Dari Pusat Tasek 7

Melayang Kueh Pauh Dilayang!

The Dari Pusat Tasek show runs at the Percha Art Space in Lumut till the 5th Jan 2020 (EXTENDED TILL 19 JAN 2020) .

In the Hikayat Jaya Langkara, a quest for the healing saffron flower leads the Princess Ratna Kasina to a mountain at the pusat tasek where the rising tide brings the miraculous flower up within her reach. While there is no mention of the Pokok Pauh Janggi in this fable, the buah Pauh appears twice in the list of similes used to extoll the beauty of Princess. Princess Ratna Kasina is said to have cheeks like sliced mango (pipi-nya saperti pauh di-layang), and heels like turned (or peeled) mango (tumit-nya saperti pauh di-larek).

For the opening reception of the show at Percha Art Space, Percha Director, Suhaila Hashim, steamed her first Kueh Pauh Dilayang after experimenting with recipes found online. The cake was sliced (dilayang) and served to locate the mango within Malay mythology and aesthetics, and to articulate the core symbolism of the Dari Pusat Tasek happening which includes –

  1. a performance based the mythic realities of the ‘navel of the seas’ or the Pusat Tasik Pauh Janggi.
  2. a gallery installation featuring the Koboi Balik Kampung series of 12 photographic prints and presents an autobiographical take on the complexities of contemporary Malaysian art and society.
  3. and the serving of this rare Kelantan sweet – the Kueh Pauh Dilayang.

Dari Pusat Tasek 1

Malay similes that index beauty, Pauh dilayang – sliced mango, Pauh Dilarik – turned (or peeled) mango.

I will be having an exhibition at the 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 (EXTENDED TILL 19 JAN 2020). There will be an impromptu street performance, carried out as part of this exhibition, based on the malay myth of the ‘navel of the seas’. According to Malay folklore, far out in the deep ocean, there is a great whirlpool known as the ‘Pusat Tasek’. At the centre of this whirlpool, there is an enormous tree known as the Pokok Pauh Janggi. The name janggi, probably, derives from the Toroja word ‘djjandji’ which means ‘fruit’. ‘Pauh’  is the Malay word for ‘mango’ and it is likely that ‘Pokok Pauh Janggi’ is, in fact,  a mango tree and not a coco de mer palm as the contemporary usage of the name would suggest.

In the Hikayat Jaya Langkara, a quest for the healing saffron flower leads the Princess Ratna Kasina to a mountain at the pusat tasek where the rising tide brings the miraculous flower up within her reach. While there is no mention of the Pokok Pauh Janggi in this fable, the buah Pauh appears twice in the list of similes used to extoll the beauty of Princess. Princess Ratna Kasina is said to have cheeks like sliced mango (pipi-nya saperti pauh di-layang), and heels like turned (or peeled) mango (tumit-nya saperti pauh di-larek)

dahi-nya bagai bintang timor, hidong-nya bagai melor jantan, pipi-nya saperti pauh di-layang, telinga-nya saperti telepok laboh, rambutnya saperti mayang mengurai,kening saperti taji di-bentuk dan gigi-nya saperti saga merekah, dagu-nya saperti telur burung, pinggang-nya saperti pingang-nya kerengga, kaki-nya saperti kaldai dan tumit-nya saperti pauh di-larek, lengan-nya buntaran, dan betis-nya bagai bunting padi”. 

Sources

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/47873/47873-h/-h.htm

http://sambali.blogspot.com/2008/04/kuroshio-current-and-navel-of-sea.html

https://books.google.ca/books?id=YAsZDAAAQBAJ&q=saffron#v=onepage&q=hikayat%20jaya%20langkara&f=false