Australia > > > with Mohd Jufry in Malaysia
I was back in South East Asia for a longer period and I really wanted to take the time to immerse myself in something and learn about a traditional art/craft or two. It is something I love to do when I travel and I seek it out where I can. I'd heard about VAWAA through the Ock Pop Tok podcast and had been keeping my eye on some of the ones that interested me to consider if I was in the respective parts of the world. I remembered that this was an opportunity and it looked really interesting and just what I was looking for. As someone who grew up in Singapore, has family in both Malaysia and Singapore, and has spent lots of time between both, Wayang Kulit was not entirely new to me, however it was also not something I was very familiar with but it has always been intriguing. I just never really had anyone around me with insight into the art form, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity to learn. A fantastic added bonus was that I would have the opportunity to make a puppet under the guidance of a master.
I learnt so much! Not just about Wayang Kulit but also about other Malay traditional dances and music etc. There is no way I would have gotten as much information or insight into the craft as I did from Mr Jufry on my own. Mr Jufry and Wani were so willing to answer all my questions about anything and everything which was also lovely, and I truly had an experience that allowed me to immerse myself into aspects of a culture I grew up around. Practically, I came away with some really useful leather working skills. While I don't know where it will lead just yet, learning something in a new medium has always been useful in ways I don't usually anticipate when learning them. There is no doubt the skills, knowledge and inspiration from this week will influence my personal creative practice and curiosity. I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes!