Rainforest Fringe Festival 2018: A Guide to Festival Opening Weekend


KUCHING, SARAWAK – Sarawak’s Rainforest Fringe Festival (RFF) is back for two weeks starting Friday, 6th July, and we’re back in Kuching for the first week of festivities! We’ve planned out our schedule to present the best of what RFF 2018 has to offer. But first off, here’s a sneak preview of what coverage you can expect from us in the days to come:

Friday, 6th July

Sarawak: An Indigenous Journey at the Waterfront Hotel and Borneo 744

Photo from Sarawak Tourism Board
SARAWAK: An Indigenous Journey is 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 credit: Datin Dona Drury-Wee

Join the Sarawak Culinary Heritage and Arts Committee on this mouthwatering, culinary adventure, tracing the history and present day iterations of Sarawak’s most delicious, ethnic food in this festive walk featuring all communities. From Malay mee jawa and satay, to Dayak umai and kacang mah, and even Chinese fried chai kueh and orh chien, and spicy Indian curry, you’ll be able to taste the entirety of Sarawak in a single space. What’s more, there’ll be plenty of food produce and craftware on sale to take home so you too can decorate and cook up a Sarawakian storm in your own kitchen, or if you can’t wait, learn how to make local tidbits during the Kino Live Kitchen “Hands Up or Hands On” demo “Snacks Alive!”, as live sape music will be played.

Photo credit: Chris Rainier

If you laid out your skin flat, it would spread over twenty square feet in area. National Geographic Society Fellow Chris Rainier shows off this photo collection documenting tribal tattoos from around the world, and the beauty of how our skin becomes a canvas for our culture, mapping out the geography and history of our soul and very being. Featuring tattoos from tribes located all around the world, from the lush forests of the Amazon to the frozen tundra of the Arctic, find out how people throughout history and the world have carved their identity into their very body.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Richard Koh Fine Art and Tan Wei Kheng

See Sarawakian tribal elders in an all new light at this exhibition drawing attention to their adornments unique to each tribe, from tattoos to dress sense, focusing on each tribe’s aesthetic beauty and a call to remember this singular ‘Forgotten Beauty’ in an attempt to save it before it is gone for good.

Photo Credit: Siew Thiam Lok

Come enter the endlessly fascinating world of the famous Carpenter Street as Siew Thiam Lok presents this open gallery along the entire street, highlights the street’s history and future and its multi-ethnic inhabitants. Once known as “Attap Street”, you can see this old name in Mandarin on the red arch welcoming visitors to the street, whose future remains uncertain as the price of rental skyrockets. Feel free to observe the photos and patronise the shopkeepers who hawk some of the most beuatiful antiques, crafts and intricate furniture sold inside every shop.

This root sculpture installation comes with video mapping light and projects onto visitors an environmental theme. Forgotten Forest highlights the loss of nature in the urban landscape and man’s own loss of bonds with it, as the tropical rainforests of Borneo face increasing deforestation and face uncertain fates and possible extinction if this keeps up.

Saturday, 7th July
Photo credits:
Zaachariaha Fielding: Colleen Strangways – Nharla Photography 
Electric Fields: Colleen Strangways – Nharla Photography
AT ADAU: Rustic Photography
At the First People Party. your Kuching vibes will come alive with electrifying musical performances from Electric Fields, AT ADAU and Sarawak’s very own vocal ‘Prince of Borneo’ Pete Kallang.
Photo credits:
Bonsai – M’atural
Forest Food – Jong Saw Kang
Shop to your hearts delight and support local businesses with this entire marketplace featuring Sarawakian products, from food to fashion!
Held at 5pm and 8pm on weekends, and at 8pm on weekdays, this series of secret films are set to give viewers an in-depth, inside look at Sarawakian culture, so closely entwined with the rainforest. Entry is free, but available on a first come first serve basis. Screenings are in Bahasa Sarawak and English, and approximately 1-2 hours long.

For many indigenous women, the rainforest is the only resource they have, crafting its harvest lovingly into works of art, yet constantly threatened by new developments in the area. In this art installation, this message is being projected to the world as the weavers are presented as artisans, weaving 60 uniquely individual “fruits”, in conjunction with architect-designer and Society Atelier Sarawak President Edric Ong, Tanoti co-founder Jacqueline Fong, and director of The Ranee Rosemarie Wong, in collaboration with IDC Architects, giving traditional weaving a new relevance even as the world around them continues to change.

Watch local bands perform authentic music of Sarawak, ranging from experimental traditional and modern fusion band Pinanak Sentah, a family band of students aiming to tell the new generation that traditional music continues to exist and will be kept alive by youths, to contemporary band Suk Binie’, formed by two friends who aimed to entertain and spread “THE SOUND OF UNITY” .

More coverage to come in the coming days, so follow us on Instagram @bakchormeeboy for live updates as we head around the festival this weekend. 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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