Preview: Rainforest Fringe Festival 2018

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KUCHING, SARAWAK – After a successful inaugural edition in 2017, Sarawak’s Rainforest Fringe Festival (RFF) returns this July for a second outing, here to promote and showcase the very best of Sarawakian art, craft, music, theatre, fashion, food, film, photography, and culture!

Photo from Sarawak Tourism Board

Taking place from 6th – 15th July across various venues in Kuching, this year’s festival kicks off with SARAWAK: An Indigenous Journey, a new homegrown production featuring Sarawak’s indigenous groups. Combining dance, songs, sounds, and chants, the production will feature Sarawakian talent such as New York-based dancer and choreographer Raziman Sarbini, and Kuching-born celebrated soprano Dewi Liana Seriestha, the first Malaysian to win the Miss World Talent title in 2014, showing the diversity and success of local artists over the years.

Photo credits:
Zaachariaha Fielding: Colleen Strangways – Nharla Photography 
Electric Fields: Colleen Strangways – Nharla Photography
AT ADAU: Rustic Photography

The performances don’t stop there with an electrifying evening of performances the next night with the First People Party. Playing at the Black Box at Borneo744, this party will feature performances from Electric Fields, AT ADAU and Sarawak’s very own vocal ‘Prince of Borneo’  Pete Kallang.

Tattoos by National Geographic Society Fellow Chris Rainier focusing on tattoos of the world

Beyond these live performances, expect plenty of visual art running at various venues throughout Sarawak as well. At The Old Courthouse alone, there will be seven exhibitions and installations, including two exhibitions on tattoos, portraits of Sarawakian tribal elders, photos of Borneo natives and a feature on Margaret De Windt, first Ranee of Sarawak. Other exhibitions and highlights include photography of the world’s oldest trees at the Pullman Hotel, an open gallery featuring the history of Kuching’s famous Carpenter Street on Carpenter Street, and plenty of surreal, plant-inspired installations that meld technology and nature, littering various venues showcasing Sarawakian design and linking back to Sarawak’s close link to its natural world.

Glass flowers as part of the Sarawakia Malpighiales Wallacei installation

Other highlights to look out for include Yoga in the Wild by Under Armour, a unique Yoga experience at the foot of Mount Santubong instructed by Singapore yoga instructor Denise Keller and Hendri Take, various craft workshops imparting skills such as photographic printing and modern plant decor, talks by academics and history specialists, as well as an artisanal market featuring the best of Sarawakian produce from local craftsmen and creators, from books to food, textiles to fashion.

Photo credits:
Bonsai – M’atural
Forest Food – Jong Saw Kang

As we experienced last year at the RFF, Sarawak is a beautiful state rife with history and culture, welcoming its visitors with open arms whether they’re stepping into it for the first time or for a repeat visit and always ready with something new for you to discover. The Rainforest Fringe Fest is set to unveil Sarawak as more than just an exotic world of tribes and natives; it’s a land rich in arts and culture, of history and nature waiting to be uncovered. Come to Kuching this July for an experiences to activate and tantalise all your senses, and come alive as you listen to the stories of the rainforest from the people here living alongside it.

The 2018 Rainforest Fringe Festival takes place around Kuching, Sarawak from 6th July to 15th July 2018. More information and tickets available here

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