Malaysian and their Identities

Editor: Yeoh Seng Guan
Format: Paperback 200 pp.
Subjects: Politics, Culture, Malaysia
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2017
ISBN: 9789670960661
Price: RM28.00

Malaysians and their Identities presents a kaleidoscope of insights based on original empirical research by young Malaysian scholars. Among others, their topics cover festive TV advertisements, connoisseur café culture, the smartphone, online sports gaming, Islamic fashion, women indie musicians, men’s health magazines,
inter-racial marriages, and friendships in private universities.
 
These chapters show the variety of everyday identity-making in Malaysia, and how these actions are also entangled with wider social, economic and technological processes in the world.
 
Featuring contributions from Zaleha Khalilur Rahman • Melizarani T. Selva • Hal Mahera binti Ahmad • Lim Zhen Hui • Crystal Lim • Chong Ai Rene • Rohini Rajadorai • Tay Siao Lin • Helen Sneha Jambunathan • Lee Jun-Elle
 
Yeoh Seng-Guan is Senior Lecturer at the School of Arts & Social Sciences, Monash University Malaysia.
Posted in Arts & Culture, Social Studies

Retrospective: A Historiographical Aesthetic in Contemporary Singapore and Malaysia

Author: June Yap
Format: Paperback 355 pp.
Subjects: Arts & Culture, Malaysia, Singapore
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
ISBN: 9789670960401
Price: RM50.00
 

Developed as an exploratory study of artworks by artists of Singapore and Malaysia, Retrospective attempts to account for contemporary artworks that engage with history. These are artworks that reference past events or narratives, of the nation and its art. Through the examination of a selection of artworks produced between 1990 and 2012, Retrospective is both an attribution and an analysis of a historiographical aesthetic within contemporary art practice. It considers that, by their method and in their assembly, these artworks perform more than a representation of a historical past. Instead, they confront history and its production, laying bare the nature and designs of the historical project via their aesthetic project.

Positing an interdisciplinary approach as necessary for understanding the historiographical as aesthetic, Retrospective considers not only historical and aesthetic perspectives, but also the philosophical, by way of ontology, in order to broaden its exposition beyond the convention of historical and contextual interpretation of art. Yet, in associating these artworks with a historiographical aesthetic, this exposition may be regarded as a historiographical exercise in itself, affirming the significance of these artworks for the history of Singapore and Malaysia.

In short, which history rarely is, Retrospective is about the art of historicisation and the historicisation of art.

Posted in Arts & Culture, Books, History

Punk, Penentangan dan Politik Transnasionalisme

Editors: Muhamad Takiyuddin Ismail
Muhammad Febriansyah
Sharifah Nursyahidah Syed Annuar
Format: Paperback 194 pp.
Subjects: Arts & Culture, Social Studies, Southeast Asia
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
ISBN: 9789670960500
Price: RM28.00

Punk seringkali dipandang negatif dan dilemparkan dengan tuduhan-tuduhan seperti sampah masyarakat, tidak berguna, tidak berakhlak dan sebagainya. Realitinya, wujud komuniti-komuniti punk lain yang melakukan bermacam-macam aktiviti dengan maksud untuk menyumbang sesuatu kepada masyarakat.

Buku ini cuba untuk menampilkan sesuatu yang berbeza, iaitu tindakan politik dan aksi langsung yang telah dilakukan oleh komuniti punk seperti Rumah Api di Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia dan Komunitas Taring Babi di Jakarta, Indonesia. Buku ini juga menonjolkan nilai-nilai penentangan, pemberontakan dan kemandirian punk yang boleh dilihat melalui pelbagai prinsip seperti kerja bertukang sendiri (do-it-yourself).

Oleh yang demikian, buku ini berkeyakinan bahawa punk harus dilihat dalam lensa sub-budaya, ketidakakuran, penentangan dan transnasional bagi membolehkan mana-mana individu atau komuniti punk dapat difahami dengan lebih dekat sebagaimana Rumah Api dan Komunitas Taring Babi.

“Kajian tentang perlawanan politik di luar gelanggang rasmi seperti pemilihan umum dan parlimen masih sedikit. Justeru, buku ini menawarkan sebuah penerokaan budaya penentangan yang sungguh menarik. Ia memberikan penjelasan mengenai kedudukan khas seni dalam budaya penentangan tersebut dan keterbatasan dalam budaya tersebut bila berhadapan dengan konsumerisme. Proses ini mencerahkan dinamika budaya, sosial, dan politik yang tidak jelas kelihatan tetapi tetap membawa kepada perubahan masyarakat.”

Dr Sumit K. Mandal

Profesor Madya (Kajian Budaya dan Sejarah Sosial)
University of Nottingham, Malaysia

Posted in Arts & Culture, Politics

Art-Led Participative Processes: Dialogue & Subjectivity within Performances in the Everyday

Author: Jay Koh
Format: Paperback 214 pp.
Subject: Arts & Culture
ISBN: 9789670960180
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
Price: RM38.00

Art-Led Participative Processes (ALPP) encapsulate artist Jay Koh’s public participative methodology, which emphasises agency, critical engagement, the ownership of actions and knowledge, the answerability of self to others, and a contribution to social change. It is the outcome and distillation of twenty-four years of a rigorous and reflexive practice and of rich experiences in social engagement with others, subjected to crossdisciplinary doctoral research at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki. This book, condensed from Koh’s thesis, offers ALPP as a viable, responsive and dynamic methodology for an intersubjective participatory art practice that motivates and validates the independence of participants.

“Jay Koh offers, through this eminently readable book, an excellent example of social practice pedagogy: an artist with extensive practice in several cultural contexts, deeply committed to social change, who takes on the project of clearly articulating his framework – one grounded in ethical, aesthetic, and, most importantly, in actual art practice.”
Suzanne Lacy, artist, activist, writer, Graduate Public Practice Chair,
Otis College of Art & Design, Los Angeles

“Through the preciseness and sincerity of his committed inner search and contextual exploration, Koh has become one of the leading referents for dialogical art. With his relentless investigation of meanings, Koh performs as a catalyst for coexistence in art and life; and with his communicative actions, Koh performs the task of enhancing and facilitating the transition between real life situations towards vital processes.”
Alejandro Meitin, law-activist, artist-educator, member of Ala Plastica,
La Plata, Buenos Aires

Posted in Arts & Culture

Banana Punk Rawk Trails: A Euro-Fool’s Metal Punk Journeys in Malaysia, Borneo and Indonesia

Author: Marco Ferrarese
Format: Paperback 474 pp.
ISBN: 9789670960029
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2015
Price: RM48.00
 
Includes Free 70-minute Malaysian metal punk compilation CD and over 250 pictures

 
‘Marco Ferrarese: from the land of Raw Power and Indigesti he comes, fellow journeyman of sweat-thronged underground music, and the Herman Melville of the international fanzine-cum-Web page nation’
David Ensminger, author and punk historian 
 
Between 2010 and 2015, travel writer, author and metal punk guitarist Marco Ferrarese was the one and only ‘white elephant in the room’ of the Malaysian metal punk scene. A European inbred metal punk fool stranded in a globalised world of transnational extreme music chop suey. In this highly electric and graphic memoir, Ferrarese tells you how it was to play lead guitar in Penang’s thrashcore band WEOT SKAM, negotiating flimsy stage set-ups and shady promoters in order to gel into a developing world’s music scene. He takes you on a no-frills road bonanza scouring for sonic extremities across the whole length of Malaysia and Borneo. He chases down long-haired metal punk descendants of Iban headhunting tribes, scrawny Bidayuh anarcho-punk rockers, Kadazan-Dusun activist artists, skullcap-toting Muslim death metallers, and gets you a seat in WEOT SKAM’s rickety van for a DIY sleigh ride through the bowels of Jakarta and the vulgar, bogan-filled streets of Bali. Will your seatbelts fasten quickly enough?      
 
GET MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
Posted in Arts & Culture, Biography & Memoir

Second Thoughts: On Malaysia, Globalisation, Society and Self

Author: Julian C H Lee
Format: Paperback 196 pp.
Subjects: Arts & Culture, Malaysia, Social Studies
ISBN: 9789670630977
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2015
Price: RM30.00

First impressions can be deceptive, as Julian Lee notes in the introduction to this book, and that’s why he sees merit in second thoughts. In this engaging collection of essays and reviews, he gives us a whirlwind tour of topics as diverse as Gangnam Style and the Harlem Shake; the peculiarities of human interaction; cultural variations in emoticons; the art of the car sale; histories of fruit; the merits of pessimism; and why you think your phone is vibrating when it isn’t. Not only this, but he can draw a line from Mars Attacks! to Edward Said in one breath, and explain what the plot of Transformers has to say about gender inequalities.

With engaging illustrations by Jun Kit that astutely distill the essence of each chapter with humour and insight, Second Thoughts promises to inform and delight in equal measure.

With illustrations by Jun Kit

With illustrations by Jun Kit

Posted in Arts & Culture, English Books, Social Studies

Just for the Love of It: Popular Music in Penang,1930s–1960s

Authors/Editors:   James Lochhead & Paul Augustin
Format: Paperback 222 pp.
Subjects: Arts & Culture, History & Biography, Malaysia
ISBN: 9789670630649
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2015
Price: RM68.00
 
(FULL colour & free CD included)
 
Just for the Love of It celebrates the musicians and bands who are such a part of Penang’s rich musical heritage and highlights how this music has been so integrally woven into the wider tapestry of Penang’s growth. It tells of the factors that influenced the popularisation of music in the 1930s to 1960s, including the role of radio, cinema, TV, venues, commerce and fashions. Vibrantly illustrated, beautifully designed with a free CD, Just for the Love of It presents this fascinating story of Penang in a creative, lively, and utterly engaging style. 
 

See Inside

 
82 83 13 152back cover
Posted in Arts & Culture

Kajian Perbandingan Pantun Melayu Dengan Nyanyian Rakyat Cina

Author: Xu You Nian
Format: Paperback, 375 pages
Subjects: Chinese literature, Malay literature
ISBN: 9789670630526
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2015
Price: RM40.00
 
Buku ini bukan sahaja adalah hasil penyemakan dan penambahbaikan secara menyeluruh dengan mengintegrasikan bahan kajian yang terbaharu dengan sudut pandangan serta kaedah kajian yang terbaharu setelah mengambil masa setengah hayat hidup saya, tetapi juga mengajukan model kajian terhadap pantun yang baru dengan melibatkan banyak negara.
 
Oleh sebab itu, buku ini diharap dapat membawa pembaikan dan peningkatan kepada kajian terhadap pantun tidak kira sama ada dari segi ruang lingkup kajian (yang luas dan mendalam), sudut pandangan, cara kajian dan bahan kajian yang kaya ataupun ketepatan hujah – berasaskan bahan yang digunakan sebagai bukti. Nilai kajian ini juga terletak pada ia bukan sahaja boleh mengisi kekosongan dalam kajian seumpama ini di China, malah juga membantu menambah satu lagi lapisan kebudayaan ke atas batu asas hubungan dan pertukaran kebudayaan, selain perkembangan ekonomi dan politik antara China dengan negara-negara di Alam Melayu pada masa sekarang.
 
Keistimewaan yang paling besar dalam buku ini ialah huraiannya tentang sumber permulaan perkembangan hubungan kebudayaan antara China dengan negara-negara di Alam Melayu selama ribuan tahun ini setelah mengkaji-prosesnya, selain pengaruh dan faktor yang berkenaanyang terlibat secara mendalam dan terperinci. Untuk menjalankan kajian ini, saya telah memilih topik perbandingan nyanyian rakyat cinta di China sebagai tali untuk mengeratkan hubungan kebudayaan Cina dengan pantun Melayu melalui beberapa aspek dalam ilmu seks untuk cuba mengungkapkan ‘kebenaran sejati’ manusia, sekaligus keperluan yang paling asas pada manusia. Bertitik-tolak dari itulah, saya telah menjalankan kajian perbandingan ini dengan terperinci dan menyeluruh.
 
Dengan menyelami pengajian tentang fungsi kebudayaan nyanyian rakyat Cina dan pantun Melayu dengan menggali dan membongkar aspek seks dan cinta asmara yang paling jitu dan tulus ikhlas itulah diharapkan kita dapat mengetahui kesedaran manusia pada masa silam terhadap hidup sehinggakan kita dapat menikmati dan menghayati alunan merdu dalam nyanyian rakyat Cina dan pantun Melayu yang dipersembahkan dengan lincah, menarik dan berbeza antara satu dengan yang lain.
Posted in Arts & Culture, Malay Books

The Korean Wave in Southeast Asia: Consumption and Cultural Production

Editors: Joanne B.Y. Lim & Mary J. Ainslie
Format: Paperback, 200 pp.
Subjects: Arts & Culture, Southeast Asia
ISBN: 9789670630472
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2014
Price: RM35.00

The Korean Wave in Southeast Asia offers fresh details and new perspectives on the globalization of Korean popular culture, better known as ‘Hallyu’. Focusing on the dissemination, localization, consumption and fandom of Korean TV dramas, films, pop music and other forms of youth culture within the cultural geography of Southeast Asia, the chapters in the book offer a compelling analysis of the globalization of Hallyu and detail the various social and cultural mechanisms involved.

Deeply accomplished, this book will be a valuable resource for scholars interested in cultural and social change in Southeast Asia, as well as for graduate and undergraduate students learning about popular culture in Asia.

   — Nissim Otmazgin, Chair of the Department of Asian Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and author, Regionalizing Culture: The political economy of Japanese popular culture in Asia (University of Hawai’i Press, 2013).

This book proves to be an important addition to the growing scholarship on the Korean Wave and the resulting new pop culture trends in Southeast Asia. In addition to introducing new concepts for further comparative research, the roster of case studies on Hallyu consumption and production in the region (informed by interdisciplinary expertise) offer readers fresh analyses and diverse experiences of the phenomenon.

The publication of this collection is timely for our new course elective focusing on the ‘Korean Wave’, in which this book will certainly be a required reading.

   — Sarah Domingo Lipura, Associate Director, Ateneo Initiative for Korean Studies, Ateneo De Manila University (Philippines)

Posted in Arts & Culture, English Books

Budaya Makanan Cina Peranakan Terengganu dan Kelantan: Penyelarasan Identiti dan Kontradiksi Dalaman

Authors: Kamarudin Ngah, Mohd Shah Imran Lim Abdullah and Tan Yao Sua
Format: Paperback, 107 pages
Subjects: Arts & Culture, Ethnic Studies, Social Studies
ISBN: 9789670630267
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2014
Price: RM20.00

 

Monograf ini meninjau budaya makanan dua kumpulan Cina Peranakan yang menetap di pantai timur Semenanjung Malaysia, iaitu Cina Peranakan Tirok di negeri Terengganu dan Cina Peranakan Pasir Parit di negeri Kelantan.

Tumpuan utamanya adalah terhadap dua jenis makanan yang memperlihatkan kedinamikan kedua-dua kumpulan Cina Peranakan ini menyelaraskan identiti mereka, iaitu identiti Melayu yang dipupuk menerusi proses akulturasi dan identiti asal yang diwarisi daripada generasi awal.

Dua jenis makanan tersebut ialah makanan harian dan makanan upacara penyembahan nenek moyang. Dari segi makanan harian, kedua-dua kumpulan Cina Peranakan ini amat dipengaruhi oleh budaya makanan penduduk Melayu tempatan. Dengan kata lain, makanan harian mereka menonjolkan proses lokalisasi makanan yang cukup ketara.

Walau bagaimanapun, makanan harian yang disediakan oleh mereka itu turut terdiri daripada makanan hibrid yang mengadunkan budaya makanan yang berbeza. Biarpun makanan hibrid ini hanya disediakan sekali sekala, ia tetap merupakan satu kontradiksi dalaman kepada budaya makanan harian mereka, lebih-lebih lagi makanan hibrid tersebut rata-rata membabitkan penggunaan bahan masakan yang istimewa kepada orang Cina tetapi dilarang oleh agama Islam.

Sementara itu, makanan upacara penyembahan nenek moyang yang disediakan oleh mereka itu bertujuan untuk memperkukuh ikatan primordial mereka dan oleh itu, makanan tersebut terdiri daripada makanan yang sama ada memperlihatkan identiti makanan Cina yang ketara atau simbolisme makanan yang dapat mendukung pengekalan dan kesinambungan salasilah keturunan dan persanakan keluarga mereka.

Namun, terdapat juga kontradiksi dalaman dari segi penyediaan makanan ini kerana sesetengah makanan yang disediakan oleh mereka itu terdiri daripada makanan tempatan dan makanan hibrid yang menyebabkan penghakisan identiti primordial mereka. Pendek kata, kedua-dua jenis makanan ini menonjolkan kekompleksitian Cina Peranakan Tirok dan Pasir Parit menyelaraskan identiti mereka menerusi budaya makanan mereka yang bersifat silang budaya itu.

 
Posted in Arts & Culture, Ethnic Studies, Malay Books, Social Studies

Fringe Benefits: Essays and Reflections on Malaysian Arts and Cinema

Author: Benjamin McKay
Format: Paperback, 277 pages
Subject: Arts & Culture
ISBN: 9789675832239
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2011
Price: RM40.00
 
Benjamin McKay’s love letter to Yasmin Ahmad: “In a country that often finds it hard to weep for itself, you cathartically spun magic. In a land of many races where mistrust and stereotype have become ingrained as false truths, you made your audiences weep and laugh and miraculously empathise with ‘their other’, the ‘other’ who dwells within.”

For the past decade, a number of pioneering independent and mainstream films have put Malaysian cinema and arts onto the global stage. They have also spurred Malaysians themselves into re-looking at well-trodden paths in creative ways.
 

This collection of essays and articles provides scholarly and accessible insights into some of these artistic works through the discerning eye and perspicacious writing of an Australian film scholar who had been resident in Malaysia for several years.

The late Benjamin Mckay was lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University from 2006-2010. He also contributed regular film and art reviews for kakiseni and Off the Edge.
 
Posted in Arts & Culture, English Books

Dancing the Malaysian

Author: Joseph Gonzales
Format: Paperback, 248 pages
Subject: Arts & Culture
ISBN: 9789675832345
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2011
Price: RM65.00
 
“A first in Malaysia, this book investigates interculturalism from the point of view of a dance practitioner-academician whose interest in pursuing multicultural expressions in a multiracial country stems from the experience of living in a society that has assented to the duality of prescribed national cultural policy versus real artistic practices. This engaged writing opens new trajectories in intercultural studies within the domains of contemporary dance in Malaysia, and is a must read for dance and cultural studies readers.”

            – Mohd Anis Md Nor, Professor of Ethnochoreology and Ethnomusicology, Cultural Centre (School of Performing Arts),
Universiti Malaya
 
“The dance scene in Malaysia right now is actually quite active, and yet we are slow and weak in documentation, in writing about our dance. This book, Dancing the Malaysian is important and exciting because it is this rare voice of an active dancer / choreographer / educator —the voice of one who is frenetically involved in the field, but has taken time to step back, reflect, write and publish. It is a potent document that delves deep into how dance is engaging with the slippery meanings of identity and nation.”

        – Marion D’Cruz, Dancer/Choreographer/Producer/Educator/Arts Activist
 
“This is an inspiring analysis of the possible national futures being imagined by the discourse of dance in Malaysia. Balancing shrewd personal perspective with meticulous observation and long-term familiarity with the nation’s dance scene, Joseph Gonzales makes clear how art can create a body politic in its image”

        – Bilqis Hijjas, President MyDance Alliance
 
“From ‘the dancing Malaysian’ who dances, choreographs, educates, and advocates, Dancing the Malaysian offers a unique perspective to all brave cultural explorers on the evolving Malaysian identity”

        – Choy Su-Ling, Arts Critic/Publisher Asia Dance Magazine
 
“Sutra’s contribution as documented in this important book, linking dance and identity in a post-colonial nation, is testament of the liberating presence of the arts in Malaysia. This reflects a nation with a healthy and liberal vision of itself in the context of global culture.”
 
        – Ramli Ibrahim, Chairman of the Sutra Foundation
 
Posted in Arts & Culture, English Books