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Ashly Nandong is an emerging Malaysian artist, who studies the Borneo traditional ’Sapeh’ lute, traditional Dayak dance (performs dances of the Iban and Orang Ulu sub-ethnic Dayak people group of Sarawak) and is a self-thought contemporary visual artist incorporating Dayak designs which he inherits and continues to promote through his artistic endeavours. His original background of studies is a Bachelor of Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering from Swinburne University of Technology, Victoria, Australia and has now dived completely into the Malaysian Arts industry as a young emerging artist, where he continually devote his time and energy in his artistic pursuit as an artist.
Projects in the arts that Ashly have successfully attempted are such as world music fusion with the Melodius Operandi ensemble which he founded in 2007 (a multicultural world music ensemble; 2007 – 2010), self-studied and performed traditional compositions with gurus of the Borneo ‘Sapeh’ lute music, Mr Ukung Mering (1999 – 2005: Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia) and Mr Philip Ngau Jalong (2010: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), has attended practices and informally studied West Javanese “Chirebon” Gamelan music with Putra Panji Asmara ensemble under ensemble director Micheal Ewing (2010: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) as well as held visual art exhibitions (Pas De Compromis – A reflection of the soul collective art exhibition, Melbourne, VIC Australia; 2007 and Saturn Return – A premier solo art exhibition by Ashly Nandong, Kuching, Sarawak; 2011 ) and have participated in numerous visual art exhibitions in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He is also the co-founder and joint-coordinator alongside David Sweeting and Anna Chinnary for a Not-For-Profit advocacy through visual arts group based in Melbourne, Tumbuna Art Project in 2009 – 2010, which launched its premier visual arts exhibition entitled “Time Mi Lukim” in March 2010, showcasing works of art by local artists from Papua New Guinea in Melbourne, VIC Australia.
Ashly is currently(as of July 2012) working towards his latest self-organised collective visual arts exhibition project “Seni Collective (Celebrate Individuality, Harvest Diversity)” which will showcase a variety of artist friends of Ashly’s, locally and internationally, from a diverse range of visual arts genre, exhibitions due July 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, and August 2012 in The Penang Performance Arts Centre, Penang; working towards the inclusion of Seni Collective into MACT-Malacca due September 2012. Future projects also includes starting up a Malacca based NGO in facilitating artistic development for the Malacca art scene with Mark and Jyoti, and collaborating with IN FEST Malacca art collective.
‘Penang World Music Festival 2013’ and ‘Saratuspersen Malaysian Tour 2013’ artist liaison and event coordinator for Bandung, Indonesia based ensemble Saratuspersen – March 2012 to April 2013;
‘Malacca UNESCO-World Heritage Music Festival 2011’ with the Didit Dinai ensemble from Sarawak, Jonker Walk, Malacca – July 2011;
‘Fiesta Malaysia 2010’ with Melodius Operandi ensemble, Melbourne CBD, VIC – October 2010;
‘Hosbon Bay City Library Refugee Week Celebration 2010’ with Melodius Operandi ensemble, Hosbon Bay City Library, Altona Meadows, West Melbourne, VIC – July 2010;
‘Fairnessfest’ benefit music performance for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre with Melodius Operandi ensemble, Noise Bar, Brunswick VIC – April 2010;
‘CERES Harvest Festival’, CERES Environmental Park, East Coburg VIC – April 2010;
‘Acoustica (music in a quiet place)’ with Melodius Operandi ensemble, Melbourne City Library, Flinders Lane in conjunction with the Melbourne Cultural Diversity Week, Melbourne VIC – March 2010;
Co-organised the “Jacques Frich Backyard Listening Party – Summer Series”, a mini-festival pilot project showcasing musical performances and short-films by musicians and film makers from Melbourne, Mt Evelyn VIC – March 2010;
Swanston St Asylum Seeker Centre Christmas Dinner charity performance, Melbourne VIC (Melodius Operandi ensemble) – December 2009;
SUBUD Melbourne Cultural Night, Clarinda VIC (Melodius Operandi ensemble) – December 2009;
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Christmas Lunch charity performance, Melbourne (Melodius Operandi ensemble) – December 2009;
Shed Cinema ‘Opening Gala’ charity performance, Melbourne VIC (Melodius Operandi ensemble) – November 2009;
Harlequin Dreams Multicultural Day, Swinburne University (Hawthorn), Melbourne VIC (Melodius Operandi ensemble) – October 2009;
‘Fiesta Malaysia 2009’ (Malaysian Festival) Melbourne VIC (Melodius Operandi ensemble) – September 2009;
Music Night, part of the International Student Ministry, Swanston Church of Christ, Melbourne VIC (Melodius Operandi ensemble – March 2007;
Founded the Melodius Operandi ensemble – composed and recorded first original composition (‘Waves of the Sea’) with group, Melbourne VIC, 2007;
Co-composed and recorded two original world music tunes (‘Rainforest’ and ‘Monsoon Rain’) with acoustic guitarist Matthew James Argyle, Melbourne VIC – 2006.
Performance art (traditional Borneo dance and music)
“The Engagement of Diana Alui and Jeremy Jp”, solo sapeh lute performer, Long Tuma Village, Lawas, Sarawak, Malaysia – May 2012;
“Borneo Barok Club and Warisan Sarawak ‘Gawai Harvest Festival’ launching”, solo sapeh lute performer, The Borneo Barok Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – April 2012;
“Gangsadewa (Music and Dance from the heart of Indonesia)” with Lestari Dance and Theatre Group, The Arts Centre, Fairfax Studio, Melbourne, VIC, Australia – August 2010;
Studied and practiced Chirebon (West Javanese) gamelan music with Putra Panji Asmara gamelan ensemble under the tutelage of Micheal Ewing, University of Melbourne (Art Faculty), Melbourne VIC Australia, 2010;
Studied and performed authentic Borneo ‘Sapeh’ lute music and dance compositions under the tutelage of guru, Philip Ngau Jalong, Melbourne VIC Australia, 2010;
Part of the Kenyalang Dance Troop – performed traditional dance and played ‘Sapeh’ lute and a contemporary East Malaysian dance performance, choreographed by Dayangku Tiara Diana Illanie, Fiesta Malaysia 2009 (Malaysian Festival) Melbourne VIC Australia – September 2009;
Composed and showcased self-arranged Borneo lute music tunes (‘Datun Julut’ and ‘Monsoon Rain’) for “Gathering of the Tribes” tribal tattoo convention 2011 website, Sarawak, Malaysia – May 2009;
Guest Borneo lute musician, Visual Art Exhibition Opening Nights, the Artrageously RamseyOng Art Gallery, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, 2003-2005; Presented multiple solo and duet performances (with Guru and Master Musician Ukung Mering);
Studied and performed the authentic Borneo ‘Sapeh’ lute music compositions under the guidance of Master Musician and guru, Ukung Mering, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, 1999 – 2005.
Rimbun Dahan 3 months artist residency programme, Rimbun Dahan, Kuang, Selangor, Malaysia – March to June 2012 (extended to July 2012);
“Los Crackos en El Centro” – participated in Cracko Art Group collective exhibition, El Centro Café, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia – May 2013;
“Satu X Satu” – participated in group art exhibition by Galeri RumahTerang, Art Row, Publika Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – April 2012;
Founded the “Seni Collective”, a network of artists includes individuals from Australia, Brunei, France, Japan and Malaysia. The main mission of the collective is to provide venues for the artists to promote their works and to promote an appreciation of art to the society where ever it may be exhibiting, as well as to promote cultural diversity of its artist – November 2012;
“1Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism 2011 Art Hunt Sabah” – displayed prints of 2 out of 26 bodies of works with artists from the ‘New V’ Black and White Illustration Book, Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia – July 2011;
“Voice Out (In conjunction with the Sabah Youth Arts Week)” – participated in collective visual art exhibition and collaborative mural art, 1Borneo Mall, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia – July 2011;
“Saturn Return (A premier solo painting art exhibition by Ashly Nandong)” – Curator of first solo exhibition and painted first individual mural artwork entitled “Tree of Life”, Ruai Bar, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia – July 2011;
“Green Surf Festival” – participated in collaborative mural art with Cracko Art Group, Tanjung Aru Beach 2, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia – April 2011;
Officially joined Cracko Art Group as member artist and participate in collaborative mural art, ‘Twestivel’ (Tweeter Festival), Origin Café, Kapitol Karamunsing, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia – March 2011;
‘Taim Mi Lukim’ Papua New Guinean visual art exhibition, Joint-coordinated a pilot project with Tumbuna Art Project, Brood Box Gallery, Melbourne CBD, VIC, Australia – March 2010 (in conjunction with the Melbourne Cultural Diversity Week);
Co-founded the Tumbuna Art Project group, an art advocacy not-for-profit group which aims to bridge cultural gaps and understanding by offering events that promote diversity through new and established linkages using visual art, media and music; working with local grassroots artists, providing platforms for emerging artists to display their work and promote cultural, political and social awareness – 2009;
‘Pas De Compromis (A reflection of the soul)’ – Organised and curate a collective visual art exhibition, exhibiting artworks by 10 artists of diverse cultures and artistic genre from Melbourne, VIC, Australia – March to April 2008.
Ashly Nandong with his recent artwork