Sarawak's Mathew Ngau Jau and Adrian Jo Milang shine at Singapore arts fest

25/5/2022 8:20:00 AM

'Mepaan' comes from the indigenous Kayan language from the island of Kalimantan, meaning 'always'.

Arts, Tuyang Initiative

'Mepaan' comes from the indigenous Kayan language from the island of Kalimantan, meaning 'always'.

Tuyang Initiative 's cultural practitioners stole the show at Singapore International Festival of Arts ' 'Mepaan' performance

Imagine a people who live today as they lived before the dawn of history and coming face-to-face with the 21st century. Does a civilisation of shifting cultivators and headhunters for millennia embrace modernism and change, or stick to the old ways of the forefathers? These questions were posed in

MepaanThe stage was thus set for a visual and aural spectacle of Brian Gothong Tan's multi-media direction which also encompassed Sean Lee's photography and Harry Frederick's films projected on two large screens. Andy Lim's vivid lighting design was matched by Max Tan's costumes for the indigenous artists and orchestral members.

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Wednesday, 25 May 2022 10:00 AM MYT A scene from the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and the Tuyang Initiative's show titled 'Mepaan' at the Singapore International Festival of Arts on May 20.× Salin URL PREMIER Sarawak Abang Johari Openg mahu rakyat negeri ini bersama menggerakkan ekonomi digital agar Sarawak menjadi negeri berpendapatan tinggi menjelang 2030.for the latest news you need to know.for the latest news you need to know.

Photos: Arts House Limited Imagine a people who live today as they lived before the dawn of history and coming face-to-face with the 21st century. Does a civilisation of shifting cultivators and headhunters for millennia embrace modernism and change, or stick to the old ways of the forefathers? These questions were posed in Mepaan, the recent grand opener of this year's Singapore International Festival of Arts (Sifa). Bermula July 2018, akses bagi laporan penuh hanya untuk anda yang melanggan. Mepaan comes from the indigenous Kayan language from the island of Kalimantan (Borneo), meaning"always". “Therefore, the allegation by the state DAP lawmaker for Pending, Violet Yong, was unfounded and baseless,” Lee said in his winding-up speech in the state assembly. In this multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural show directed by Natalie Hennedige, the answers were neither simple nor direct. The collaboration between the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (conducted by Yeh Tsung) and Tuyang Initiative from Miri, Sarawak (representing the Kayan and Kenyah peoples, helmed by Juvita Tatan Wan), could have been heavily weighted in favour of the former.7 billion for 242 school development projects since 2016.

In reality, the three-person team of the latter more than held it own despite overwhelming odds. “The demand for a reliable and efficient transport system was deduced from the same feasibility study,” Lee said. Within the cavernous space that is the repurposed Pasir Panjang Power Station in Singapore, Wong Chee Wai's set design cleverly placed the orchestra on terraces, leaving space for a strategically placed ceremonial headdress and a lit-up booth with the traditional sape (four-stringed boat-shaped lute) at the rear. The two fixtures were linked by ramps running on both sides around the orchestra. The stage was thus set for a visual and aural spectacle of Brian Gothong Tan's multi-media direction which also encompassed Sean Lee's photography and Harry Frederick's films projected on two large screens. He said the findings can also be found on the websites of Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd, Department of Environment, Malaysia and linked through national and local newspapers. Andy Lim's vivid lighting design was matched by Max Tan's costumes for the indigenous artists and orchestral members.

The climax of 'Mepaan' saw the ceremonial passing of the headdress from Jau to Milang (right), both representatives from the Tuyang Initiative. Original and eclectic was the music, including three world premieres, opening with Eric Watson's rousing Island Sunrise. “At the moment, three locations for the proposed Transit Oriented Development or TOD have been identified and expected to increase in the future especially upon the completion and operation of the ART,” he said. The composers had worked with the Sarawakians to involve their folk songs and dance rhythms, all seamlessly stitched into the overall fabric. For example, Koh Cheng Jin's tender Song Of The Night Wind had incorporated two Kenyah love songs Ti Ruti Lun (Come And Sleep) and Sayang Dau Kenai Tawai (My Love For You Cannot Be Spoken). Other works by Kong Zhixuan and Tang Jianping helped fill up the 75-minute programme. “Don’t you want to have a multimodal and modern transport system for Kuching City where you can travel conveniently either by ART, modern stage bus powered by hydrogen fuel cell or electricity and even non-motorised vehicles?” Lee asked her.

Chinese traditional instruments sounded particularly idiomatic, especially the dizi and high winds which approximated birdsong and evoked mystery. Pipa and ruan were placed near the front, their timbres being related to the plucked sape. Chinese percussion provided the beats of pomp and pageantry besides mimicking throbbing rainfall. Stealing the show were Tuyang's Mathew Ngau Jau and Adrian Jo Milang, standing out with their raucous Kenyah songs, which were punctuated with occasional shouts. The 70-year old Jau's showcase of sape playing was sadly too brief compared with the 20-something Milang's pugilistic dance moves.

Both represented extreme ends of the generation divide, the frail shamanist alderman standing head-to-head with the youthful sword-wielding warrior. The climax saw the ceremonial passing of the headdress from Jau to Milang, accompanied by Wang Chenwei's March To Eternity, the symbolism of which would not be lost on the appreciative audience. Will age-old traditions of Sarawak survive the test of time? The answer should only be mepaan, or always. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network Article type: metered .