ISE: JALAN JALAN MAKAN ANGIN
Roslisham Ismail aka Ise describes his practice as ‘hanging out and making friends’. However this humble statement conceals the deeply-rooted and long standing relationships that the artist forms with his collaborators and project participants. Since 2006, Ise has worked with various groups of Malay migrants across South-East Asia, attempting to draw into and focus upon the experience of migrant populations in their new countries.
Ise’s practice often begins with the smallest observations. When he first arrived in Sydney he noticed a small group of vegetable sellers from Paddy’s Markets who spoke to one another in Malay. Immediately intrigued, Ise decided that he wanted to work with this sub-community of Chinese-Malaysian workers from the nearby marketplace.
Jalan Jalan Makan Angin, or ‘walking around and eating the clouds’ draws on the daydreaming and aspirations of one Chinese-Malaysian couple from Paddy’s as the basis for a new way of seeing Sydney. Calvin and Ahmei migrated to Australia three years ago from Malaysia. They both work as fruit and vegetable vendors at the market. Yet despite their proximity to the city, have never ventured to Sydney’s most iconic locations. As such, Ise adopted the role of local guide and created a tour that includes popular sights, the Opera House, Taronga Zoo and Manly. By creating a temporary travel agency for this couple, Ise questions the positions of ‘local’ and ‘tourist’ when navigating a city.
Through collage, drawing and photography, Jalan Jalan… reconfigures Sydney – if only for one, and two people – as a city without it’s previous social and economic boundaries. To follow Calvin and Ahmei, on their tour of Sydney go to jalanjalanmakanangin.tumblr.com
Tune into Ise speaking about his project recently on Canvas on FBi Radio 94.5FM alongside Mark Feary from Artspace available on podcast
Jalan Jalan Makan Angin is an initiative of the 4A Chinatown Mapping Project and has been supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW.