The Discoveries!

“To celebrate the men who achieved great deeds for the nation, it is also necessary to celebrate the mothers who carried in their arms the children killed by the men who achieved great deeds for the nation.” This photo performance at the site of the Monument to the Discoveries in Belem, Lisboa presents the award winning show Aurora Negra which will run between September 3 and 14, at the Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, Lisboa.

The Koboi Project intervened at this same site in 2018 as part of a set of photo-performative street actions, which resulted in the series Kaza Nunteng Porta (House Without a Door).

https://www.facebook.com/MidiaNINJA/photos/a.164308700393950/1968374329987369

4 Ikatan Pertiwi

4 Ikatan Pertiwi, Koboi Balik Lagi, 2016

2018 Merdeka Award recipient, the late Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim, is standing 2nd from the left in this image from the Koboi Balik Lagi series. He is married to my cousin Rathy (not in the photograph), and is pictured here with members of his family, Gana and the late Jega, as well as my late parents. Professor Emeritus Khoo Kay Kim is the preeminent historian of independent Malaysia. He also the co–authored the Rukun Negara. As such, an image of Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim, signifies the nation as definitively as any distinctive Malaysian landscape.

Koboi Balik Lagi (2016) is the 3rd series of the Koboi Project. My essay contextualizing this project, titled The Koboi Project: diasporic Artist… diasporic Art, is included in Interlaced Journey: Diaspora and the Contemporary in Southeast Asian Art edited by Patrick D. Flores & Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani.

Click to access Interlaced-Journey_E-BOOK.pdf

1 SUPERSTAR

1 SUPERSTAR, Kedualan Si Koboi, 2015

The second series of the Koboi Project includes an image of Koboi standing before his alter ego, SUPERSTAR Rajinikanth. This image was shot in Penang in 2013. This series which is titled Kedualan Si Koboi, was published in 2015.

My essay contextualizing this project, titled The Koboi Project: diasporic Artist… diasporic Art, is included in Interlaced Journey: Diaspora and the Contemporary in Southeast Asian Art edited by Patrick D. Flores & Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani.

11 Cukur Janggut

11 Cukur Janggut, Koboi Balik Kampung, 2015

The Koboi Project begins with the Koboi’s return to Kuala Lumpur in 2013 after a decade away in Vancouver. This homecoming was treated both as lived experience and as an enactment. This return was photographed and became the first Koboi series, titled Koboi Balik Kampung, published in 2015.

My essay contextualizing this project, titled The Koboi Project: diasporic Artist… diasporic Art, is included in Interlaced Journey: Diaspora and the Contemporary in Southeast Asian Art edited by Patrick D. Flores & Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani.

http://pcan.org.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Interlaced-Journey_E-BOOK.pdf

Murugan and Rajinikanth 7

Muruganikku Arohara! Thalaivar Vallha!

In my performances at the Singapore Biennale 2016/2017, I made an offering to of cut mango to Murugan and to Rajinikanth. This was the second of a series of performances in which I have made post-traditional ritual offerings – coconut at the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, mango at the Burning Man Festival, Mango Dango (dumplings) in , Courtyard Hiroo, Tokyo and Black Grass Jelly in Bangkok and limes and kueh pauh dilayang in Lumut. Amongst the deities and spirits invoked Lord Murugan, Lord Krishna, Momotaro San, Phra Rahu, Phra,Hanuman and all manner of Sial Jambalang.

Murugan and Rajinikanth 6

“The borders are blurring through art!” – A. R. Rahman retweeted Will.i.am, who as appears Rajinikanth (Chitti) from Enthiran in a new music video titled ‘Action’ using what he calls ‘deep fake technology.’ Other films reprised in this music video are Singham, Maryada Ramanna, Aambala and Kopps.

I have, in my Koboi Project (2013 -present), been using the image of Rajinikanth as a signifier for just this kind of cross-boundary cultural communion. Please see –

Kedualan Si Koboi (Anamalai)
Cowboys and Indians (Kabali)
Kiasu Cowboys (Anamalai / Kabali)
Anugraham (Kabali)
Momotaro San (Muthu/ Kabali/ Kaala)

https://www.ndtv.com/entertainment/icymi-black-eyed-peas-new-song-action-has-a-rajinikanth-twist-2277247

Murugan and Rajinikanth 5

In my 2016 exhibit for the Singapore biennale I performed a ritual offering to lord Murugan. I recited the third stanza of the nerisai venpas  (closing verses) of the “Thirumuruhaattup-padai” – a hymn, to the glory of Lord Murugan, composed by the poet Nakkirar. This verse is a veneration of the sacred weapon of Lord Murugan, his Vel.

Heroic  Vel
Radiant Vel
Valiant Vel that set free imprisoned celestial beings
Vel of the glorious one’s Sacred Hand
Vel that plunged the oceans deep
Regal Vel
Vel that pierced Suran’s breast and hill
Our extant Refuge