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Newsletter #9, July 2016: In Progress, Local Fauna
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In Progress

In Progress
While linocutting I listened to a bootleg audiobook recording of The Lord of the Rings. By the time I was finishing the last piece, Frodo had decided to go to Mordor on his own. Rob Inglis, the narrator, had been speaking Tolkien's story into my ears for 19 hours. He read every poem, every song, even the ones in Elvish and Dwarvish. 

The Lord of the Rings audiobook is 54 hours long. The book Zedeck and I plan to make, tentatively called 'Local Flora, Local Fauna' will have 75 stories - 50 about animals, and 25 about plants. Each of them will be accompanied by a linocut or woodcut illustration. I'm 20 linocuts in, that means 55 to go. 

What will I do when The Lord of the Rings runs out? How will I go on without Frodo and Sam and Gandalf and the Riders of Rohan?!

As we were printing the linocuts, I wondered aloud to Zedeck: Why is art a thing that humans do? What are we doing here that a machine can't do faster and better? Zedeck, not looking up (he'd been bent over, rolling ink, for hours - the sort of messy handwork he'd taken up writing to avoid), said: Well, it's seriously inefficient lor. The only reason I can see, is joy. 

I guess I can always hit replay, and go to Mordor with Frodo, step by step, there and back again, until we're done. The story, like work that's joy, isn't going anywhere.
 

LOCAL FAUNA (in progress!): Linocut Prints by Sharon Chin
23 July - 14 August 2016, Run Amok Gallery, Georgetown, Penang

Local Fauna poster

Local Fauna (in progress!) is an exhibition of animal-themed linocut prints by Sharon Chin, produced to accompany writer Zedeck Siew’s short stories about fantastic Southeast Asian flora and fauna.

These works explore the ways in which our world is intruded upon by the animal and vegetable, whether it be myth, politics, culture, or the environment.

This exhibition showcases 20 linocuts made during Sharon’s 3-month stint at the Hotel Penaga Artists’ Residency in Georgetown, Penang.

It also aims to document the process of collaboration between Sharon and Zedeck, as they work towards finishing a book – which will comprise 75 stories, each beautifully illustrated.

A number of editions of these linocut prints are available for sale. Proceeds will fund production of the book! Below are two of the works, and you can see a few more here.

Email info@runamok.my for the full catalog of 20 linocuts. We're taking online and international orders too.

Local Fauna Red-headed Terrapin
Local Fauna Firecracker Crow

ANIMAL NOISES: An Artist Talk by Sharon Chin & Zedeck Siew
Sunday, 24 July 2016, 5:00 - 6:30pm, Run Amok Gallery

Animal Noises

In this informal sharing session, artist Sharon Chin and writer Zedeck Siew will talk about their thoughts and processes behind 'Local Fauna (in progress!)'.

Where did these stories come from? Why animals? Why write in both English and Bahasa Malaysia?

Why work in both text and image? Why collaborate?

Why make linocut prints? Why work at a smaller, less spectacular, more reproducible scale? What’s next?

LOCAL FAUNA COLOURING ZINE!

Local Fauna Colouring Zine

In this little zine, you will find ten animals, native to the imaginary Southeast Asia, next door to our own. 

There are dogs with burning fur, wise monkeys, talking birds, and two-dimensional pandas. We hope their antics entertain you, and their portraits bring you much colouring joy! 

In English and Bahasa Malaysia. More photos here. Email info@runamok.my to order.

Do Less But Better
I have done alot of things since I last emailed in January. Regular transmission will resume shortly. I also want to add a new section to this newsletter highlighting the great work of my friends.

In the meantime, here is an interview by Dhiyanah Hassan, a fellow artist who is based in Penang. 

Burning House Press

"Talking Stories with Sharon Chin"Burning House Press
 
Art stuffed envelope
New to the mailing list? Here lies the vault of past newsletters. 

#1, Dec 2014: The Blank Page
#2, Jan/Feb 2015: The City at 4.30AM
#3 Apr 2015: Dear Janet
#4 May 2015: What I'm Reading
#5 June/July 2015: Eyeball Slaves
#6 Aug/Sept 2015: Art Class
#7 Oct/Nov 2015: Corn Pudding
#8 Jan 2016: Continuity
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