The collision of cultures, old and new, facade and taboo; past eats present, the personal turns universal, the unity of multiplicity, the harmony of pure anarchy...
Abbotsford Convent, Thomas Henning and TerryandTheCuz are proud to present HuRU-hARa – a multi-disciplinary, immersive installation of genre-bending arts experiences – as part of Asia TOPA 2020. HuRU-hARa features avant-garde artists from across Australia and the Nusantara archipelago of South East Asia, drawing on lo-fi, DIY aesthetics and street culture to transform the Convent's Industrial School and Sacred Heart courtyard into a living installation and non-stop party. From projections to pop up performances, the installation will evolve around a lo-fi dive bar and hotplate street eats, open from 7pm to late each night.
HuRU-hARa is a riotous celebration of the South East Asian artistic underground, echoing the aesthetics of sprawling street stalls and arts enclaves. The collaborative installation draws on the artistic traditions, folklore and street culture of the Nusantara or the Malay Archipelago, situated between China and India.
"Chaos once reigned in Nusantara and out of the chaos arose cities, kingdoms and countries where artisans strived. Artists defined that chaos through music, sculptures, literature and murals," said co-creator Thomas Henning, "HuRU-hARa translates as 'riot/chaos' in Bahasa Indonesia. Total order is unnatural, constant control is oppressive. True beauty is an accident. Natural life is the harmonious balance of order and disorder. This is HuRU-hARa".
"In HuRU-hARa, we recall a rapidly evaporating past, nearly remembered in fog of neon, mouldering photographs and fading newspapers," adds co-creator Govin Ruben, from TerryandTheCuz. "We're embracing this chaos. It's going to be a nightly festival of colour and sound, transporting audiences into an atmosphere of Asian futurism. It will be a mad, disorientating, cultural collision – and you can also enjoy a Lychee Martini".
HuRU-hARa will bring together experimental artists working in visual art, sculpture, video, live music, street and graffiti art, performance and dance, representing a wide variety of backgrounds and aesthetic styles. These artists are united by their ability to contemporise artistic traditions in new and radical ways.
Every night HuRU-HaRa will feature DJs, live music and pop up performances by diverse artists, including Malaysian dancer Rithaudin Abdul Kadir, Butoh artists Yumi Umiumare and Takashi Takiguchi, and renowned Indian Bharatanatyam dancer and academic Swarnamalya Ganesh from Chennai.
Yes No Klub have curated a contingent of avant-garde musicians and sound artists from the underground scene of Yogyakarta and Bandung, Indonesia, to perform and experiment in HuRU-hARa. The line-up will include Riar Rizaldi, Duto Hardono, and radio DJ Karina Sokowati (aka. "haxanized"), the lead singer of Punk/Riot Grrl band Bananch.
Artists will be continually working on the large-scale installation for the duration of HuRU-hARa – adding and changing layers with found materials, from antiques to literal rubbish. Nothing will be permanent and there will always be something new for the senses. Visual artists and designers contributing to the installation include 'interactive mural' artists Wayang Polah with Indonesian street art collective Survive!garage, East Timorese visual artist Alfe RM, and creative duo Gundul Peyang.
Wayang Polah (Kotrek and LoveHateLove), from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, will bring their unique 'interactive mural' practice to HuRU-hARa, combining music and theatrical dance with kinetic installations, puppetry and multimedia. For HuRU-hARa, Wayang Polah will join forces with internationally-recognised street art and activist community, Survive!Garage, in particular, the community's founder Bayu Widodo (often called the 'godfather of mural painting' in Indonesia) and radical artist, writer and performer Fitri DK.
A graduate of the Arte Moris school, Alfe RM (Alfeo Sanches Pereira), is known locally for his mural work in Richmond, Fitzroy and Melbourne's CBD, and co-creation of projections for the Gertrude Street Projection Festival. Alfe's work connects closely with activist movements in Timor-Leste, and his stencil art became a symbol of his country's fight for a fair maritime boundary with Australia.
Gundul Peyang is the combined practice of Melbourne-based creative duo Silvia Indriyani and Marcus Salvagno. Indriyani is a poet and designer originally from Malang, East Java. Salvagno is a video artist and filmmaker who has worked for over a decade with artists, dancers, poets and community groups across Asia, exhibiting at the Jogja Biennale, Mapping Melbourne, the National Gallery of Victoria, Arte Moris (Timor-Leste) and at the International Criminal Court at the Hague, Netherlands.
HuRU-hARa is the hub for the Convent's Asia TOPA program, but given this is a border-breaking, multi-arts experiment, you can expect the unexpected. We're creating a space that will inspire reactive collaborations, spontaneous performances and kooky cocktails. Each night will bring a new experience. Follow the Facebook event and Instagram for the latest announcements.
Catch HuRU-hARa at Abbotsford Convent from 20 February – 1 March 2020, Thursday – Sunday. Entry is free, with performances, food and drink from 7pm until late each night.