Tag Archives: zai kuning

Find out more ‘Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge’ with its range of Engagement Programmes!

Join us for an array of events of talks and performances that will take you on a journey through the geographical, historical, cultural and artistic symbols that exist in our current exhibition, Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge by Zai Kuning.

Last week we had a talk by Professor John N. Miksic who gave an insightful talk that touched on Singapore’s pre-colonial history in the larger Asian context, focusing on three specific mountains in Palembang (Sumatra), Singapore, and Melaka, which were epicentres that unified the Malay maritime culture.

This week, join us for a talk by Professor T.K. Sabapathy as he shares the significances of a stone inscription found in the vicinity of Bukit Seguntung in Palembang, that names Dapunta Hyang as a ruler who embarked upon a voyage or pilgrimage to gain merit and spiritual power. The contents of this inscription, the figure of Dapunta Hyang and ships or vessels are vital and dynamic wellsprings for Zai Kuning’s current work. T.K. Sabapathy discusses this inscription and its impact in the making of Zai Kuning’s Dapunta Hyang: The Transmission of Knowledge.

Symbolic Content in Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge
Public Lecture by Professor T.K. Sabapathy
26 April 2018, 7.30pm

Click here to register for this public lecture today!

T.K. Sabapathy has researched and published extensively on modern art and artists in Southeast Asia; his work inaugurates pathways for developing art histories of the modern in this region. He is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore where he teaches the history of art.


Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge
72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road
12 April – 13 May 2018
12pm to 7pm
Tuesdays to Sundays

Opening hours are extended to 10pm on 26 April, 4 & 5 May 2018.


The presentation of Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge is part of TheatreWorks’ aim to present innovative contemporary experiences and artistic expressions that offer Singapore audiences alternatives. Its home, 72-13 is an incubator for artistic experiments by both artists and creatives, while being a consistent conduit for dialogues between disciplines and cultures.

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Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge docking at 72-13 this April!

A 17 metre-long ship traverses the hall, suspended. As if emerging from the sea floor, it unloads hundreds of books sealed in beeswax. This is the imagined vessel steered by the first Malay king, Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa of the 7th-century Srivijayan Empire.

Haunting, mysterious, full of magic and beauty is Zai Kuning’s vessel of the Srivijayan Empire, an artistic re-imagination of the voyage of Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa who is believed to be the first ruler of the Malay Kingdom in the 7th Century. A masterpiece that has journeyed through Hong Kong, Paris and most recently to the 57th Venice Biennale, DAPUNTA HYANG: TRANSMISSION OF KNOWLEDGE is a culmination of an ongoing body of work that investigates Malay history and culture through the lesser-known narratives of the orang laut (sea people). It has successfully brought Malay cultural history and Singapore’s relationship to the larger Riau Archipelago onto the international stage.

In the homecoming of this highly-acclaimed work to be presented at 72-13, Singapore audiences will experience a multi-disciplinary exhibition that traces a 19-year long journey that has taken Zai Kuning to encounter the orang laut (sea people), mak yong (ancient Malay opera), and the lost world of the Malay maritime kingdom. This journey started with a residency by TheatreWorks (Singapore) in 2001. Surrounding the exhibition in Singapore will be live performances by Zai Kuning and collaborating musicians, talks by experts, and the screening of a new film that captures Zai Kuning’s extraordinary sojourn in search of our regional history.

Through the synthesis of forgotten histories and a living tradition on the verge of disappearance, Zai Kuning communicates the urgent need to resurface questions on how knowledge has been transmitted, manipulated and directed across time and space to inform us of our present reality.

Presented by TheatreWorks (Singapore) and 72-13, with support from National Arts Council (of Singapore) and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge
72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road
12 April – 13 May 2018
12pm to 7pm
Tuesdays to Sundays

For more information about this exhibition and its programmes, please visit the website here!