Thursday, February 25, 2016

Buangbayi in progress

Buang bayi in progress

When i was young i read this 'Choose your own adventure' type of book where you can choose on every page few options through the storyline. Now i'm trying to make one in a form of a zine with a theme of typical maknyah or transwomen's life .....
The trick of doing complicated thing is first start simple .....this is already getting a bit confusing but a bit fun, maybe this also should be a coloring book, so its multifunctional...
#buangbayishika exhibition

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


...Long time a go, when i was in school, or where i came from, the time i was growing up in the 80s. Rock music is everywhere. It was at the forefront of the consciousness. Radio playing local and international music, in school i went to, in magazines, video tapes, cassettes and CDs. I had a neighbour who is a Mat Rock or simply a label to describe young male who's interested in rock music by his haircut, tshirt and torn jeans. I get to know him and went to his house and for the first time touch an electric guitar. He's the first one who taught me how to play the guitar but since i don't have any at home, instantly i forgot about it. I think i bought an accoustic guitar but since no one teaching me and without any books or a guide (no internet/youtube era), it just sat at one corner collecting dusts and because of my social construct and surrounding at that time i thought girls don't play guitar so in a way i totally forgot about it. While growing up in school i get to know some friends who dubbed a mix tape for me, i remember one of it has Ramones,Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedy's in it. Then the next one is mostly all British punkrock bands The Clash, The Jam, Buzzcocks, etc and later i discovered the local underground punkbanks like The Pilgrims, Carburetor Dung, etc. In college i get to know a few more guys into the music and they taught me to play guitar a bit here and there, from my class, i have a friend with similar interests, he taught me guitar as well but i forgot everything easily, we even have our own band (i played drums) and jam quite oftenly at this jamming studio behind Pudu jail. After college, everyone move on their own way and eventually out of touch.

I moved on with life, working in advertising and live life half conscious all the time (no hope in transitioning and basically quite dead inside) then when quit advertising and concentrate on studying Japanese and get a freelance job in local NGOs and get to know myself more (gender identity and being Trans) and the politics of this country, then discovered there's a band that there's a Transwoman playing drums, i instantly  felt like, shit that was that the thing i always wanted to do long time ago while i was in college, she reminded me of my old self. Fast forward when i was in Japan, i tried looking for guitar to practise but failed and kind of forgot about it, and while i'm there i was staying at Koenji, i discovered that there were a lot of girls carrying guitars and drumkit around and after awhile also i noticed there were more women's artists than men. I get to know a few women artists and in woodprint workshop there were 9 female out of 10.

After coming back here, i was reunited with my old accoustic guitar that i bought with a friend long time ago in Sungai Wang and played it once in a while, but things getting more intense and focused since last year probably 'its time' and i could be pretty fermented, few punk bands kind of influence me to write my own lyrics, i tried with the thinking of its just poetry sort of and since last year i manage to make a few songs (or rather poetry with instruments), with D.I.Y. punk ethics in the mind, anyone can do or learn anything actually so with that mentality i manage to make sort of 5 songs. Before i went to the Philippines me, Dorian and Jellene manage to wrote a few silly songs probably from our experience being Trans but all of us forgot about the lyrics and chords. Until last year we manage to salvage 1 song back and rewrote the lyric and came out with a few more and also did a lyric book in a form of a mini zine (A3 paper fold into small pocket size zine).
Then we performed at Findars gallery early last year, World Aids Day end of the year and also at Merdekarya. Since that experiences kind of psyched me up a bit to write and play more. I overcame the stage fright, my own thick introverted wall, shyness and also being too conscious about my own voice, so yeah, there's still a bit shivers here and there, but lets see where does this go to, there's Femmecoat and also another one at Merdekarya next month....

With youtube, now its so so so easy to learn any songs possibly imagined. Not like in the 80s, where you have to find the guitar book and rely on the next person who know how to play guitar....thank you internet.

Fender Jazzmaster
Fender vintage

Gibson custom 1965 Firebird V Heather Poly
Vintage Epiphone Les Paul
Gibson Explorer

Tuesday, February 23, 2016



Long time ago, i heard the label queer as far as i can remember has some negative connotations like when a hetero cisgender person slutshaming some other male person for being too feminine (clothes and behaviour). Now its reclaimed for sure. When i was in college i heard the punk band Queer but they're far from being Queer, just another hetero-cisgender male group. And of course when analysing a situation like in this country we also must see the society, country's system that shaped its citizen. After mid 80s just as fatwa came out banning SRS/GRS (Sexual Reassignment Surgery or the new term Gender-Reafirmation Surgery) and the politicians purposely wanted to Arabize the country further, channeling all the money to religious institutions, groups, media, and so naturally shape our society and its mind. We still can see lots of Queer characters on TV (Mr.Os, Jaafar Onn, Dee Dee) solely for laughing purposes and thus people everywhere shaming 'assigned male person at birth' for being too feminine in clothing and behaviour and the situation in Malaysia is getting more and more rigid since 90s onwards until now. We have syariah law that prohibits every 'assigned male and muslim at birth' person in the country from wearing women's or feminine clothing. Most affected by this law are 'assigned Muslim at birth' Transwomen who's doing sex work on the street and in some cases in Melaka, the religious officer went into a salon and apprehend her while she's doing her job, and another was stopped at a roadblock, and the police called the religious officer to come and apprehend her while she's driving her family around town in that car. There are a big gap between the local Bahasa speaking transwomen group & NGO and also other NGO's who's mostly English speaking. Malay transwomen group have different priorities in doing activism than the other LGBTIQ NGO group.

The last time i was told off from my friend that "why i mix around with the crossdressers, we're not crossdressers". And often in Transwomen community events like we have a fair share of bad experience coming from 'the gay boys' who's sabotaging our events (calling religious police) and acting obnoxiously Diva as if it was highly respected. Eventhough Transwomen have many of effiminate queer gay friends but in our local community events there are many instance of bad experiences, thus Queer label have kinda negative connotations or a mixed-up translation to local transwomen or Bahasa speaking community.
Local government owned media often blanket transwomen and gay man together in the same group by producing movies that all this people in the end will either repented or just die horribly, which makes these 2 group similarly have the same villain but as in our system / society where race, religion, gender,class, language are often divided, there are not many events that we're often meet and discuss about our challenges and obstacles. Each group have different priorities.

When i was in Japan, i met a couple of group friends of mine who's taking me around some Queer events and in Japan LGBTIQ = Queer. I learn form him that being a Gay person or Lesbian their challenge  in society is or could be more challenging i suppose because of the rigid Gender roles in the society thus the term Queer is heavily used and more people coming out as Gender X which have no gender at all. I guess its just the natural phenomena rise from being in that society and system.

Recently the word Queer becoming more and more mainstream, i thought that hmm, i guess 'Queer' is a space for any of us to be whatever we want. A free space to be fluid, if coming from cisgender gay and lesbian person or even heterosexual its good space for them to be free expressing themselves whatever they want to be, let loose from their rigid gender roles. But for Transwomen and Transmen the term Queer is a good space when you are transitioning, but after fully transitioned are we Queer? For Transwomen and Transmen who's experience misgendering since young and gender dysphoria & suicide, what is it for us? what is the politic of Queer? for sure its a topic haven't fully discussed yet in the local transwomen or the transmen community...
#justathought #hmmm

Monday, February 22, 2016

Artist talk / language

2 days ago i attended my friend's artist talk, Sharon is one of the local artist that has been around for ages, our paths crossed each other many times in some local art events and art bazaar (Artforgrabs) plenty of times. She shared her experience about her latest work 'Weed' that was exhibited at the Asia Pacific Trennials in Perth. I remember before she went there she bought some of my stuff, patches, bags, badges. As usual i am touched by her gesture supporting another struggling artist or for me, or a full time freelancer who nonstop looking out for jobs that requires drawing and illustrations (which this year coming to a halt because of the bad economy). I have so many questions like the process of applying for artist residency, some lubang to apply (which she shared with me quite a few), how to write proposal hehe, and most importantly i learn from her talk is how she dismissed some offers by magazines/corporations and instead offering them with a similar artist who's struggling and also her idea 'power of suggestion' to other people about other fellow artist or simply talk about the artist work to others. Totally inspired. Personally i'm not here nor there, not in artist circle, not really in NGO,just volunteering here and there, and quit advertising long ago, not also in d.i.y. punk scene maybe just one toe inside the circle since i'm working closely with friends who's doing the printing, silkscreening. So its a bit complicated since i'm more and more drifting out of these few circles.

During the talk also we're discussing about the language used like some prefer fully in Bahasa and some in Manglish or English and mixed. My thought about it was, aha! i've been thinking about it since my observation within from the trans community or living in our society. It goes back to our country system. Since the British era, how the country was formed and its system and we're part of the evolution of that system living inside it, how we are divided and fragmented further not by race, religion, class but also language. Each race have their own social construct and traditions / identity and language is part of it and we rather be in that comfort zone and also 'enabling environment'. This word became clear recently from a few community workshop and i question myself everyday why i'm eager to learn English and my other Malay friends not so. It goes back to my childhood where i try to be like my higher educated cousins who's in their environment/household is more competitive to each other and i try to mimic them to becoming like them, reading as many English storybooks that they read. And i was in a mix school, where most of my Chinese & Indian classmates all very enthusiastically learning English. On my mom side on the other hand are from poor middle to lower class who's not using English language in their daily lives and consume more Bahasa media newspapers and TV channels. In Malay community also there are gesture like if someone is using English they will be look down upon for even trying to use English like sarcastically being told off wah 'speaking now' or 'Please lah dont use English if your grammar all lintang pukang'and i found out even the person saying that their English is the same as terrible and it seems like i might as well pull someone with me down while i'm drowning, sort of thing. So yeah its the social construct and also the enabling environment of the person that make the person more open to learn learn and use other language.

When i came to KL for the first time to study (1995) My spoken English was as terrible in Manglish standard. In college i have lots of Chinese friends but mostly use Manglish as well, then i got a job in advertising and use it daily for 5 years with my white foreigner boss as well i guess that process made me using it easier like learning riding a bicycle. After 5 years its easier to speak without even thinking about it (but my grammar is as terrible actually, like in this writing). And also sadly in this country yes, we are divided further (Race, religion, class, language, interests, etc) and within a community we're fragmented further by experience, geography, etc. within my community, some of my friends who's seldom use English in their daily lives, i share my thoughts with them to learn it and use it even if your peers trying to mock you, because nowadays it is the language of opportunity even if you're sex worker/escort, you can communicate and talk about culture and sharing experience with clients/customers.

Personally i love mangas and anime = Japanese culture (their main imports ^_^) so i quit working my full time in advertising and took Japanese class and with the little interests i manage to use it and make Japanese friends and learn more about their culture and while i got the opportunity to live there for a short time i analysed further what makes a culture and its identity including Philippines as well. So yeah, to go back that's Malaysia. Truly Asia, divided by race, religion, class, interests but also language. 'Social construct' and 'enabling environment' is important to study and get to know our backstory and identity of our fragmented reality.
#justathought #hmmm

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Friday, February 19, 2016


and so yesterday, the famous local comedian making an ass of himself if he thinks its the same time like when he joked during his old tv program 'Jangan Ketawa' during the 80s where everyone's super queer and not much transphobic violence as to compare in this time 2010-2016 where in Malaysia, the Arabization and environment becoming more extremely conservative/black & white/cis-tem, in this age and time its is not ok, where there are more vulnerable Transperson going through hardtimes finding jobs and survive. (Don't even start why so many of us do sex work to survive)
Harith Iskandar ran out of materials, perhaps he should retire and stay at home. We know that he got few Gay or Queer friends but perhaps he should learn what is Transphobia and check his privilege as a cisgender upperclass male person. In this day and age, havin the technology and convenient to share information at a fingertips very swiftly, perhaps its best to stop for awhile and check your content first before sharing.

Then he took out the post and then the next morning he posted this:

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Buang bayi (duct tape/dokumentasi)

...Semalam/Yesterday/Kinou 10Feb2016
My friend just move to her new office and she commissioned me again to grace her wall. Because of space constraint and i have to make the line quality smaller, cutting the tape to tinier strips...
The last time i did for her office was in February 2012 (documentation pix below)

February 2012 (documentation pix)