PEACE PREVAILS

May peace prevails upon all beings on the earth and beyond. You may scroll down to browse the contents of this blog.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

WHY I FLY TO SARAWAK (PART 2) (MENGAPA SAYA TERBANG KE SARAWAK, BAHAGIAN 2)

The majestic Santubong provides a stunning backdrop for the city of Kuching, as seen from Four Season in BDC.
I just came back from serving as an external examiner for the final year projects of students from the Visual Art and Technology Program at the Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts (FACA), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS). I think I have been servicing as the external examiner for the past four years already. It has been a meaningful return and learning pleasure for me.

Cruising in sampan along Sarawak river with a 'pilot' who has been doing it for so many years, brings me back to many fond memories
Night cruise
I want to thank Mr. Anuar Ayob (Head of the Visual Art and Technology Program), Assoc. Prof. Zulkalnain Zainal Abidin (Deputy Dean), Assoc. Prof. Hasnizam Wahid (Dean), Kartik Kumar (Masters student), Rasyid (Masters student), all the lecturers, and most importantly, all the students for receiving me with such good hearts. As usual, I had the pleasure to meet few other old friends like Prof. Nala (of the Faculty of Information Technology), Lin (of the UNIMAS Restaurant), and Jeremy (technician and ol pal who has helped me in many creative projects during my UNIMAS's years). 


Interior view of UNIMAS Library that can easily be converted into an art gallery
Exterior view of UNIMAS campus.
Kartik and Rasyid were very helpful in assisting me and Tengku Sabri (the other external examiner)during our stay. We returned the favor by giving them our frank and direct opinions in regards to their masters research. 

I miss my ol' mind grenade partner (external examiner) NASIR BAHARUDDIN. I strongly believe that Nasir has played a critical (but obscured) role in shaping the direction and quality of the final year projects from the students of the Visual Art and Technology Department of the Faculty of Applied & Creative Arts, UNIMAS. This can be traced in the works of the students in the previous batches. Of course, credits (and constructive criticism) must be given to all the lecturers as well. 

Anyway, it has been another meaningful partnering with another ol pal (and respected senior during my student years at UiTM) TENGKU SABRI. Thank you Tengku Sabri for your presence and critical contribution. It has been one of my many wishes to show you the fruits of one of my many 'planting and gardening' endeavors. I also wish that the three of us can contribute to this fertile 'garden'. I offer my doa that our presence will assist our friends at UNIMAS in charting their future.  

I left part of my heart in Sarawak, specifically Kuching, Kota Samarahan and UNIMAS. Blessed to be back to a place where I learnt many lessons in life. Blessed to be back to a place I used to call home, the birth state of Amira and Ainina, the place where my big ego was tested, humbled and shattered. A place where I was inspired by the pioneering spirit of my friends and students. The students works still inspire and rejuvenate me, whilst making me reminiscing the wonderful experiences of planting a faculty and a university. The past and future are entangled into the present. And yes, it is still a 'present' or special gift to me. That is why I still fly to Sarawak.

Mount Serapi, another gatekeeper of Kuching.
Happy clouds with clear sky.
Two mesmerizing dishes that one can only enjoy at Top Spot Kuching.



CLOSER TO THE HEART THAN ANY KPI (KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATOR)

 
"I will always look back with great fondness and gratefulness in my heart those precious 4 years of my life in UNIMAS and it is because of YOU and how you selflessly shared your life with us students...you shared not just your knowledge but ...your LIFE. I had wanted an overseas/US fine art degree but I got more than that in UNIMAS because you taught me more than books and brushes, you taught me about LIFE! This is what I call FIRST CLASS EDUCATION! where no money in this world can buy. You believe in me more than I believe in myself. How I can even begin to thank you!! GOD BLESS YOU, my dear lecturer Hasnul Saidon! You will always be in my prayers :)"

Now, how can I reply such words Helena, except sending my prayers while restraining my eyes from getting wet.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

BANGKIT

(Tautan ke Bahagian 11)
http://hasnulsaidon.blogspot.com/2012/05/ahli-fizik-jahn-hagelin-membuat.html?m=0


BANGKIT!!                                          

BY HASNUL SAIDON ON FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2010 AT 2:02AM

Peristiwanya adalah : AKU membaca teks yang tertera di atas skrin komputer ini.

Tiba-tiba terasa tersangat ringan. AKU terasa kehilangan bentuk. Sekilas terasa melangkah terbang ke belakang dan ke atas.

Sekarang, dapat diSAKSIkan dengan jelas sekujur tubuh sedang menekuni teks yang tertera di atas skrin komputer. Itulah sekujur tubuh yang selama ini dikenali sebagai aku. AKU sedang menyaksikan 'aku'. Hmmmmm.....

Sekilas juga segalanya menjadi lutsinar. Mula-mula ia amat membutakan. Segalanya terasa hilang. Tiada apa-apa, kecuali rasa kehadiran yang getarannya amat tenang, damai dan cinta. Kehadiran itu adalah kehadiran tenang, damai dan cinta.

Dari rasa kehadiran, jelas dapat diSAKSIkan bagaimana organ mata pada sekujur tubuh 'aku' tadi sedang menangkap pelbagai frekuensi gelombang cahaya, lalu membawa maklumat frekuensi ke organ otaknya untuk diproses.

Sekilas juga dapat diSAKSIkan bagaimana organ otak 'aku' tadi memproses julat warna dari frekuensi merah yang bergetar pendek hinggalah ke ungu yang bergetar panjang. Sekilas dapat diSAKSIkan bagaimana otak membentuk saranan frekuensi minda, yang serentak menyarankan pula bahawa itulah 'realiti tampak' atau 'realiti benda' untuk sekujur tubuh dipanggil 'aku' tadi.

Dapat diSAKSIkan pula begitu kompleksnya otak tadi memproses gelombang frekuensi yang dicerap oleh organ-organ deria yang lain - sentuhan, pendengaran, hidu dan rasa lidah untuk mencipta ilusi keras, lembut, halus, kasar, berat, ringan, manis, masam, tawar, pahit, wangi, busuk, bising, sunyi dan segala macam frekuensi saranan minda dan reaksi emosi yang infinit, dinamik, sentiasa berubah, tidak kekal, berlapis-lapis, pelbagai fokal/titik tumpuan, multi-dimensi, tidak linear, saling berkait, saling bergantungan, modular. Proses ini mengalahkan segala jenis komputer yang paling canggih yang boleh dicipta oleh manusia. Ia membolehkan sekujur tubuh tadi 'mengALAMi.' Begitu 'real' pengalaman itu hingga sekujur tubuh tadi mengatakan itulah 'aku'.

Dapat diSAKSIkan bahawa proses minda itulah yang terus membuai sekujur 'aku' tadi dalam sekilas mimpi benda yang dipanggil 'aku sedang membaca teks yang tertera pada skrin komputer'.

Sekilas juga terasa lebih ringan lalu tertanya :

Siapa pula AKU yang sedang menjadi SAKSI kepada peristiwa 'aku sedang membaca teks yang tertera pada skrin komputer' ini?

Saturday, 21 April 2012

PETIKAN ULASAN SM ZAKIR TENTANG TEATER "HARGA SEBUAH MARUAH"

Ingatan tragis tentang longgokan tanah di depan pintu pejabat, juga segala penat-lelah dan kemelaratan beberapa hari berkelana bersama kekawan di asrama belia untuk menjayakan kerja teater (yang jarang saya buat) agaknya menunggu ulasan ini.... Terima kasih S.M.Zakir.

Dia mengulas, 
"Kembali kepada teater "Harga Sebuah Maruah", Dewan Balai Tun Syed Nasir, DBP memberikan pemandangan pentas yang berbeza sebaik sahaja penonton mengambil tempat duduk untuk menyaksikan pementasan bermula. Latar pementasan menggambarkan suasana di Kampung Kertau. .....................(Dipotong kerana boleh mendatangkan rasa takbur) menukarkan pentas prosenium Balai Budaya DBP menjadikannya seperti sebuah 'thrust stage' yang melunjur turun setnya hingga ke aras penonton, membina sebuah senario pementasan realisme yang hidup..................(dipotong lagi, juga atas alasan yang sama). Hasilnya sebuah set desa yang lengkap dengan sawahnya tersedia di hadapan penonton. Visualisasi ini cukup untuk menghadirkan tatanan realisme yang disebut Lukaes iaitu 'bentuk yang khusus dalam membayangkan realiti'. Pemandangan atau 'scene' yang dibina.......(dipotong), menghadirkan apa yang disebut sebagai ilusi realisme dalam menggambarkan perkampungan pusaka yang damai tiba-tiba dirobek oleh kejutan pihak yang ingin merampas segala milik pusaka dan memusnahkan segala kedamaian tersebut. 'Thrust stage' yang adakalanya digelar Wagnerian dan 'Guthrian stage', dibentuk untuk meletakkan orkestra dan mewujudkan estetika pentas yang berbeza. Namun pentas yang melahirkan 'scene' terbuka Kampung Kertau ini telah mewujudkan ilustrasi realisme yang menampilkan watak-wataknya keluar masuk melalui penonton, lalu ke hadapan pentas. Pergerakan keluar masuk sebegini secara tidak langsung mencipta peranan penonton dalam pementasan. Watak-watak datang dari penonton, malah adakalanya bermain begitu dekat dengan penonton. Ini mewujudkan jarak psika atau jarak estetik, yang membolehkan penonton merasai kehadiran watak-watak dekat dengan mereka. Ini sekali lagi melatari gerakan realisme seperti mana yang dikatakan Breet iaitu menyuguhkan sebuah peranan kepada penonton, yang dikenal tetapi juga asing sehingga proses penilaian kritis dapat bergerak. Peranan penonton turut bergoncang apabila pihak berkuasa datang dari arah penonton untuk menyerbu penduduk kampung yang berhimpun. Sekaligus menyuguh proses penilaian kritis penonton terhadap tindakan 'penindas' pihak berkuasa tersebut. Malah, penonton segera tertawa dan menyokong apabila pihak berkuasa 'dipermainkan' pula oleh penduduk kampung. ............"Harga Sebuah Maruah" telah mengembalikan fungsi teater yang sebenar dalam masyarakat."

(Dipetik dari "Harga Sebuah Maruah - Realisme Politik" oleh S.M Zakir, dalam Pentas, Istana Budaya, Jil. 7 Bil. 1 Januari-Mac 2012, ms 6-9)




2011, Proposed design for "Harga Sebuah Maruah", Dewan Budaya Tun Syed Nasir, Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka KL. Directed by Halimi Mohamed Noh, scripted by Wahab Hamzah with art direction and video design by yours truly (me!). Based on a novel by the late Azizi Hj Abdullah. Roslan Chin is the technical and lighting designer. This is the second draft proposal. The design was later altered a bit to fit the need to put more performers on stage. Basically it is based on a combination of a triangular shape (women, female, mother, motherland, bearer, container, field, emotion, intuition, the past, giver) and a linear/straight square shape (man, male, father, sower, taker, thinking, logic, the present and the future, greed). The story is basically based on a clash between these two elements.
Plan view. The triangle shaped stage also connotes a clash between 3 sides with different agendas (tiga penjuru). The stage here is the witness of such clash, as implied by the script.





Plan and perspective. The main triangular stage was then altered to become a full stage with the paddy field part extended on both of its wings.


Video wall.

Before the installation and set up.

Synchronizing the colors. Different brands projectors behave differently.

Testing and setting up the projection system.

Installation of the main set and video projection system.

Rosli, Adi and Izrul working on the additional section for the 'sawah sekangkang kera' (small paddy field)

Artists at work. Would be my 'installation' if I declare this my 'artwork'. But there is no place for 'contemporary artist' ego trip in a collaborative theater production.

Painting the 'sawah'.

Some props with the video projection, partly realism, partly symbolism, partly minimalism (suggestive set). 

Main set and the video wall.

Artist at work, this time the floor of Dewan Budaya Tun Syed Naser DBP is my canvas.

Using mirrors to reflect and enlarge the video. This is Sham's, Andy's and Zam's handiwork.

Izrul and Sham making the 'batas'.

Testing the panoramic video wall.

Husni putting final touch on the 'batas', while Sham and Adi look like Bangla carrying the heavy sack of soil, sand and granite stones.

Making the 'batas', very important part of the stage.

Adi and Sham, putting the granite.

 
Painting the main stage, have to think in 2 color system - light and pigment colors.

Painting the 'cracking land' (tanah menanti retak) that functions as the main stage. The script is littered with people quarreling and breaking up, uprooting their roots at the same time. Lan Chin on the far left is having problem with his light.

Interpreting broken or fragmented land and uprooted roots by painting the main stage while Halimi (the Director) and Norhelmi (main actor) watching.

Final touch.

"Sawah sekangkang kera" (small paddy field, in a triangular shape, as for the main stage too) with a straight 'batas'.

 
Another view of the 'sawah' and 'batas'.

 
Wacky Andy, another team member, enjoying his refreshment break


Main stage after Roslan Chin's touch.



Opening setting

External, in front of surau. Day.

Balairaya. See the light rays on the floor as if coming from the windows.

Balairaya.

Hijrah and Bibah in front of Pak Kassim's house.

Cah and her son Sulaiman.

Virtual and physical.

Mamu as Hijrah, confronting the invading tractor.

Meeting at Azmi's house.

Surau.

Negotiating position and agendas.

Picnic.

Crisis


With such a small space (unlike the glamorous Istana Budaya), Halimi the director is having a tough time to do the blocking and to design the flow.


One of the best scenes, escalating conflict between two sides.

When your inherited land is taken away, what will you do?

Power to the people!

 
End scene.

Bibah with her bicycle.

 
Bibah and Cah.

Bibah, interacting and giving context to the set.

Bibah and Cah, lamenting on the fate of the people of Kertau.

"Mana maruah kita?"...Cah in her final monologue. Roslan Chin's lighting....phuhhh.


Is this the answer to all conflicts?

Must everything ends this way?

Close up of 'sawah' with its virtual bacdrop.

A working set with minimum cost.

 
Another close up. Props are authentic, real traditional farming tools.

Sham's video console on the left wing of the stage. Sham controls the video changes on cue from the Stage Manager.

Shamsul Ikhmar Mansori in action at the video console. Shamsul and Husni are the creative brain behind the video projection.

Roslan Chin (right) the brain behind the lighting.



The Director, Halimi (left). Wa caya lu brader!




Foto berkait dengan denai kebun teater saya :