Catama takes Kuching contemporary art exhibition into the virtual realm

Catama takes Kuching contemporary art exhibition into the virtual realm

3D virtual exhibition presents Dalam, a previously physical exhibition with 14 artists and collectives from the region and beyond

Many of the artworks from the exhibition took inspiration from Borneos cultural heritage.

INNOVATIVE local social enterprise and cultural initiative Catama have just launched an online virtual tour of their contemporary art exhibition.

Originally held physically in Kuching in December 2022, it is now presented as a 3D interactive tour online, allowing new audiences to experience the widely lauded exhibition, which featured the work of artists, craft artisans, musicians and cultural practitioners from throughout Borneo – Sarawak, Sabah, Kalimantan and Brunei – as well as West Malaysia, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Entitled ‘Dalam’ the exhibition explored themes of the other, the interior, the seen and unseen, alongside the intersection between cultural and craft practices and creative expression. Featuring new works that had never previously been exhibited, it has now been turned into a permanent interactive exhibition online.

The exhibition featured 14 local and international artists and collectives, some of whom travelled from abroad to Malaysia and Indonesia to attend the physical exhibition, and also took part in the online launch of the virtual tour.

Curator Catriona Maddocks presents artworks on the exhibiton tour. – Photo by Martin Bong

Catama’s creative director, and the exhibition curator Catriona Maddocks said:

“Dalam was quite an innovative and contemporary exhibition, exploring themes of identity, craft and the inner world; the dalam and the alam that we create, expressed through audio-visual storytelling, craft installations, sculptures, textile art, photography and spatial documentation.”

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.

Installation of Tikar Banjir. – Photo by Martin Bong

Additionally a number of audio-visual pieces presented in form of videos, sound installations and projections, by Harold Reagan Eswar @ EGN, Tiyan Baker and Borneo Bengkel.

Textile works were showcased by Bethany Balan, Elroy Ramantan, Iona Danald and Leopold Garett Anak Jawan. Sculptures by Anyshya Anak Jusam, installation by Armanzaki Azrs and print works by Sharon Chin were also featured.

The exhibition is supported by Yayasan Hasanah’s Arts For All Seasons (ArtsFAS 2022) annual grant programme, which enabled it to be turned into a permanent virtual exhibition. Additional support for research and development of the art works was provided by the British Council, Cendana and Krishen Jit Fund.

(L-R) BAYA PUTIH Elroy Ramantan (Photo Credit The Shots Gallery 1), and (H)ARUS III & I Bethany Balan (Photo Credit The Shots Gallery 2).

The virtual exhibition is powered by Amogha Tech Sdn Bhd, a Kuching based technology solution company specializing in application of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Drone Technology and 3D Mapping. Managing director Ashweein Narayana said:

“We’ve been working with venues and organisations throughout Sarawak to create virtual spaces and explore the capacity of technology. This is the first creative exhibition we have documented and we’re honoured to be able to technologically empower our local creative community, and create a permanent virtual exhibition so locals and non-Sarawakains can see what the talents of our state have to offer”

(Top) Photographer Hardiyanti with cultural practitioner Lidia Sumbum from Sungai Utik, Kalimantan. (Bottom) Sculptor Anyshya Anak Jusan poses with her artwork Tanduk. – Photos by Martin Bong

The exhibition launch was hosted digitally by HAUS KCH, a creative hub based in Kuching, as part of their Seni Kita initiative. Syed Rusydie, programme coordinator of the Seni Kita initiative said:

“The diverse and talented ensemble of creatives featured in Dalam are truly an honour to have presented. Having started entirely local, the trajectory of Seni Kita programme – thanks to this strategic and enthusiastic partnership with Catama Borneo – is looking hopeful as one of Kuching’s many art-platforms which could introduce more intercultural dialogues between borders.”

Some of the featured artists at Dalam exhibition – Photo by Martin Bong

Rusydie, one of three directors at HAUS KCH, a creative hub with an event and exhibition space, added, “We hope in earnest that more local entities in the creative industry have the courage to take a step in this direction – HAUS is ready to help where we can.”

Curated by Catriona Maddocks, and presented by Catama and Borneo Bengkel, to explore the virtual exhibition visit their website here

source – The Vibes

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