31 January to 13 February 2022
PANGGUNG is a project exploring sounds and architecture of the Malay world – those that are lost, those still standing strong today and those that are speculations for the future. Through this, the project will deconstruct, construct, and reconstruct traditional and contemporary Malay music, sounds of the Malay world, built and natural structures, and urban and organic architecture of the Malay world. The project title is borrowed from the Malay word for stage, as it used in the performing arts world and from the term, Rumah Panggung or stage house, which is a type of Malay house which are raised on stilts. In this instance, the worlds of sound and architecture collide on stage while also creating a stage.
Although we are living in the 21st century, artists in the traditional realm who have a contemporary practice often encounter cultural gatekeeping from senior statespersons of their art form. Similarly, as we look around us, architecture has made great advancements, but we see lesser and lesser Malay architecture in our midst. We fear their complete erasure or tokenistic adaptation of their features reserved only for cultural and Malay community-specific civic venues. We are a generation of artists who believe in that the traditional is contemporary. And in preventing its demise, we see our actions as reimagining its futures.
PANGGUNG is a long term project developed and led by Bahri & Co, and will consist of sonic and multimedia artists alongside architects and designers from Singapore and Malaysia, exploring new collaborations between Singapore and Malaysia (and Indonesia), in hopes of developing new pathways and projects born out of the Nusantara (Malay Archipelago).
The project begins its first phase at 136 GOETHE LAB with Syafiq Halid (Singapore) the duo, Kicau-Bilau (Malaysia) and artistic director, Shaifulbahri Mohamad of Bahri & Co.
The artists will hold two sharing sessions about their project and processes:
13 February, 11am to 12pm
13 February, 2 to 3pm
Email Valerie-Ann.Tan@goethe.de to register.
Syafiq Halid is a sound designer, electronic artists and the first Ableton Certified Trainer based in Singapore. His personal works revolve on his own imagined style and niche from percussions, samples, sounds and electronic music. He believes in developing his internal boundaries constantly by exploring and experimenting with various elements of sound to produce deep sonic material and listening experience. He has worked in different capacities in the performing arts as Sound Designer, Music Arranger and Show Director on various projects. In early 2017, Syafiq became the first and youngest-ever Ableton Certified Trainer in Singapore. He officially launched Grid Culture, Singapore’s first and only Ableton Certified Training Centre.
Kicau-Bilau is a wordplay intended as an opposite to the Malay reduplicative word “kacau-bilau” which bears the similar meaning and linguistic trait of “helter-skelter” or “topsy-turvy”. Kicau-Bilau literally translates as ‘arbitrary chirping’. The duo, Irfan & Jihan, composes on-site soundscape using guitar and angklung, chirping in the midst of the chaotic urban life. Exploring both natural and man-made sound and merging them into an emotionally engaging experience. They deploy an open-ended setting that allows their improvisation to explore infinite possibilities. Kicau-bilau often collaborates with other performing arts practitioners like dancers and poets to better showcase the rich spiritual and cultural traditions of the Nusantara.
Bahri & Co is a producing company working in the contemporary, the traditional and everything-in-between of performance. Drawing from Arabic, Bahri means belonging to/(of) the sea. Based in Singapore and led by Shaifulbahri Mohamad, we are a port of call for artists, producers and all types of arts workers to encounter, exchange with and engage each other. We want the people we support and their ideas to make waves in the arts world through the development, creation and distribution of new stories and projects.
136 GOETHE LAB is a new project space at the Goethe-Institut Singapore. Housed in the former library and reading room, the space is intended as a response to the need for physical spaces for the arts, and an ongoing conversation with the public and arts community in Singapore.
PANGGUNG is supported as part of the open call Project Work (PW), the pilot programme of 136 GOETHE LAB, which invited applicants to activate the space with a group proposal.