Playing Relative: Alliance-Making in Urban Malaysia

Throughout the 1980’s into the early 2000’s, Malaysian countercultures became connected through performative and visual art, which transcended differences in race, language, and genre. Creative works from the community in this era reflect shared experiences in urban disenfranchisement and acts of resistance.

The Malaysia Design Archive (MDA) works to survey and create an inventory of two personal collections focused on alliance-making in contemporary Malaysia. The first has been kept by photo-media artist Yee I-Lann, whose collection contains print material, photographs and film negatives. The second has been held by performance artist and educator Ray Lagenbach, whose collection contains video, news clippings and print material. Combined, the two represent twenty years of counterculture practices that go beyond racial, language, and genre differences in communities across Malaysia-- a coming together rarely witnessed in Malaysia’s contemporary climate of racial politics.

Project Details


Location: Malaysia, South-Eastern Asia, Asia Organiser(s): Modern Endangered Archives Programme (MEAP) Project partner(s): Malaysia Design Archive (MDA) Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: $15,000.00 Commencement Date: 07/2021 Project Status: Active
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