Mai 2015


Internal Dialogue in Tropical Sunshower

Mittwoch 06.05.2015 20:30 | Club

Eintritt: 6,- / 4,- €

Veranstalter/-in: Werkstatt der Kulturen/ Siew-Wai Kok


Video screenings & solo improvised vocal performance

This event features Malaysian artist-organizer KOK Siew-Wai in person, where she’ll present two video screenings and a short solo improvised vocal performance.

Siew-Wai is a video artist, improvised vocalist and artist-organizer born and based in Kuala Lumpur. In this event, she’ll show her curated programme “Sunshower” with works from the Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video & Music Festival (KLEX), a short programme “Internal Dialogue” with her selected videos, and her work “Language of Self”, a 8-minute piece with video projection and live improvised vocal performance.



Total Run Time: 24 minutes

Face(s) (2002), 7:00 min

A video performance superimposes five layers of video footage where each layer features a massage session focusing on one of the five senses: eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and skin. Playing with the opacities of the five layers, it creates a fluid and ever changing reality between movements and expressions.


In Solitude, a Camera-eye (2006), 4:15 min

It is already dark. The street in an American suburb is quiet. Only a homeless man is not inside and he asks the camerawoman for $0.55. Apart from that there is only a specially observed atmosphere. In the second part, Malaysian palm trees stand in the darkness. Far away, fireworks go off. A cinema poem. (Gertjan Zuilho)


The Breath of Time (2005), 13:00 min

This is a musical video inspired by the lost industry in Buffalo, New York, specifically an abandoned grain elevator called “Cargill ‘S” where some musicians have started to make impromptu music at the site. The structure and the unpretentious quality of the place have unexpectedly revealed the most intimate and spiritual sounds.



Language of Self (2011), 8:00 min

Presentation Mode: Live improvised vocal performance by the artist, while video of text is projecting.
Equipment: A projector and a projection screen; a mic and a mic stand.

Concept: The text serves as a self-introduction, artistic medium and a contemplation of the role of language to the multi-lingual artist, who has the experience of living in two very different cultures: Malaysia and America. She is ethnically Chinese and a Malaysian citizen. Her grandparents migrated from Guangzhou, China in early 1930s. She is the second generation of Chinese people born in Malaysia, an Islamic country where the majority is Malays and Muslims. She has studied and lived in USA for 8 years in her 20s. This experience has a great influence on her as an artist with the exposure of contemporary and experimental art and music. Through this living abroad experience, she has come to understand that for her, spoken language is not the only way to communicate because it has many limitations. Instead, she’d like to develop her own personal language for expression that is manifested through her art, to connect with people on a different level, perhaps a deeper one, that’s beyond spoken words.


KLEX Special Programme: SUNSHOWER

Total Run Time: 76 minutes
Curator: KOK Siew-Wai

Our everyday world is made up of diverse forms that coexist and sharing a common time and space. With its organic rhythm, structure and way of existence, nature allows seemingly contradictory realities coexist. There is Yin and there is Yang; there are men and there are women; there is strength and weakness; there is agreement and disagreement. Often, these contradictory realities morph into each other, and we’re not quite sure what it’ll become at the end. But what do we want it to become? Do we share similar life values as a community? Where are we heading? Shall we stop for a moment, to go inward and ponder? Or should we have a little fun with the uncertainties and chaos, as it starts to rain while the sun is shining very brightly out there?

This programme features works from or made in Malaysia. Participating video artists include Andrew Stiff, Adrienne Marcus Raja, Azharr Rudin, CHEW Win-Chen, Jason Bernagozzi, Jimmy Hendrickx, KOK Siew-Wai, LIM Chee-Yong and WONG Eng-Leong.




LULAI (2014)

LIM Chee-Yong, Malaysia, 6:30 min
This video is about a group of Bajau Laut and Bajau Darat people from Mabul island, off the south-eastern coast of Sabah, East Malaysia. They have no nationality and are unremarkable from world population statistics.

MAJIDEE (2005)

Azharr Rudin, Malaysia, 15:00 min
Two men meet in transit from Kuala Lumpur's Puduraya to a train station. Can there be trust between strangers?

MUD GAME (2014)

KOK Siew-Wai, Malaysia, 3:40 min
Kuala Lumpur has a high density of construction sites, especially in the city centre. You cannot drive more than 5km without seeing one of these sites. They have become part of the city landscape. Development and chaos come together as one.


Andrew Stiff, Malaysia, 5:30 min
In 2013, a local developer started bulldozing a part of Mantin Town, in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Within minutes there was a huge gathering of local residents, Malay, Chinese and Indian. They were trying to stop the destruction of the heart of Mantin, an area called Kampung Hakka (Hakka Village). This area of Mantin is over one hundred years old. It is a traditional area built from wood. The area has a very special quality. This film captures the spirit of the protest and also the quality of the kampung, that is still lived in; for now.

FLOW (2011)

CHEW Win-Chen, Malaysia, 3:00 min
Humans leave traces in nature throughout their life. Amid of pursuing their own good, the surroundings are often neglected and swept away by the waves of modernization. The footage and audio recorded at Kampung Sungai Batu, Kedah, Malaysia.

SOLI (2013)

Adrienne Marcus Raja, Malaysia/Canada, 10:00 min
Soli follows the sun, symbolized by an enigmatic figure, Sole, as he explores the city and illuminates the lives of a series of lonely people. In a sequence of largely silent vignettes, it contrasts the blackness of their uncertainties with the bright light that investigates and illuminates them. Inspired by the image of Sol Invictus on the face of a Roman coin, symbolically lighting the darkness of self-destruction that we have in our own self and the pressure that forces us to make decisions in our lives.

MIST (2012)

WONG Eng-Leong, Malaysia, 3:50 min
A nation that is seemingly well-developed and peaceful, shattered by a mere demonstration of the people's will. Why is the people's democracy incarcerated? When those in power fail to address the rights of the people, should the people not contemplate and decide for our future? We only hope for our voices to be heard.


Jason Bernagozzi, USA/Malaysia, 8:40 min
Memory and Ritual in Frame Difference is a work that was produced during an artist residency in Malaysia, which was sponsored in part by KLEX and Multimedia University. This work is a meditation on the complex relationships between ritual and public space at the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In a space shared by both devout hindus and tourists, the frame difference processing allows the viewer to focus on action and change within the recording. Electronic insights of body vernacular happening in mediated time.

SEMALU (2013)

Jimmy Hendrickx, Belgium/Malaysia, 19:40 min
Semalu means sensitive plant in Malay. The film is a cinematic portrait of the children of Cheras, a suburb in Kuala Lumpur, a place in the middle of a transition period of modernization. Between a noisy landscape of construction works we see the younger generations growing up. The ancestors of these children did not grow up here, they moved here to build a new future. 30 years ago, this territory was still jungle and swamp. Far away from the jungle this new urban area will be the kids’ new playground. Here they have to look after themselves and find spiritual meaning at a construction site.




Siew-Wai Kok is a video artist, improvised vocalist and independent artist-organizer from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She received her B.A. at SUNY Buffalo, and M.F.A. at Alfred University, USA. She is currently teaching at the Faculty of Creative Multimedia, Multimedia University, Malaysia.


Siew-Wai has shown her videos and performed improvised music locally and internationally in Asia, Europe, Canada and USA, such as Busan International Video Art Festival, Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Les Rencontres Internationales, Beyond/In Western New York Biennial, Kuala Lumpur Contemporary Music Festival, Asian Meeting Festival (Japan) and many more. Siew-Wai sets up SiCKL (Studio in Cheras Kuala Lumpur), an alternative artist collective with her peers in 2006, and organizes many DIY experimental video screenings and improvised music gigs since then. This experience has led her to take up the role as festival director & curator of the artist-run Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video & Music Festival (KLEX) in 2010.


"My inspiration in artmaking has always come from “the little things in everyday life”, be it in the form of video, sound, music or performance. I’m interested in observing “what is happening at the moment” - watching, hearing and feeling it, trying to understand and to interact with it, in different ways and forms that are interrelated. I think, insights and wisdoms are discovered from the most honest and banal daily happenings. The question is: Can we see and understand it? I often use humble daily life experiences as “case studies” to explore the uniqueness of living. To me, understanding the very basics of living is a very practical yet significant inquisition. If one can’t even understand one’s own life, how can one have the ability and compassion to understand others? My artmaking process is an extension of diary writing, a habit that I've adopted since 8 years old - to observe and reflect on life experiences. My vocal music is based on improvisation, where I’m finding a balance between meditation and performance, both requires intense attention and awareness. I approach language as sounds and emotions in my vocal improvisation. I’m trying to communicate, beyond spoken language." 

Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video & Music Festival (KLEX) is an independent, artist-run grassroots international festival of experimental film, video art and music founded in Malaysia in 2010 by a cross-disciplinary group of artists. KLEX aims to serve as a platform to introduce contemporary experimental cinema and music from the region and worldwide to the Malaysian audience, as well as to introduce works from South East Asia to other parts of the world, to cultivate understanding, learning, friendship and exchange among local, regional and international experimental art communities.