Associate Artist Programme (2022/23 Cycle)Artists
Pangrok Sulap (est. 2010, Sabah, Malaysia)
Pangrok Sulap is a collective of artists, musicians and social activists who have brought a traditional form of woodcut printmaking into the forefront of Malaysia and the regional art scene. Inspired by a punk DIY aesthetic, their practice confronts socio-political issues surrounding the marginalised communities in Sabah. The artist group has consistently fought against censorship, spreading awareness of Sabah’s endangered rainforests and promoting the ability of the arts to empower.
Their works have been exhibited in galleries and biennales internationally, including Lopung Is Dead! (A+ Works of Art, KL, Malaysia, 2018), SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now (National Art Center, Japan, 2017), the 9th Asia Paciﬁc Triennial of Contemporary Art (QAGOMA, Australia, 2018) and Negotiating The Future (Asian Art Biennial, Taiwan, 2017).
They will be developing a series of woodcut workshops in collaboration with the communities of Kampong Gelam.
Pangrok Sulap brought their social activism to Kampong Gelam as part of the Associate Artist Programme. As Kampong Gelam used to be a printing hub, it was only natural for them to produce their characteristic woodcut prints in the neighbourhood. Moreover, they were aware of Kampong Gelam as a highly contested site where various stakeholders possess different aspirations for the place and different levels of agency in shaping it. Thus, they sought to amplify the voices of those whose concerns tend to get sidelined, such as local residents, by translating their messages and visions into art in the form of woodcut prints. The unique nature of printmaking would also allow the messages to be communicated to a larger audience.
Putting into practice their belief in community empowerment, Pangrok Sulap collaborated with the communities of Kampong Gelam to host a series of woodcut workshops. During the workshops, participants learnt how to carve wood and ink paper, and had the opportunity to explore the art form while reflecting on the meaning behind the prints. Coming together as a community, participants also performed the Sumazau, a folk dance from Sabah, on the woodblocks to transfer ink to the prints. This activity granted them greater agency in making art and more symbolically in shaping their ideal Kampong Gelam.