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Nusantara Archive in Penang: “Lakec – Storyteller and Very Simple River” Screening & Thematic Publication Launch
December 1st, 2019TYPE: Press Release

Time: 2019/12/15 (Sunday) 1:00~3:00PM (30min Film Length + 30min discussion)
Venue: Ruang Kongsi (91C-2-21, University Heights, Jalan Sungai Dua, 11700 Gelugor, Penang, Malaysia)
Moderator: Okui Lala, Hoo Fan Chon
Guest: Rikey Tēnn, Shih-tung Lo, Posak Jodian, Jeffrey Lim


“Nusantara Archive in Penang” is a combined event of the special screening of Posak Jodian’s latest documentary on Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia and the launch of the thematic publication by the Nusantara Archive. This event will be held at Ruang Kongsi, an independent space based in Penang run by local cultural practitioners. Previously, a series of contemporary video works screening event – “Petamu Project” was organised and held at the Rumah Attap Library and the Collective during the Kuala Lumpur Urbanscape Festival in July 2018, featuring works by both Malaysian and Taiwanese artists of the Nusantara Archive. This upcoming event, “Nusantara Archive in Penang” on 15 December is an extension from such collaborative effort, while responding to the multi-cultural dimension of the Penang-Taiwan through the artistic works of moving images and thematic publication since the curatorial program of “Hari Ini Dalam Serjarah” during the DA+C Festival in Penang in 2015. Local artists, Hoo Fan Chon and Okui Lala who were involved in projects organised by the Nusantara Archive will host the after-screening discussion on 15 December.


About the Film

“Lakec” means “to cross a river” in the Amis language, while “orang asli” in Malay is a generic term for “indigenous peoples.” To put the two together makes Lakec – Storyteller and Very Simple River, the latest film project by the Amis filmmaker Posak Jodian and Malaysian photographer Jeffrey Lim after their first collaboration in 2018, the filming of the tribes of Fata’an, Orchid Island (Lanyu or Ponso no Tao in its native Tao language) and Xiaobitan in Kanta Portraits: Taiwan. This year, they visited the cities and forests across Peninsular Malaysia, or even the offshore island tribes, to “document/portray” the life experiences and oral traditions as a collective and pluralistic entirety (which we should feel akin to) through the lens of an indigenous Taiwanese director’s perspective. The screening of the project will take place on 15 December, 2019 at Ruang Kongsi, Penang, followed by a discussion as a joint event with the Nusantara Archive thematic publication launch (Jeffrey Lim started his “Kanta Portraits: Taiwan” as an extension production of Nusantara Archive project from 2017 to 2018).

“We carry the oral stories passed down by our ancestors with us and we get punished by the government because of this.” During each journey as seen in the video, we see the palm trees extend toward the horizon on the both sides of the endless highway. The widespread tropical artificial landscape occupies their vision, across the palm forests to reach the indigenous tribes. And these empty spots unmarked on the map? Are they the uninhabited elsewhere that no one has visited? Or simply the places removed of their own existence? The film documents the oral stories, myths, and songs from the four indigenous tribes, including Temiar in Kampung Cunex, Temuan in Desa Temuan (Lanjan), Jakun in Jemeri, and Mah Meri tribe. Through the production process of video representation, it thus allows us to reexamine the obscure struggle and différance between the oral history and those being portrayed.


About Nusantara Archive

No Man’s Land Residency & Nusantara Archive is an umbrella project that includes the “NML Residency Exchange”, the “Meeting NML (artist’s talk)”, and the Nusantara Archive publication. These three programs are based on the No Man’s Land (NML) online journal and extended as the archive application through the modes of residency, translation, and collective production. The Nusantara Archive publication includes the collaborative writing and the translations between NML and different artists. The collection of artists’ and researchers’ writings and translations completed in 2018 and 2019 are authorized and circulated under Creative Commons 4.0. Nusantara is a contemporary term for the “Malay Archipelago” and appropriated here as the discourse for NML‘s art practice in Asia. In Malaysia today, the term has been adopted to mean the “Malay world” (where Malay has been the lingua franca).


Supervisor: Ministry of Culture | Supporter: The Cultural Taiwan Foundation |
Organizer: Ruang Kongsi,  NML Residency & Nusantara Archive Project