Chew 说:“我们生活在乔治市,关于这座城市的文化遗产,我们有很多根深蒂固的想法。”她认为,乔治市作为槟城的文化中心,当地人对维持所谓地道文化的态度几乎可以说是“咄咄逼人”。她说,在许多当地人眼中,新的外来务工人员只是“一些来抢工作的外人”。

“We haven’t really overcome xenophobia on a social level. How are we going to handle these issues [related to migration policies]?” she questions when asked if she feels pressure to take a social justice angle to her work with migrant workers. Chew’s work urges one to turn inwards with self-reflection to better understand and receive others, to see that their cultural influences are equally important contributions to the make-up of a Malaysian identity.

“Myanmar migrants are new migrants but can the culture that they bring with them be considered heritage? I like this old and new contradiction,” she muses. The constant stream of languages that appear in Chew’s work, be it familiar or foreign, holds a lens to the complex identities of old and new migrants that have chosen Malaysia as home. And perhaps importantly, in an age of Brexit and Trump, Chew’s work implores for acceptance of self and of neighbor.


Chew 的作品试图从社会正义的角度出发,探讨移民工人的现状和问题。被问及 Chew 是否对此也会感到不少压力时,她说:“我们的社会还没有真正克服仇外心理的问题。我们到底应该要如何处理(与移民政策相关的) 问题呢?” Chew 的作品敦促人们自我反省,去更好地理解和接受所谓的“外人”,也去明白他们的文化影响对马来西亚人身份的有着同样重要的贡献。

“缅甸移民是新移民,但他们带来的文化是否可以被视为(本土)文化遗产?我喜欢这种新与旧的矛盾。”她沉思着说道。Chew 的作品中充斥着源源不断的语言元素,无论是当地人熟悉的母语或是外语,其实都为我们提供了一种视角,以探讨那些马来西亚新老移民复杂的身份问题。重要的是,在这个对移民不够友善的整体环境下,Chew 的作品更是在呼吁人们要去包容和接纳自身的移民文化,而非抵触。

Website: cargocollective.com/okuilala

 

Contributor & Photographer: Adeline Chua
Video Courtesy of Okui Lala


网站: cargocollective.com/okuilala

 

供稿人与摄影师: Adeline Chua
视频由 Okui Lala 提供

The Story of OAG

 

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OAG, which stands for Old Automatic Garbage, was formed on Christmas Day in 1992 and was one of the first English-language alternative rock bands to enjoy mainstream success in Malaysia. They first came from the underground music scene and were initially influenced by seminal 60’s rock bands such as The Velvet Underground, The Beatles, and Pink Floyd.


OAG 全称 Old Automatic Garbage,是一支在 1992 年圣诞节成立的乐队,也是马来西亚第一批成功进入主流市场的英语另类摇滚乐队之一。他们一开始活跃于地下音乐界,而上世纪六十年代的摇滚乐队,比如地下丝绒乐队(The Velvet Underground)、披头士(The Beatles)和 Pink Floyd 这些乐队,则给予了他们音乐创作的最初影响。

The band’s big break came when they signed to Positive Tone and released their debut album, Old Automatic Garbage, in December 1994. The album went far beyond anyone’s expectation at the time, eventually going triple platinum and helping spark off the alternative music scene in Malaysia. Their hit, “60’s TV,” has become one of the most recognizable alternative rock songs in Malaysia, and the song’s accompanying music video also helped signal a new creative direction for music videos in the country. The band would become well known by Malaysian audiences for their exciting live performances and catchy tunes.


1994 年 12 月,乐队与 Positive Tone 音乐制作公司签约,并发行首张专辑《Old Automatic Garbage》,迎来乐队生涯的重大转折点。这张专辑获得了超乎所有人预期的成功,最终销量高达三百万,同时也让另类摇滚在马来西亚流行起来。他们的热门曲目《60’s TV》已经成为马来西亚国内最知名的另类摇滚歌曲,这首歌的 MV 也为马来西亚音乐 MV 创作开启了新的方向。凭借精彩的现场表演以及琅琅上口的音乐,OAG 成为了马来西亚家喻户晓的名字。

The success of their first album was followed up by a critically acclaimed, dance-inspired EP, Melody Mocker, and the band was also enlisted to write and perform the theme song for the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship. The two albums that later followed in 2002 and 2003 respectively, Opera Radhi-o Friendly and Satelit Inkwere recorded in their native Malay language as the band tried to attract a bigger Malay audience.


首张专辑大获成功后,乐队之后发行的舞曲风格 EP《Melody Mocker》也广受好评。随后,乐队获邀为 1997 年的国际足联世界青年足球锦标赛创作和演唱主题歌曲。在 2002 年和 2003 年,他们又分别发行了两张以母语马来语创作的专辑《Opera Radhi-o Friendly》和《Satelit Ink》,试图吸引更多马来西亚当地听众。

Since then, the band went through a few lineup changes and a couple hiatuses. Founder, lead vocalist, and guitarist Radhi Razali says that one of the challenges for rock music in Malaysia is that people still underrate rock bands at times. Radhi tells us, “The music industry in Malaysia is very diverse and [the music is] getting weirder, bigger, bolder, crazier. There’s a lot of new experimental stuff coming in by the young newcomers, but rock is still always here. Rock is tough. Rock will never die in Malaysia!”


此后,乐队又经历了一些成员变动和几次休整。乐队创始人、主唱和吉他手 Radhi Razali 认为,对于本土摇滚音乐来说,他们所面临的挑战,有时是源于摇滚乐队在马来西亚未曾受到重视的现实。Radhi 告诉我们:“我认为马来西亚的音乐产业非常多样化,并且变得越来越怪异、浩大、大胆……也变得更疯狂,现在的年轻人带来了很多全新的实验音乐,可摇滚乐还是屹立不倒。在马来西亚,摇滚乐是永垂不朽的!”

The band just celebrated their 25th anniversary last year and marked the occasion with a special concert in Kuala Lumpur at The Bee Publika, combining old and new members alike. The current generation of OAG is the fifth generation of the band, with Radhi Razali on vocals and guitar, Qi Razali on drums, Muhamad Nizam on guitar, Nazrin Zabidi on bass, and Izmer Khasbullah on keyboards. “I’m hoping it’s also gonna be the last generation of OAG because I’m getting old,” Radhi says, “I might look like a 16-year-old Jackie Chan, but I’m 39 years old already!”


在去年,乐队刚刚庆祝了他们成立 25 周年的纪念日,并在吉隆坡 The Bee Publika 举行了一场特别的音乐会,新老成员一起同台出演。目前 OAG 队员已经是乐队的第五代成员,包括主唱和吉他手 Radhi、鼓手 Qi Razali、吉他手Muhamad、贝斯手 Nazrin Zabidi 以及键盘手 Izmer Khasbullah 在内。“我希望我们这一代的 OAG 也是最后一代了,毕竟我年纪也大了。”Radhi 说,“我可能看起来还像 16 岁的成龙,但我已经 39 岁啦!”

 Facebook~/oag20

 

Contributor, Photographer & Videographer: Leon Yan


脸书~/oag20

 

供稿人,图片摄影师与视频摄影师: Leon Yan

Gouda Grief, Malaysian Cheese!?

Annisa holding up a Tomme cheese wheel. / Annisa 举着一整块多姆奶酪

Cheddar, Camembert, Gouda, Gorgonzola, Reblochon… These cheeses, in all their moldy, funky glory have been prevalent throughout our rich history with food, but nowhere else in the world is it more ingrained than in European food culture. Take the little Swiss town of Gruyères for example, in which a certain eponymous cheese has been its economic heartbeat for the past twenty decades. Or walk into any cheese shop in Paris, and you’ll find a steady stream of locals sniffing out and purchasing the rows and rows of Brie de Meaux, creamy Camemberts, funky Époisses, great moldy wheels of Roquefort, and many other suspiciously over-ripened, unlabeled cheeses. Cheese has always been synonymous with European culture, there’s no doubt about that.

In the past decade however, there’s been a quiet cheese revolution pervading through Asia, with artisanal cheesemakers like Liu Yang of China and Tina Khan in India paving the way for a greater appreciation for cheese in their respective countries. In the midst of it all, Malaysia has had its own surge of cheesemakers too, with artisans popping up in Kuala Lumpur, Sarawak, and even Langkawi. Most notably, Annisa Iwan, an Indonesian cheesemaker now residing in Kuala Lumpur, has managed to combine her strong base of European cheesemaking methods with a local agenda (she sources her milk locally, adapts her recipe to the Malaysian climate, and sells her cheese to a largely Malaysian clientele). And through her punnily-named Milky Whey Cheese business, she’s been steadily converting many local cheese doubters into lifelong cheese aficionados.


芝士,又称奶酪。 切达奶酪(Cheddar)、卡门贝尔奶酪(Camembert)、莫比尔奶酪(Morbier)、戈尔贡佐拉奶酪(Gorgonzola)、瑞布罗申奶酪(Reblochon)……在人类美食历史上,这些通过发酵制成的食物,味道奇怪,有时还长着霉斑,却是一直以来备受人们追捧的美食,尤其是在欧洲,奶酪更是其饮食文化中的重要部分。譬如,在瑞士小镇格鲁耶尔(Gruyères)盛产着一种和小镇同名的奶酪(没错,就是“格鲁耶尔”奶酪),在过去二十年来,这种奶酪可以说是当地的经济命脉。而在巴黎,随便走进一间奶酪店,你都能看到当地人正凑着鼻子在一排排奶酪前闻着,有莫城布里奶酪(Brie de Meaux)、口感柔滑的卡门贝尔奶酪(Camemberts),散发着刺激异味的埃普瓦斯奶酪(Époisses)、洛克福特(Roquefort)奶酪,当然,还有许多疑似发酵过度、没有标签的奶酪。总之,奶酪几乎可以说是欧洲的代名词。

然而,在过去的十年里,亚洲却悄然出现了一场“奶酪革命”,涌现了许多手工奶酪制作者,譬如来自中国的刘洋和印度的 Tina Khan,他们都是奶酪文化的铺路者。而在马来西亚的吉隆坡、沙捞越和兰卡威,手工制作奶酪的人也越来越多,来自印度尼西亚的 Annisa Iwan 就是其中的佼佼者。Annisa 现在住在吉隆坡,她将自己精通的欧洲奶酪制作工艺与本地食材相结合,从当地采购牛奶,根据马来西亚的气候调整奶酪制作方法,她的客户也是以马来西亚人为主。她还给自己的奶酪公司起了一个有意思的名字“Milky Whey Cheese”,她制作的奶酪,让当地许多对奶酪无感的“路人”变成了忠实粉丝。

Soft-style cheese rolled in Sarawak peppers (in black), Herbes de Provence (the slightly green-ish ones to the right), and paprika (in red). / 软质奶酪之“沙捞越”奶酪(黑色的),Herbes de Provence 奶酪(右边略带绿色的),Parika 奶酪(红色的)
One of Annisa's many cheese "caves." / Annisa 的奶酪储藏柜之一
A Tomme cheese wheel. / 一整块圆形多姆奶酪
A Montasio cheese rind. / 一块蒙塔西欧奶酪

Full disclaimer: I am one such convert. As a self-professed cheese lover, I initially had large doubts about how cheeses made from the milk of Malaysian cows could ever begin to compare to the great Gouda, Cheddar, and Parmigiano-Reggiano of Europe. But as Annisa has proven, I was dead wrong.

Not only are her cheeses up to par with those stalwart Europe cheeses, her experimental, almost zany, approach to cheesemaking has many Malaysians heaping on praises. Some of her Tomme cheese wheels, for instance, have been spiked with bird’s eye chilies just to kick the piquancy up a notch to satiate the spice-loving Malaysian palate. She’s even infused local produce like bamboo leaves and Sarawak peppers into her cheeses, the latter of which she uses in a soft-style cheese she adoringly named Sarawak.


讲真,我也是“路转粉”其中之一。一开始,自诩为奶酪爱好者的我,很是怀疑用马来西亚当地牛奶做的奶酪怎么可能做出媲美欧洲的奶酪?!但 Annisa 证明,我这种想法大错特错。她制作的奶酪简直太好吃了!经她制作的豪达奶酪(Goudas)、瑞布罗申奶酪(Reblochon)和卡门贝尔奶酪(Camemberts),丝毫不逊色于欧洲的原产奶酪。除此之外,她还以十足的实验精神、甚至可以说有点奇特的奶酪制作方式赢得了许多马来西亚人的称赞。譬如,为了迎合马来西亚人偏辣的口味,她在一些多姆奶酪(Tomme)中加入鸟眼辣椒(Bird’s eye chili),升级其中刺激的辣味。她用一些本地特色食材制作奶酪,譬如一款她取名为“沙捞越”(Sarawak)的奶酪,就是加入了沙捞越胡椒制成的,甚至连竹叶都被她用来制作奶酪!

Soft-style cheeses. / 软质奶酪
Soft-style cheeses rolled in ash. / 包裹着草木灰的软质奶酪

Raised in Indonesia, Annisa’s indoctrination into the world of cheese started at a young age. Her family had close ties with a Dutch family who visited every winter bearing gifts. “I still remember the three things they [the Dutch family] would bring – chocolate, pâté, and cheese. Those three things, even now, I still cannot live without!” Annisa recalls fondly. Although she no longer keeps in close contact with the Dutch family, those foods, especially cheeses, have clearly left a mark on her very being. Annisa likens it to drugs, saying “[It’s like how] you can’t just introduce crack to somebody and stop giving [it to] them. Cheese is addictive!”


在印尼长大的 Annisa,很小的时候就开始接触奶酪。每年冬天,一家来自荷兰的好友都会带着礼物去她们家作客。“我还记得他们 (她的荷兰好友家庭) 每次会带三样礼物来:巧克力、馅饼(pate)和奶酪。这三样吃的,直到现在仍然是我的最爱!”Annisa 回忆道。虽然现在她和那个荷兰家庭的联系已经不如以前频繁,但这三样食物,尤其是奶酪,已经在她人生中留下了重要的印记。Annisa 把奶酪比作令人上瘾的“毒品”,她说:“你可不能一见面就跟别人介绍这些‘毒品’,因为奶酪可是会让人上瘾的,一旦尝了就停不了了!”

Checking on a young bird's-eye-chilli-infused Tomme cheese wheel. / 查看加入了鸟眼辣椒的多姆奶酪成熟与否
A bird's-eye-chilli infused Tomme cheese wheel. / 一整块已成熟的、加了鸟眼辣椒的多姆奶酪

While she has always been a cheese eater. Annisa’s true cheesemaking obsession came after her honeymoon in Italy, where she had Mozzarella di Bufala for the very first time. To Annisa, those gooey, pillowy mozzarella balls she had in Rome were the epitome of love at first bite. Understandably then, when she returned home, the lackluster faux-mozzarella balls sold at her local supermarkets were never quite able to satisfy her in the same way. Frustrated by this, Annisa resorted to making her very own mozzarella.


虽说 Annisa 一直是个“奶酪食客”,但她真正成为并爱上“奶酪制作者”的身份,却是她到意大利度蜜月之后。在罗马,她第一次尝到水牛马苏里拉奶酪(Mozzarella di Bufala),那些松软又粘糊糊的马苏里拉奶酪球,让她“一口定情”。而度完蜜月回国后,Annisa 再也不能满足于超市里那些暗淡无光的仿奶酪球了。于是,Annisa 决定自己亲手来制作马苏里拉奶酪。

A wedge of chilli-flake-infused mature Tilsit cheese. / 一块同样成熟了的、加了鸟眼辣椒的提尔西特奶酪
Slicing a Reblochon cheese. / 瑞布罗申奶酪切片

Little did she know at the time, she’s picked one of the most temperamental cheeses in the world to make. Heat it too much during the curd formation process and you’ll get empty, watery mozzarella shells; stretch it too much at too low a temperature and the cheese will resemble plastic-y squash balls. After many spectacular failures (which she often turned into halloumi or ricotta) and no end in sight, it was one of her French cheese mentors who pulled her out of this mozzarella spiral and got her working on other, simpler cheeses like the Welsh Caerphilly and Swiss Tomme. That was when her cheese-making prowess truly burgeoned. After mastering these simpler cheeses, Annisa quickly grew confident enough to try her hand at making longer-aging cheeses like Cheddar and Montasio. She then dabbled with making bloomy rind cheeses like Brie and Camembert, and finally came full circle back to mozzarella, which this time around, was a roaring success! And the rest, as they say, is history.


但是当时的她并不知道,她选了世界上最有“脾气”的奶酪来制作。在凝结过程中,马苏里拉奶酪如果加热过度,最后就会变成中空的、水汪汪的奶酪壳;如果温度太低,奶酪就会变得像坚韧的塑料球一样。所以一开始,她制作的马苏里拉奶酪总是不成功,口感较硬(比如像 Halloumi 或 Ricotta 那样的干酪)。惨遭多次失败,在她几乎快要绝望时,她的法国奶酪导师把她从这个“马苏里拉奶酪”的黑洞里救了出来。导师让她先去制作相对简单的硬质奶酪,譬如威尔士卡尔菲利干酪(Welsh Caerphilly)和瑞士的多姆奶酪。在这之后,她的奶酪制作技术才有了长足的进步。而在熟练掌握这些简单奶酪的制作方法之后,Annisa 开始有足够的信心去尝试制作半硬质奶酪,如切达奶酪和蒙塔西奥(Montasio)奶酪。接着,她开始制作布里奶酪和卡门贝尔奶酪这类白霉奶酪;最后,她才再开始制作马苏里拉这种新鲜奶酪,而这一次她终于获得了成功!之后的事情,大家都知道了。

A Montasio-style cheese wedge. / 一块蒙塔西奥奶酪

Since the beginning, Annisa’s business has only gone from strength to strength. In 2012, she started by selling her cheeses at festivals and bazaars around Kuala Lumpur and offered cheese-tasting session out of her small home in Mont Kiara. But with a great boom in business over the past two years, she now supplies her cheeses to many top restaurants in the city. Through it all, however, her focus has always been on keeping it personal and artisanal, satisfying all who steps into her home with her warm hospitality and infectious love for the cheesemaking craft. She especially loves introducing her cheeses to (read: blowing the minds of) local Malaysians who’ve never had a whiff of cheese in their lives, and on the other end of the spectrum, European expats craving for a genuine taste of their home country. And as far as I know, she’s never failed to impress.

Well, it’s only a matter of time before all of Kuala Lumpur, if not Malaysia, gets caught up in the heady, funky, but oh-so-addictive world of Annisa’s cheese. So here’s to a cheese-filled, funked-up future for Malaysia! All the Brie-est, Annisa!


2012年以来,Annisa 的奶酪公司越做越大。最开始,她只是在吉隆坡附近的集市上卖奶酪,或是在 Mont Kiara(马来西亚吉隆坡市中心西北部的一个乡镇) 的家中举办奶酪试吃活动,直到去年,她的奶酪生意越来越成功,她现在已经是吉隆坡许多顶级餐厅的奶酪供应商。但制作奶酪这件事,对她来说,自始至终都出于个人对奶酪的热爱,和对手工制作工艺的热忱,她喜欢用自己制作的奶酪来招待家中的客人,希望让他们也爱上这门工艺。她特别喜欢把奶酪介绍给从来没吃过奶酪的马来西亚人,还有那些怀念家乡美食的欧洲人。而据我所知,还从来没有人对她的奶酪失望过。

用不了多久,Annisa 打造的那些风味“浓郁”、创新独特的奶酪必定会让所有吉隆坡人(甚至是整个马来西亚)都为之上瘾。让我们拭目以待奶酪在马来西亚发扬光大的一天吧!Annisa,请接受我最真“芝”的祝福!

Facebook: ~/milkywheycheese
Instagram: @milkywheycheese

 

Contributor & Photographer: Yi Jun Loh


脸书: ~/milkywheycheese
Instagram: @milkywheycheese

 

供稿人与摄影师: Yi Jun Loh

Bendang Studio

At the edge of the quiet, unassuming village of Kampung Sungai Petai, a half-hour drive out of the rich historic hub of Malacca, lies Bendang Studio, a contemporary ceramics workshop that is making waves in the industry. Having started from humble beginnings, its founder Rozana Musa has developed her own brand and a style of tableware ceramics that’s now highly sought after in Malaysia. Not complacent in entrepreneurial success alone, Musa aspires to mold and fire the Malaysian ceramics scene into a new era.


双溪大年(Sungai Petani)是距离马来西亚历史文化中心马六甲一个半小时车程的村庄,在这个平静的村郊地区,就坐落着Bendang工作室——这就是在业界掀起了不小波澜的当代陶艺工作室。工作室创始人Rozana Musa从零开始,成立了自己的陶瓷餐具品牌,形成自己的独特风格,塑造且推动了马来西亚的陶瓷产业进入一个全新的时代。

Musa’s initial encounter with ceramics came early in her childhood when she unwittingly stumbled upon the core ingredient of ceramics – clay. As a child, she often played with the carmine, clay-rich mud on the riverbank, behind her grandmother’s Malaccan home, sculpting skyscrapers and drawing shapes in the sand and silt. Little did she know, this childhood pastime of hers would translate to a deep-seated love for ceramics in her adulthood. Now, rather than building transient sculptures in the sand, she creates intricate ceramics with a touch of modern flair.


Rozana第一次接触陶瓷是在她童年的时候,她偶然接触到了粘土——而这正是制作陶瓷的核心原料。小时候,她经常到祖母位于马六甲的家后面的河边,用胭脂红色的粘土泥,捏出泥巴大楼,在沙地和淤泥里画画。当时的她并不知道,这种儿时的消遣会在后来变成自己所热爱的陶瓷艺术。现在,她不再仅仅是捏泥巴玩儿了,她打造着精致复杂的现代陶瓷作品。

At Musa’s studio, each piece starts off as a specially tailored clay mixture, containing a blend of silica, feldspar, kaolinite and a slew of other minerals. Then, depending on the particular piece, the clay will either be cast in a mold, shaped by hand on a pottery wheel, or cast and then finished off by hand. The product from the shaping process is then left to dry for several hours before being baked in a kiln at 840°C for six hours through a process known as biscuit firing. The brittle “biscuits” are then cooled for a day before being colored with a glaze through a subsequent firing process at 1100°C for eight hours. All the recipes for the glaze are developed by Musa and her team, using metal oxides such as cobalt, copper, sodium, and calcium as dyes. Though each piece is somewhat planned, Musa admits she and her team often improvise on the fly, especially when they’re struck by moments of artistic inspiration.


在Rozana的工作室,每一件作品都是用专门定制的粘土混合物制成的,需要通过复杂的配方,将硅土、长石、高岭土和其它矿物混合而成。然后,根据不同的创作理念,将这些粘土或盖上模具定型,或在轮盘上进行手工拉坯,或先用模具定型,再手工处理完成。定型之后,这些陶坯需要先被放置风干,再放到一个840℃的陶瓷窑里焙烧6 个小时,这个工序被称为“素烧”(biscuit firing)。素烧好后的坯体需要冷却一天,然后施釉,再经历一次烧制工序,这一次需要在1100℃下焙烧8小时。所有釉彩的配方都是Rozana和她的团队亲自研究出来的,采用的是钴、铜、钠和钙等金属氧化物作为染料。虽然每件陶瓷作品都是按照预定设计制作的,但当灵感突然闪现的时候,Rozana说她和团队也经常会即兴发挥。

This free, unshackled approach can be seen throughout her studio – a splash of cobalt blue on an ivory plate, a shimmering gold brushstroke on the lip of a teacup, an embossed batik print on a china tray. Even her studio itself exudes this sense of unbridled freedom; The airy, glass-fronted facade, the high ceilings and brick walls painted in hues of white, the plates and bowls haphazardly stacked on low tables, all the while her cats sashay around the displays, jumping from table to table, weaving in between the dishware, while her apprentices, Nisa and Aliah, work with quiet focus and intent at their pottery wheels.

Browsing through her wares, one gets the sense no two pieces of Musa’s ceramics are the same. Each of her creations has its own beauty, its own flaws, and its own identity. At first glance, they all seem too beautiful to use, but their beauty belies a utilitarian sturdiness. Perhaps this combination of beauty and utility is the driving factor behind the surge of demand for her line of ceramics, so much so that she’s now often booked up months in advance with order requests from renowned restaurants throughout Malaysia, and even some from Paris and Japan!


这种自由、不受束缚的创作方式在她的整个工作室随处可见,譬如是象牙碟上的一抹钴蓝色彩,茶杯杯口上的一划闪耀金色,以及陶瓷托盘中的浮雕蜡染印花。就连她的工作室本身也散发着肆意的自由氛围:透明的玻璃幕墙,高高的天花板和砖墙涂成白色色调,碗碟随意地堆放在低矮的桌子上,而她的猫则随意地漫步其中,在各张的桌子上来回跳跃,穿梭于餐具之间,而她的两名学徒Nisa和Aliah则安静专注地在轮盘上拉坯。

一眼扫过她的陶瓷作品,你会发现,Rozana的陶瓷作品没有两件是相同的。她的每个作品都有其独特的美丽,独特的瑕疵,独特的个性。乍一看,这些陶瓷似乎都太漂亮了,让人舍不得用,但它们的美丽外观之下却是实用的功能性。或许,这种美观与实用的结合是她的陶瓷作品越来越受欢迎的原因,她收到的订单非常之多,许多马来西亚的著名餐厅常常需要提前许多个月预订,甚至还有来自巴黎和日本的订单!

Despite Musas’ current success, her road to where she is was wrought with challenges. Like most young Malaysians, pursuing such an unconventional career wasn’t really on the cards in her young adulthood. But then, through perhaps a stroke of serendipity, she enrolled in the art and design program at the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), choosing to major in ceramics. When she graduated, however, Musa found it difficult to advance her skills or come across opportunities for work, largely due to the immaturity of the Malaysian ceramics industry. Finding a mentor was difficult, demand for handcrafted ceramics was slow, and the equipment and barriers to entry were high (a ceramics kiln alone can cost upwards of 3,000 USD). According to Musa, of the dozen or so students who graduated along with her at UiTM, only one or two still remain in the craft. Fortunately for her though, she eventually found a mentor in Umibaizurah Mahir Ismail, an established Malaysian ceramics artist whose works have been featured in exhibitions in Japan, Korea, and Pakistan.


尽管Rozana目前很成功,但一路走来,她也经历了很多的艰难挑战。和大多数年轻的马来西亚人一样,要追求这样非传统的职业,在她年轻的时候都会觉得是很不现实的事情。后来也许是机缘巧合,她入读了马拉工业大学(Universiti Teknologi MARA)的艺术与设计课程,选择主修陶艺。但是毕业后,Rozana发现很难能找到提升的机会,主要是因为马来西亚的陶瓷产业尚不成熟。要找到导师很困难,社会对手工制作的陶瓷需求很少,进入这个行业还需要一定的设备,也有很高的壁垒(一个陶瓷窑炉价格至少3000美元)。Rozana说,从马拉工业大学毕业的十几名陶艺专业学生,只有一两个还留在这个行业。她很幸运,因为她最终找到Umibaizurah Mahir Ismail作为自己的导师。Umibaizurah Mahir Ismail是马来西亚著名的陶瓷艺术家,她的作品曾在日本、韩国和巴基斯坦展览。

After just several months of apprenticeship, Musa was inspired to start her own business, and thus Bendang Studio was conceived. She started off small, selling trinkets and accessories to a very niche market. Not long after, she wanted to expand her business, but being bootstrapped, buying an industrial ceramics kiln was out of the picture. Undeterred and being the self-starter that she is, Roza enlisted the help of her ex-lecturer at UiTM to build a fiberglass kiln from scratch. This move not only saved money, but her design was so innovative it won them an award that came with more than 4,000 USD in prize money from the government. And for the past seven years, Rozana has continually reinvested her profits, along with the winnings, back into her studio, buying a new kiln, and more recently, refurbishing the whole space. Rozana’s dedication and innovativeness have turned Bedang Studio what it is today – an impressive studio that’s leading the way for Malaysian ceramics.


在当了仅仅几个月的学徒之后,Rozana有了创业的冲动,于是成立了Bendang工作室。一开始它只是一个非常小的工作室,针对非常小众的市场售卖各种小饰品和配件。但过了没多久,Rozana想扩大自己的业务,却因为是白手起家,根本没有资金去购买工业用的陶瓷窑。但Rozana不愿服输,她找来自己以前在马拉工业大学的老师,一起从零开始打造出一个玻璃纤维窑。她不仅因此解决了自己的资本问题,更凭借这个创新的设计获奖,获得由政府资助的超过4000美元的奖金。在过去的七年间,Rozana将获得的收入和资金不断再投资到她的工作室中,购买了一个新的陶瓷窑,最近还将整个工作室重新装修。正是Rozana的奉献精神和创新让Bedang工作室成为了如今这个令人印象深刻的陶瓷工作室,带领着马来西亚的陶瓷产业开拓发展。

Musa’s studio sits right by the through road between Malacca City and Kampung Sungai Petai, two vastly different places, one being a bustling, cultural city, and the other, a secluded, relatively unknown village. The location is perhaps fitting, as Musa’s brand of handcrafted ceramics has connected two similar yet separate worlds – the commercial, utilitarian mass-market ceramics industry, and the niche artistic, dreamy space of ceramic artists. Over the past years, Bendang Studio has brought glimpses of that artistic world to the mass market, with restauranteurs clamoring over her wares before they are even made. Perhaps it is a sign of changing times, of a greater artistic appreciation for ceramics, of the fledgling state of the handcrafted ceramics scene in Malaysia maturing into something significant. Musa certainly hopes so, and if her recent growth is anything to go by, there will certainly be more cobalt splashes and golden brushstrokes to come.


Rozana的工作室坐落在连通马六甲和双溪大年的道路之间,这是两个截然不同的地方,一个是繁华的文化名城,另一个是鲜为人知的僻静村庄。这样的位置也许正契合了Rozana的手工陶瓷品牌,因为它也是在连接两个相似又截然不同的世界——商业功利的大众陶瓷产业与小众的艺术陶瓷制作空间。在过去几年间,Bendang工作室将这种陶瓷艺术世界不断展示给大众市场,许多餐厅甚至还没看到成品就已经争相下单购买。也许这是时代变迁的标志,代表着人们对陶瓷有了更大的艺术鉴赏兴趣,代表着马来西亚手工陶瓷行业日渐成熟。Rozana当然希望如此,以她近期的成长来看,未来她也一定会挥洒出一个充满钴蓝和亮金色的陶瓷世界。

Address:
KM 20, Kampung Sungai Petai
78000 Alor Gajah
Malacca, Malaysia

Website: www.bendangstudio.com.my
Facebook: ~/bendangstudio
Instagram: @bendangstudio_official

 

Contributor & Photographer: Yi Jun Loh


地址:
马六甲马来西亚
78000 亞羅牙也
KM 20, 双溪大年市

网站: www.bendangstudio.com.my
脸书: ~/bendangstudio
Instagram: @bendangstudio_official

 

供稿人与摄影师: Yi Jun Loh

362 Heong Peah

It’s 7 a.m. The sun has barely risen over the sleepy town of Gunung Rapat, but already, Uncle Liow is sweating profusely. His lone figure silhouettes against plumes of smoke snaking out of the four self-made brick furnaces of his ramshackle biscuit workshop-hut, the air heavy with the bittersweet scent of burnt caramel and coconut husk. Around him, rays of light stream down through holes in the makeshift rafters, the chiaroscuro illuminating balls of dough arranged neatly on the table to his side, patiently waiting to be baked off. Uncle Liow shovels more coconut husks into the furnaces, fuelling the growing pyres of flame. Then as the fires subside and the coconut husks turn into perfumed cinder, he takes in a long drag of his cigarette, picks up a dough ball and plunges his hands into the 300°C brick furnace, baking off the first of 1,200 heong peahs for the day.


早上7点。太阳刚刚升起,小镇昆仑喇叭(Gunung Rapat)还万籁俱寂的时候,Uncle Liow已经忙得满头大汗。他孤零零的身影,映衬着四个自制砖炉中飘出的缕缕烟雾,在他这个简陋的饼干工坊里,空气弥漫着焦糖与椰子壳交融那种甜中夹苦的浓郁气味。在他的四周,一束束阳光从临时搭建的屋椽间投射下来,照在他身旁桌子上整齐排列的面团,形成或明或暗的光影变化,这些面团接下来就要被放入砖炉里烤制。Uncle Liow锹更多椰子壳入炉,让火焰燃烧得更旺盛。然后,火势逐渐减弱,椰子壳也烧成了芳香煤渣,这时,他深深抽了一口烟,拿起面团,徒手把面团放入300°C高温的砖炉中,准备烤制今天头1200个香饼(heong peah)。

Though biscuit shops and confectionaries aren’t all that uncommon in Malaysia (after all, the neighbouring city of Ipoh is well known for its egg tarts, kaya puff biscuits, and lotus paste buns), Uncle Liow’s workshop makes, and have only ever made, one particular type of biscuit – the legendary heong peah, which literally means fragrant pastry in Hokkien. They’re flaky, delectable puff biscuits filled with oozing, sinfully thick malted caramel. Its outermost layers are often charred to a deep golden brown, while the caramel inside remains glisteningly moist. It’s akin to a lighter, flakier, Asian version of a Breton Kouign Amann, with a heavier caramel hit.


虽然马来西亚有很多饼家和糖果点心厂家——毕竟,旁边的怡保就是闻名的蛋挞、加央角(kaya puff)和莲蓉饼(lotus paste buns)产地,但Uncle Liow的工作坊只制作一种特定的甜点——著名的香饼。香饼一词来自于闽南语“Heong Peah(芳香糕点)”。薄脆的酥饼内充满浓浓的麦芽焦糖。最外层通常烤成深金黄色,而饼芯则是湿软的焦糖。它就像是亚洲版的布列塔尼特色甜点黄油酥饼(Breton Kouign Amann),但更清淡、更酥脆,焦糖味更浓郁。

Despite having a Chinese moniker, these biscuits first gained recognition in Malaysia back in 1981 when a second-generation Chinese couple started Yee Hup, a small biscuit workshop based in Gunung Rapat. Yee Hup specialized in heong peah, which until then had only been a niche, sparsely sold biscuit of the region. They developed and improved upon the traditional recipe and baking method, and in less than a decade, their heong peahs gained a cult following throughout Malaysia. Bakers and biscuit-makers around the region soon joined them, wanting to learn their ways of biscuit making. Soon after, with Yee Hup’s growing popularity came the desire to scale up production, but with the traditional methods requiring much effort and manpower, they eventually turned to mechanization and moved to a large-scale factory setting.


尽管有一个中文名字,但香饼一开始在马来西亚家喻户晓得归功于1981年一对第二代移民的中国夫妇所创立的余合饼家(Yee Hup)。余合是一家位于昆仑喇叭的饼家,以制香饼(Heong Peah)为主,同时也会制作当地特色饼糕甜点。在此之前,香饼一直是很小众的甜点。他们在传统秘方和烘烤方法的基础上进行研发和改进,在不到十年时间里,使之成为马来西亚各地广受欢迎的美食。附近的面包和饼干制造商很快就加入了他们,想要学习他们的饼干制作方法。不久之后,余合越来越受欢迎,也有了扩大规模生产的想法,但传统的制作方法需要投入很多功夫和人力,他们最终选择机械化,搬到一个大型工厂进行生产。

Uncle Liow was one of Yee Hup’s very first workers, and after many years of toil, he rose up the ranks to become one of their stalwart bakers. But when Yee Hup upscaled their business, he parted ways with the company as he wanted to preserve the artisanal methods of biscuit-making. And today, despite having labored over heong peahs for over 30 years, he remains true to his belief, never once faltering and submitting to the less-laborious, profit-driven modern methods of biscuit production. According to Uncle Liow, to get the truest, best-tasting heong peahs, two things are needed – a searing hot furnace fueled with coconut husks for that musky aroma and char, and more importantly, solid technique, which he clearly has a wealth of.


Uncle Liow是余合饼家(Yee Hup)第一批工人之一,经过多年的辛劳工作,他逐渐成为了店里的资深饼糕师傅之一。然而,当余合饼家扩大业务后,他选择了与公司分道扬镳,因为他想保持传统的手工饼糕制作方法。如今,他已经制作香饼30多年,但他仍然坚持着自己的信念,从来没有选择那些更省功夫、更赚钱的现代机器来制饼。Uncle Liow说,要做出最正宗、最美味的香饼,有两件必须品——灼热的烤炉,并且要用椰子壳来生火,因为可以有麝香香气和焦香气味;更重要的是,要有过硬的制作技艺,这一点他显然不缺。

Watching him work is truly mesmerizing. To make the heong peahs, Uncle Liow braves the 300°C heat of the cylindrical brick furnaces, sticking each piece of dough to the searing hot furnace walls in one deft movement. All the while, the hissing flame at the very bottom of the furnace licks at his fingertips, vaporizing the sweat on his hairless, burn-scarred arms. He works in a trance-like state, dancing around the furnace. His brows are furrowed; his hands in and out of the fire with fluid speed and purpose, stopping only to wipe away the beads of sweat collecting on his temples. His focus is palpably intense, as any slip-up would immediately result in painful third-degree burns. Only when every inch of the inner walls of the furnace has been filled with heong pPeahs does he allow himself breathe and take in a few drags of his cigarette as they bake off. Barely ten minutes later though, he is back at it again, this time with a scraper in hand to pry the biscuits off the furnace walls and onto cooling trays, ready to be checked for quality, packaged, and sold.


看着他工作很引人入胜。制作香饼时,Uncle Liow无惧于圆柱形砖炉300°C的高温,迅速将一块块面团放入灼热的炉壁上。砖炉底部的嘶嘶火焰舔着他的指尖,蒸发掉他光滑、布满烧伤伤痕的胳膊上。工作的时候,他仿佛置身另一个世界,变成一名在砖炉上跳舞的舞者。他的眉头紧皱,除了拭去额角上的汗珠,他的双手一直在快速、准确地伸入、抽出砖炉。他如此的专注,因为任何的疏忽都可能会导致三级烧伤的痛苦后果。只有当每一寸炉壁都摆满了香饼后,他才会停下来休息一下,抽口烟,等待香饼烤熟。不到十分钟,他又要回到砖炉前,这一次他手中拿着一把刮刀,把香饼从炉壁上取出,放到冷却托盘上,然后检查香饼的质量,进行打包和出售。

Together, with his team of five employees who helps him in making, filling, and packaging the biscuits, they bake off thousands of heong peahs every day in his humble workshop. They work tirelessly 12 hours a day, six days a week, which is admirable, to say the least, given the intensity and laboriousness of this artisanal business. However, Uncle Liow’s diligence and dedication have definitely paid off, as his workshop (362 Heong Peah) has over the years become a stand-out among the slew of biscuit shops and confectionaries in the area, garnering many loyal customers who travel from all over the country just to get his freshly baked biscuits.


在他的这间制饼工坊里,他和团队里的五名员工一起配制、装馅和包装饼干,每天烤制数千个香饼。他们每天不知疲倦地工作12小时,一周工作六天,鉴于这份工作的强度和辛苦,实在是令人钦佩。然而,Uncle Liow的勤奋和专注显然得到了回报,因为他的制饼工坊“362 张记炭烧香饼”经历多年努力,如今已经成为当地著名的品牌,赢得许多忠诚的顾客,甚至有许多人专程从马来西亚的其它地方过来,只为了能吃到他新鲜烤制的饼糕点心。

Although Uncle Liow’s heong peah business has continued to thrive over the years, other artisanal biscuit-makers have not been as successful, either succumbing to the ever-growing pressure to turn to modern, less laborious methods or having to close down their businesses due to old age and the laboriousness of the process. Thus, 362 Heong Peah now remains one of the few, if not the only artisanal heong peah workshops left in Malaysia, which reflects the unfortunate ravages of mechanization on the humble artisanal biscuit trade. However, despite the current state of the industry, Uncle Liow remains loyal to his mantra that flavor is king, and as such, he believes there will soon be a new wave of young artisans to take up the mantle of reviving and elevating the near-lost art of handmade heong peahs.


虽然Uncle Liow的香饼生意还在不断发展,但很多其它手工饼干制造商却没有他这么成功。他们要么屈服于不断增长的压力,转向现代化、省力的制作工艺,要么不得不因为年纪大了、制作过程太辛苦而选择结业。因此,362 张记炭烧香饼现在仍然是马来西亚为数不多的手工制饼工坊之一,这也反映出机械自动化对手工制饼行业的冲击。然而,虽然行业当前状态不容乐观,但Uncle Liow仍然忠于他的口头禅——好的味道才能成为最终的赢家,因此,他相信,很快会有新一代的年轻制饼师傅,承担起振兴和提升手工香饼制作这一门即将失传的艺术。

Address:
362, Jalan Gunung Rapat
Taman Rapat Setia, 31350 Ipoh
Perak, Malaysia

Tel: +6053113529

Instagram: ~/explore/locations

 

Contributor: Yi Jun Loh


地址:
362, Jalan Gunung Rapat
Taman Rapat Setia, 31350 Ipoh
Perak, Malaysia

电话: +6053113529

Instagram~/explore/locations

 

供稿人: Yi Jun Loh

The Major Arcana

The Empress (III)

Tang Xiao Ming is a Malaysian illustrator with a passion for editorial illustrations and visual storytelling. His illustration series, The Major Arcana, is an editorial approach to the twenty-two card tarot suit. Often used for divination and occult purposes, the Major Arcana has been understood as an archetypal system for psychological and spiritual advancement and has been reinterpreted by numerous artists since its invention in the 15th century.


马来西亚插画家Tang Xiao Ming热爱刊物插画和视觉叙事创作。他的插画系列《Major Arcana》(大秘仪)就是以塔罗牌中的22张主牌Major arcana为灵感创作的刊物插画。Major Arcana 通常用于占卜和其它神秘的用途,一直以来,它被人们视为是一个有关心理和精神层面发展的原型系统,自15世纪问世以来,已经被无数艺术家重新诠释过。

The Hanged Man (XII)
The Hierophant (V)
The Sun (XIX)
The Magician (I)

Tang’s interpretation of the Major Arcana series was a stepping stone for his personal style, which brought about its own challenges and rewards. He tells us about the creative process behind the series: “As an artist, sometimes you’ll run into a brick wall creatively, but it’s only temporary and it has the potential to change your life. It’s only from being stuck that you will start to think differently, and your creative process is forced to change. Because of this, it will unlock further possibilities in life and work.”


Tang以自己个人风格来演绎《Major Arcana》,当中也带来了相应的挑战和收获。他跟我们分享了这一系列创作过程的故事:“作为一名艺术家,有时候你会碰到创意方面的瓶颈,但它只是暂时性的,并且有可能会改变你的生活。只有当你感觉遇上了瓶颈,你才会开始有不同的想法,从而迫使你改变自己的创作思路。正因为如此,它会为你的生活和工作带来更多的可能性。”

Temperance (XIV)
Strength (VIII)
The Emperor (IV)
Judgment (XX)

Growing up in Malaysia, Tang was influenced by his society’s lack of awareness towards mental health. Instead of drawing influence from local Malaysian art and culture, he focuses on the psychological struggles of young people as a consistent theme in his work. Tang says, “In Malaysia and most of Asia, mental illnesses and psychological factors are not widely talked about – because of this, I think that many of my illustrations are themed around the mind and the emotions, because many of us do not know how to express ourselves or understand who we really are inside.”


Tang自小在马来西亚长大,周围人们对心理健康的意识很薄弱,这一点也影响了他。他没有从马来西亚当地文化和艺术绘画中寻找灵感,而是专注于青少年的心理斗争,将之作为自己的作品中最常见的主题。Tang说:“在马来西亚和亚洲大部分地区,精神疾病和心理健康还没有获得人们的广泛讨论。正因为如此,我觉得自己许多插图作品都是围绕心灵和情感主题的,因为我们当中很多人都不知道如何表达自己,也不了解在内心里面真实的自己。”

The Chariot (VII)
Death (XIII)
The Star (XVII)
The High Priestess (II)

Some of Tang’s early influences include notable comic artists Olivier Coipel and Stuart Immonen, as well as graphic novels like Watchmen. Currently, he identifies his primary influence as visual artist James Jean: “Jean’s paintings deal with the unknown – they are very emotionally driven. They relate to me and inspire me to do what I’ve always loved to do, which is to create. I hope that my creativity will, in turn, inspire others and allow them to understand the way that I feel.”


Tang的早期影响还包括著名漫画家 Olivier Coipe和Stuart Immonen,以及《守望者》等漫画。目前,他说自己最主要的影响是视觉艺术家James Jean :“Jean的画作都是有关未知的主题,蕴含着饱满的情感,让我很受触动,也激励着我去做自己一直喜欢做的事情,那就是创作。通过我自己的创意,我希望可以反过来激励他人,让他们明白我的感受。”

Justice (XI)
The Devil (XV)
The Fool (0)
The Lovers (VI)
The Moon (XVIII)
The Hermit (IX)

Websiteimtxm.com
Instagram: @imtxm

 

Contributor: George Zhi Zhao


网站imtxm.com
Instagram: @imtxm

 

供稿人: George Zhi Zhao