Koboi Balik Kampung 3

12 KEMBARA LAGI, Koboi Balik Kampung Series, 12 Chromogenic Printed in a Limited Edition of 9, Niranjan Rajah, 2015

Preparing for my Dari Pusat Tasek show at at Percha Art Space, Lumut Waterfront. The show will run over the Christmas and New Year period. It will open on 25th Dec. The gallery installation will feature the Koboi Balik Kampung series which consists of 12 photographic prints and presents a an autobiographical take on the complexities of contemporary Malaysian art and society. The titles are 1 Balik Kampung, 2 Kampung Halaman, 3 Bersama Abang, 4 Restu Ibu, 5 Bahang Panas, 6 Hujan Gerimis, 7 Warga Malaysia, 8 Tarik Harga, 9 Kuncu Kuncu, 10 Taubat Keling, 11 Cukur Janggut, 12 Kembara Lagi. Koboi Balik Kampung explores the notion of returning home from the diaspora, but also interrogates this idea in terms of the complex relationship between nationality and ethnicity. The images were gleaned from my activities in Kuala Lumpur and its surroundings. The titles delve deep into the Malay idioms and expressions.

Koboi Balik Kampung 2

1 MUDIK PULANG Koboi Balik Kampung Series, 12 Chromogenic Printed in a Limited Edition of 9, Niranjan Rajah, 2015

​I will be presenting my Koboi Balik Kampung series of the Koboi Project at Percha Art Space in Lumut over the Christmas and New Year period. The show, titled Dari Pusat Tasek, will open on 25th Dec and run for 2 weeks. Koboi Balik Kampung presents a very personal perspective on the complexities of contemporary Malaysian art and society. It explores the notion of returning home from the diaspora, but also interrogates this idea in terms of the complex relationship between nationality and ethnicity. It was conceived in the course of my visit to Malaysia for Aliran Semasa {RearView Forward}, a series of events curated by Roopesh Sitharan in June and July, 2013. The images were gleaned from my activities in Kuala Lumpur and its surroundings. The titles delve deep into the Malay idioms and expressions. The series was mainly shot by my daughter Durga Rajah who was my constant companion on this trip.

Koboi Balik Kampung (2013)

Koboi Balik Kampung, Readymade Rockmount Western Shirt, 2013. Permanent Collection of the National Visual Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur. (The image above is from an installation and performance at the National Visual Art Gallery in 2018).

The Koboi Balik Kampung (2013) Readymade from the permanent collection of the National Visual Art Gallery in KL is currently on display at the gallery. This item was a residual artifact from a performance at the Aliran Semasa symposium held at the gallery in 2013. This performance marked my Malaysian homecoming after ten years away in Western Canada.

I appeared at the event wearing a brand-new Rockmount Western shirt with tags intact. As the symposium began, my mother the late Sathiavathy Deva Rajah was invited on stage, to give me a traditional Indian/ Hindu blessing by placing chanthanam (sandalwood paste) and kunggumum (red turmeric powder) on my forehead. Then, facing the audience, I remove the shirt, draped it on a pre-installed hanger at the back of the stage and my mother consecrated it with the same chanthanam and kunggumum. The shirt was left hanging for the duration of the symposium and then presented to the gallery.

A version of the Performance was repeated in an intervention when the item was on show for the first time as a selection from the collection of the National Visual Art Gallery in 2018. My Mother and I were stopped from renewing the markings on the shirt by a curator and a conservator from the gallery. We debated notions of completion of an art work, ownership of an artwork, the artist’s rights to modify an artwork, the extensive conservational bureaucracy that encompases a work of art in a National collection and the effects of all of these on the state of an art work (is it active or is it inert, alive or dead!). Mother and I proceed with the portion of our ritual that did not interfere with what is now the property of the gallery. The image above was captured by my daughter Durga Rajah during this performance.

Kabali Da! 4

back in tokyo.png
Like our Thailavar Tun Dr Mahathir, I too am back (in a much more modest way of course!) I AM BACK IN JAPAN after about 20 years .. On my first trip in 1998, I saw our Rajinikanth beaming down at me from a cinema hoarding .. and thus was the seed sown that has flowered into the Koboi Balik Kampung roadshow that I am now taking round the world! I used to be a regular visiter to Japan in the late 1990’s under the auspices of the Japan Foundation and the Fukuoka Art Museum and I am really happy to be back here for Cowboys and Indians: Tokyo Edition. Please come … all are welcome!

カウボーイとインディアンズ:東京版

コートヤード HIROO:2018年5月11日午後7
〒106-0031 東京都港区西麻布4-21-2
Courtyard HIROO : 7pm 11th May 2018
4-21-2 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0031 JAPAN
Tel. +81-3-6427-1185     info@cy-hiroo.jp

Image: https://www.facebook.com/niranjan.rajah/timeline/story?ut=60&wstart=0&wend=1527836399&hash=2187518281479683616&pagefilter=3

カウボーイズとインディアンズ: 東京版

tokyotower
カウボーイズとインディアンズ: 東京版
コートヤード・ヒロ: 2018年5月11日午後7
〒106-0031 東京都港区西麻布 4-21-2
Courtyard Hiroo: 7pm 11th May 2018
4-21-2 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0031 JAPAN
Tel. +81-3-6427-1185     info@cy-hiroo.jp

The Koboi Project is series of a photo-conceptual performances, involving photographic images, traditional icons, story telling, collaboration and conviviality. For Cowboys and Indians: Tokyo Edition at Courtyard Hiroo, Niranjan Rajah will present an 18ft banner of Tamil movie SUPERSTAR Rajinikanth and an antique Momotaro doll made by the Kyugetsu Company. He will make an offering to the SUPERSTAR, to Momotaro-san and then, to one member of the audience. The visionary film critic and promoter Fumio Furuya (a.k.a. Jun Edoki), who is responsible for introducing Rajinikanth to Japan, has accepted an invitation to attend as an honoured guest. A scaled down version of the performance will be taken around the city for a series of impromptu interventions between the 7th and the 10th of May 2018, starting in Nishi-Kasai, Tokyo’s Little India. Niranjan will be accompanied by: Hiroyoshi Takeda – Autokaran, Chef; Tara Rajah – Cello; Jane Frankish – Poems on the Megaphone; Mikan Bindu (leader and choreographer) Hiroyoshi Takeda, Shinji Kashima, Hiroyo Yamaguchi, Saki Ito, Emiko Sawada, Yumiko Honda, Shinya Asanuma – SANDOSHAM Indian Movie Dance; Durga Rajah – Photography. For more information please visit: https://koboibalikkampung.wixsite.com/momo

カウボーイズとインディアンズ: 東京版

Autokaran

カウボーイズとインディアンズ: 東京版
コートヤード・ヒロ: 2018年5月11日午後7
〒106-0031 東京都港区西麻布 4-21-2
Courtyard Hiroo: 7pm 11th May 2018
4-21-2 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0031 JAPAN
Tel. +81-3-6427-1185     info@cy-hiroo.jp

The Koboi Project is series of a photo-conceptual performances, involving photographic images, traditional icons, story telling, collaboration and conviviality. For Cowboys and Indians: Tokyo Edition at Courtyard Hiroo, Niranjan Rajah will present an 18ft banner of Tamil movie SUPERSTAR Rajinikanth and an antique Momotaro doll made by the Kyugetsu Company. He will make an offering to the SUPERSTAR, to Momotaro-san and then, to one member of the audience. The visionary film critic and promoter Fumio Furuya (a.k.a. Jun Edoki), who is responsible for introducing Rajinikanth to Japan, has accepted an invitation to attend as an honoured guest. A scaled down version of the performance will be taken around the city for a series of impromptu interventions between the 7th and the 10th of May 2018, starting in Nishi-Kasai, Tokyo’s Little India. Niranjan will be accompanied by: Hiroyoshi Takeda – Autokaran, Chef; Tara Rajah – Cello; Jane Frankish – Poems on the Megaphone; Mikan Bindu (leader and choreographer) Hiroyoshi Takeda, Shinji Kashima, Hiroyo Yamaguchi, Saki Ito, Emiko Sawada, Yumiko Honda, Shinya Asanuma – SANDOSHAM Indian Movie Dance; Durga Rajah – Photography. For more information please visit: https://koboibalikkampung.wixsite.com/momo

Koboi’s Guest: Jun Edoki

edoki
For Cowboys and Indians: Tokyo Edition, at Courtyard Hiroo on 11th May 2018 at 7pm,  I am proud to announce that visionary film critic and promoter Fumio Furuya (a.k.a Jun Edoki), President of Eden Entertainment Inc., has accepted my invitation to attend the performance as an honoured guest. In 1998, Jun Edoki had the audacity to bring the film ‘Muthu Oduru Maharaja‘ (Muthu Dancing Maharaja) to the Tokyo audience. According Naman Ramachandran in  his biography of Rajinikanth, Edoki  found the movie in Singapore and took a copy back with him to Japan. He watched it with his wife and,  Ramachandran quotes Edoki saying, ” It was absolutely fascinating – even without subtitles … We became addicted to the point that we had to see at least part of the movie at least once a day”.

With absolute faith, Edoki took the movie around to distributors in Japan until Xanadeux released the film in 1998. I myself was amazed, upon a visit to Tokyo in 1998, to find the image of Thalaiva beaming over the streets of the city. That encounter on the streets of Tokyo in 1998 set into motion the ideas and approaches that inform the Koboi Project. Under the prevailing international marketing practice, global products are deliberately  differentiated to address specific markets (what Roland Robertson called dochakuka after the Japanese term dochaku)… Muthu in Japan was a media product that ‘crossed over’ without any such a priori considerations … it made a heart-to-heart connection to become a massive box-office success sans  dochakuka.

Image: https://twitter.com/EdokiJun

https://books.google.ca/books?id=3mzyPGSfwKMC&pg=PT196&lpg=PT196&dq=jun+edoki+kandaswamy+muthu&source=bl&ots=60Hhzrrfdq&sig=v_LH-2Gp_GWmwGN69YQylahFAMI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiP1Lu0gt7aAhXqwlQKHcTDCu8Q6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=jun%20edoki%20kandaswamy%20muthu&f=false

https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/history/students/modules/hi31v/syllabus/week18/robertson-1995.pdf

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