Exhibitions, 5 - 31 August 2019
31A, Jalan Gurdwara, 10300 George Town,Penang


The tradition of Kuda Kepang provides inspiration for the work of photographer Cheryl Hoffmann and writer Pauline Fan. Cheryl’s images are intimate explorations of ritual performance, validating the tradition as a complex artistic expression; Pauline’s words are haunting contemplations of her encounters with the embodiment of isim, in a landscape of dreams and spirits. Brought together for this exhibit, the visual and the verbal artforms create a singular intensity. The interplay is like the sensuous Kuda Kepang dance itself, pushing and pulling shared energies, conjuring transformations, and promising graceful expressions of other-worldliness. The performers are muses, the artists are the channels of their countenance, each sculpting the other, creating layers of art upon art. What worlds (alam) do we see when we watch a kuda kepang performance – the seen (nyata) or unseen (tak nyata)? The transient interlacing of both? 


Cheryl Hoffmann is a Canadian/American, now resident in Malaysia, who has been immersed in photographing cultural practices in Southeast Asia for more than a decade. She exhibits her work in Malaysia as well as internationally. Pauline Fan is a Malaysian writer, translator, Creative Director of PUSAKA and Co-Director of the 2019 George Town Literary Festival. They share a creative passion for manifestations of poetic beauty, and, in particular, are preoccupied with the Kuda Kepang traditions of Johor, Malaysia. The two women have worked closely together for many years on the documentation and representation of particular Malaysian traditions, sharing their views in newspapers, magazines and other media, while leading the campaign to bring considerate awareness to the traditional arts in Malaysia.

* The video installation is created by Buddy Anwardi and the team at Persona Theory Games.

in partnership with