By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, June 18: The highly anticipated annual cultural heritage festival — Rainforest Fringe Festival 2019 (RFF2019) — will kick-off on July 5 with an array of activities for eight days.
Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said over 30 events had been lined up, including fashion, art, music, film, dance, theatre and food.
A jam-packed opening weekend will bring to live four major festival sites, namely the Old Court House, old DUN Building, Kuching Waterfront Gardens and at Borneo 744 in Bintawa.
“Visitors to the festival will be spoilt for choice to select between the many shows, talks, workshops, exhibitions, outdoor cultural entertainment/food events, marketplace and many others,” he told a press conference at Baitulmakmur Building here today.
Abdul Karim said the launching ceremony would be held at the old DUN Building. Among the highlights will be a fashion show called ‘Lembaran Emas: Songket and Keringkam of Sarawak’.
The event will feature designs by Malaysia’s ‘King of Fashion’ Dato Sri Bernard Chandran, Sarawak’s own ‘Queen of Bornean Fashion’ Dato Tom Abang Saufi, exquisite Sarawak songket producer Tanoti House and other emerging local textile artisans such as Manggees Collection, Tampan Keringkam, Keringkam Bahij and Seri Gedong Songket.
“For our inaugural Indigenous RFF Film Festival, we will be collaborating with Emmanuela Shinta and David Metcalf, who first started the Bali International Indigenous Film Festival in 2018,” he said.
The film festival aims to serve as a platform for regional and international indigenous filmmakers to showcase their work, form collaborations and network to reach out to a wider audience.
It will also feature films, talks and workshops by leading luminaries in the indigenous film world, including those from Taiwan, Canada, Papua New Guinea, India, Indonesia and New Zealand.
Abdul Karim said other events are the ‘INK Kuching Tattoo Showcase’ with internationally recognised traditional tattoo artists from Taiwan, India, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Philippines, Canada and eight of Sarawak’s own tattoo artists.
“There will also be a dance show called ‘Primates: At the Origin’, a festival commissioned dance piece featuring UK-born Iranian Ghaffar Pourazar, the first foreigner to play the role of Monkey King in the famous Beijing Opera.
“Others include award-winning Thai choreographer Jitti Chompee; Korean-based Penang choreographer/dancer Liu Yong Sean; dancer Lim Pei Ern from Sabah, international and locally cast dancers,” he said.
Several young performers from Sekolah Seni Malaysia Sarawak have also been selected for the show.
Two exciting culinary events ‘Dining Club: Plating The Wild’, in conjunction with the series Redesigning Bornean Experience, and ‘Lapis: Natural Edible Colours of Sarawak’ will complement the festival’s food programme.
Those into things supernatural can enjoy their oral storytelling sessions called ‘Invoices: Haunting Tales from Sarawak’ in an evening of tingling tales by local storytellers.
Abdul Karim said this year’s RFF will present ‘Pop-Up Taiwan’, a project sponsored by the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office, featuring 12 creative design stalls at Borneo 744.
In addition, RFF2019 will also feature ‘Artisans@The Market’ with creative and lifestyle products from Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Korea and Singapore.
He added that another interesting event is the art-for-humanity project ‘Pasar Glam’, which is a pop-up vintage shop of pre-loved items, with proceeds going exclusively to Sarawak Children’s Cancer Society.
RFF2019 will also feature the ‘First Nation After Party V2’ show by Australia’s Tomàs Ford, famous for his cabaret shows at the Edinburgh and Adelaide Fringe Festival. — DayakDaily