Zai Kuning

Zai Kuning is one of the pioneering experimental artists in Singapore who has redefined what it means to engage in multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary art forms. Zai’s artistic work in the last two decades has shifted between sculpture, drawing, installation, performance, movement, music and sound. In 2000, he began researching the lives of the Orang Laut, the sea gypsies of the Riau Archipelago in Indonesia, near Singapore. His research culminated in an internationally acclaimed documentary film RIAU (2003). He recently returned to further explore this theme, and he is currently working on a new documentary film project focused on the Mak Yong Mantang, an important form of Malay performing arts as it pre-dates Islam influence in the 14th century. Mak Yong has been declared by UNESCO as a “Masterpiece Of The Oral And Intangible Heritage Of Humanity”, one with roots in animist and Hindu-Buddhist beliefs and mythology. His project on the Mak Yong is supported by the National Arts Council Singapore.