Body, Blood & Spirit – The story of PUSAKA and its search

Body, Blood & Spirit – The story of PUSAKA and its search
A Talk by Eddin Khoo
Saturday, 28 October 2023
4:00PM – 5:30PM
Level 5, ILHAM Gallery
In the early 1990s, then a young journalist, Eddin Khoo ventured up to the north-eastern Malaysian state of Kelantan to write about proscription and the cultural politics taking place at the time, a culmination of ideological forces attempting to redefine cultural life in that state. He would spend the next decade independently researching, documenting, writing, and finding ways to revitalise the ritual arts of Kelantan, working closely with masters and custodians of the Wayang Kulit, Mak Yong, Manora, Main Puteri and Dikir Barat traditions. In 2002, at the behest of these masters, he founded the cultural organisation, PUSAKA.
With PUSAKA turning 21 this year of 2023, Eddin Khoo reflects on the wild and eccentric odyssey, the perennial search for memory through explorations of collective culture and our human nature-of semangat (spirit), angin (temperament), the essential Self. The artistic and ritual traditions PUSAKA engages with illuminate history, and are born of the centuries of cultural encounter that have shaped community life in Malaysia, that still pulsates in the bodies, blood and spirit of her people.
In this lecture, Eddin Khoo also contemplates how the aesthetics of traditional arts have influenced the attitudes and approaches of contemporary artists in Malaysia, looking in particular at the iconography of Wayang Kulit, of stupas, and of energy points in the work of Nirmala Dutt

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