The Tuyang Initiative, based in Miri, Sarawak, aims to highlight these lesser known sub-ethnic groups in Sarawak while creating awareness about their wealth in tradition, art and culture.
For 2019 year’s Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Festival, the Sounds And Sights Of The Orang Ulu showcase is curated around the Kayan and Kenyah communities.
The audience experienced: a mixed media photo exhibit of Pusau Anak, showcasing a traditional child naming ceremony of the Kenyah. It was taken in 1967 by Howard Koons, an American traveller who was serving in the US Peace Corps.
There was also demos and workshops – Music: Introduction To Sape by Mathew Ngau Jau and Craft: Basket Weaving And Beading by Rose Belare
Also, Adrian Jo Milang’s wonderful traditional oral art form performance Parap And Takna, featuring Kayan poetic tales told in songs
Music: Introduction To Sape by Mathew Ngau Jau
Craft: Basket Weaving And Beading by Rose Belare
Parap And Takna: Adrian Jo Milang
“When Juvita (co-founder) first knocked on our door, we were very certain at that time that we wanted to partner with Tuyang due to the content they have to offer, and we did not regret that decision. Especially for folks here in West Malaysia, this sort of cultural/arts programme is not something that we experience regularly; and indeed, the entire curation that happened during the festival finale was an eye opener to a lot of the festival-goers.
Throughout the entire process, Tuyang’s team was very professional and well-organised. They were prompt, and despite being based in Sarawak, we were kept updated at all time on their progress. As any festival organiser will know, this eases the worries of the organiser, help alleviate potential miscommunications and at the same time, ensuring things planned are on track with the festival direction and commitment.
It was a real pleasure working with The Tuyang Initiative!”
Ian Chow and Evangeline Lim
Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Festival 2018 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)