Kenyalang Circus, translated as ‘Hornbill Circus’ from Sarawak Malay, consists of a series of eight woven textiles in the form of advertisement posters of which four are presented in the gallery. Kueh’s woven advertisement posters are indicative of his laborious background from a developing country. A stark contrast to contemporary advertising where things are often either literally or metaphorically disposable. Figures of mystical beings are woven in the textile, where they are frozen in time and forever on display, in extremely saturated colors that demand for your attention. A closer look uncovers uncanny details, such as buckets and rags, and elements of text that hint at poverty, oppression and greed.
Kueh has a background in graphic design and advertising, and a journey through Borneo to document traditional weaving methods started his fascination for to understand his native visual languages, as well as developing a strong attraction to their material properties. Before the arrival of painting tools, the natives of Borneo encapsulated their myths and stories in their textiles. Kueh’s practice is a speculation of what this act of myth weaving would look like in the contemporary – what stories do we take the time to encapsulate and why? In turn, Kueh hopes to empower other South-East Asians to reevaluate the meaning and power behind their identities.