Photography by Steven Maybury
For the opening of the Dolf Henkes Prijs 2023 group exhibition at Tent Rotterdam, I created a concise lecture-performance called "Walking into the future blind". Its primary purpose was to offer insights into the artistic intentions behind the works on display and share my personal journey of becoming an artist. This lecture-performance combines storytelling, music, animations, and dance.
Throughout this performance, I weaved stories about my artistic practice and intentions, shedding light on my life, family, peers, and candidly addressing societal and personal challenges I've encountered. This lecture, in particular, tackled Dutch racism and Dutch society's reluctance to acknowledge it, among other issues.
My performances serve as an inauguration of my artworks in the shows, an opportunity to introduce myself to the audience, a bridge connecting my world to a "wider public", and a means for me to personally reflect on what matters most at that moment.
My approach is a continuation of the ancient Southeast Asian/Khmer tradition, spanning over 2000 years, where artworks are consecrated. It's reminiscent of the consecration of Buddhist iconography and the ritual of paying respects to ancestors before embarking on Khmer theater performances. When I step onto the stage, I convey my deep spiritual gratitude to all those who have supported me throughout my personal and artistic journey, even those from generations before mine.
"Walking into the future blind" is part of an ongoing performance series I started developing in mid-2022. Previous installments include"Where is my Karaoke?" at Melly, "My family, my heart" at Greylight Projects, "A Broken Heart for a Soulful Lament" at the Willem de Kooning Research Awards and deSingel, and "Arkon Nas, Jogja" at the Cemeti Institute for Art and Society.
Dance developed by Mila Rosinta from Mila Dance School, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
You can read the transcript here.