Mapping Melbourne 2018

Shoeb Ahmad - photo by Anna MayberryCreating new perspectives, new possibilities and new expressions through a series of intercultural, multi-artform events across Melbourne, Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) presents Mapping Melbourne – an independent contemporary Asian arts festival – from Friday 30 November 2018.

“Mapping Melbourne offers a rare insight into the contemporary art scene in Asia, bringing together collaborations and connections between Asian and Australian artists,” says Veronica Pardo, Chief Executive Officer, Multicultural Arts Victoria. “Here, at this festival, we are able to witness an extraordinary showcase of bold, innovative and daring new work.”

The 6th annual 16-day curated festival showcases the best independent contemporary artists exploring the themes of Asia and identity. This extraordinary program of 19 events celebrates the synergies that exist between all people. Highlights of the 2018 festival includes:

Mapping Melbourne Launch 
MPavilion: Friday 30 November
Mapping Melbourne 2018 kicks off from 6.00pm with live performances, installations and interactions including The Echoes Project, L@NDLESS, UB and more to be announced…

Street Connection
Hosier Lane: Saturday 1 December
A live exhibition and workshop featuring the work of Mue Bon – a Thai street artist who uses spray paint to create a cast of signature characters in public spaces. Bon excels at character work, with his most notable creation Pukruk The Love Bird, taking centre stage in Hosier Lane. Bon is an artist at the forefront of the Asian street art scene with his unmistakable characters appearing on local road sides and shutters, to gallery walls and Art fairs worldwide.

Space 28 – VCA Performing Arts: Wednesday 5 – Friday 14 December
In collaboration with Project 11 and curated by Santy Saptari, #Perempuan (or woman), is a group exhibition featuring works by emerging Indonesian artists that explores current issues affecting women in Indonesia, including their visibility in public and their sociocultural role. Artists include: Arum Dayu, Erwin Windu Pranata, Meliantha Muliawan, Octora, Patricia Untoro, Puri Fidhini, Etza Meisyara, Ruth Marbun, Tandia Bambang Permadi and Yaya Sung.

The Embodied Landscape
Testing Grounds: Wednesday 5 – Sunday 16 December
From a remote and ancient land steeped in both aboriginal and colonial artefacts we enhance the visibility of our first nation footprint with a remote regional initiative. Two ancient cultures meet and collaborate through dance: Sampang Agung Centre for Performing Arts (SACPA) from Pelem, East Java and Wotjobaluk dancers from the Wimmera. An exhibition of photographs, film and a performance based in a remote regional town, Rainbow.

The Seafarers Welcome
The Mission to Seafarers: Thursday 6 December

Ria Soemardjo, Janette Hoe and Pongjit (Jon) Saphakhun collaborate to create an ongoing exploration of contemporary rituals in response to urban sites in Australia. Based in Melbourne, their contemporary performance work draws deeply from their personal connections to Thai, Chinese and Indonesian ceremonial traditions. Featuring Intricate rhythmic compositions inspired by the rich heritage of Indonesian and Middle Eastern musical traditions, performed by Ron Reeves and Matt Stonehouse – two of Australia’s foremost world music percussionists.

Dumpling Boy Temple
Testing Grounds: Thursday 6 – Sunday 8 December

A pseudo-shaman space on steroids where the kitsch-o-meter set to full on. Dumpling Boy Temple is an art installation space which provides a unique, kitsch shamanistic experience. The temple space will take inspiration from shamanism cultures in contemporary Asia, with a mix of traditions and symbols combined with manufactured objects.

Testing Grounds: Friday 7 – Sunday 15 December
Pronounced moor-thee – MURTI is a communal participatory installation about worship and ritual in our age. A Sanskrit term, ‘murti’ is an embodied icon of the Divine. Reflecting on the ancient Hindu ritual of bathing stone idols in water and milk, MURTI invites people to pour vibrant paint upon a large-scale sculpture that reimagines the most revered and abstracted Hindu icon – the Lingam. All audience members will have opportunities to pour paint upon the idol throughout the opening night.

Fairfax Foyer – Arts Centre Melbourne: Sunday 9 December
Shoeb Ahmad brings a swirl of dream pop and storytelling and proudly identifies as a person of Bangladeshi heritage and a transgender woman. Her music is known for exploring deeply personal experiences and vulnerabilities, in an evocative mix of acoustic and electronic indie pop. im/modesty will premiere as a live performance work with contemporary music ensemble, Australian Art Orchestra. Originally developed as a multi-speaker installation during a residency in Kerala, Southern India, this work is inspired by the cultural barriers people from the Indian subcontinent face when exploring their sexuality.

The Sounds of Shadows: Sugar Coated
Primrose Potter Salon – Melbourne Recital Centre: Friday 14 December
This farm-to-table narrative will impart some food for thought.  Juxtaposing the joy and the destruction that food can bring, this immersive concert celebrates endangered Indonesian instruments whose primary function is centered around food production. Featuring Bundengan (duck herder’s rain shield and zither) from Java, Rantok (polyrhythmic rice pounding), and Gule Gending (fairy floss street vendor’s steelpans) from Lombok, with the Sindhen vocals (Javanese Court style) of internationally acclaimed Peni Candra Rini with piano and gamelan. This major work is further magnified by the digitally enhanced idiosyncratic shadow puppetry of Mosman Art Prize winner Jumaadi.

Mapping Melbourne 2018 takes place across Melbourne from 30 November to 15 December. For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: Shoeb Ahmad – photo by Anna Mayberry