email to naomi


Art Projects





Rasa Sayang
This work premiered in Melbourne in April 2010 to critical acclaim and sold-out houses throughout the season, and was subsequently nominated for both the Green Room Awards and Australian Dance Awards. It consists of a visual art and sound installation which can be open during the day, with performances at nighttime. Sayang, meaning ‘love’ in Tony’s native Malaysian, is the name of his mother, the inspiration for the work. Rasa Sayang brings together traditional spiritual themes from East and West in a contemporary visual architecture.
Rasa Sayang - premier at fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne, April 2010

  Choreography/performer: Tony Yap
  Visual Installation: Naomi Ota
  Musicians/Composers/Sound Design: Tim Humphrey & Madeleine Flynn
  Creative Collaborator: Ben Rogan
  Lighting Design: Nik Pajanti
  Lights/Stage manager: Dori Dragon
  Company Producer: Kath Papas

Supported by Multicultural Arts Victoria and the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body

Review - Age
BEFORE the show, a bespectacled Tony Yap wanders benignly among his audience, admiring Naomi Ota's visual installations. Inspired by the Batu Hidup (living stones) of Malaysia, Ota's design features pillars wrapped in cocoons of white webbing, strange sculptures that erupt from the ground like sun-bleached bones, and shards of plaster to delineate stark mosaics on the floor.
Although the focus of this latest production from Yap's Buddha Body Series is ''emptiness'', the space brims with latent energy…Yap steps on to the wooden floor and seems to transform…Despite its tiny scale, this work has an epic vibe that is driven by Yap's ability to sustain his trance-like state from start to finish…At the end, Yap snaps back into his own persona and shrinks to human proportions. We are left wondering what has just happened and unsure of how to translate the experience into rational thought.
- Jordan Beth Vincent

Notes on music
For Rasa Sayang, we have created works of digital breakages and disruptions impelled by piano, trumpet and flugelhorn, which take input from the space and
from Tony as a dancer. Naomi's sculptures become sites of localised sound, with accumulated mementos of the music-sound with us through the trajectory of the installation- performance cycle.

Notes on visual installation
Naomi has created a spatial installation inspired by the architectural remains and the local belief in Batu Hidup (living stones) in Tony's birthplace Malacca. The ruins have merged into nature and surrounded landscape, and become people's everyday scenery, yet the empty space give the sense of spiritual recollections.


Moving image
fortyfivedownstairs 2010

Photos by Jave Lee
Video by Cobie Orger

More information and enquiry: Kath Papas Production

>> Back to Top  
Rasa Sayang - George Town Festival, Penang, Malaysia July 2012
Choreography/performer: Tony Yap
  Visual Installation: Naomi Ota
  Musicians/Composers/Sound Design: Tim Humphrey & Madeleine Flynn
  Lighting Design: Joie Koo
  Producer: Kath Papas

Photos: Joie Koo
Budak Melaka - St Paul Church, Melaka Art and Performance Festival, Malaysia, November 2009

Multimedia Performance - Dance, Installation, Music, & Video Art
Performers: Tony Yap, Agung Gunawan
Visual Artist: Naomi Ota
Composers/Musicians: Madeleine Flynn, Tim Humphrey
Media Art: Sean O'Brien, Matthew Gingold

About Melaka Art and Performance Festival (MAP09)

A Place of Cultural fusion - Past, Present and Future - Mapping the City...with its stories, through selected sites for audiences all over Melaka. A place for artists to experiment and present short Innovative Performances in all Artistic mediums, to encourage the life of the arts in Malaysia, Asia and Internationally.

The Arts are necessary to propel the new. MAP seeks to promote Melaka to the world as a Creative Hub for innovative arts - where heritage is respected and artistic and cultural fusion is encouraged. Not just as entertainment but through a vibrant development of community involvement that integrates - and maps - the arts within the life of Melaka.

MELAKA is fast developing commercially and there is a need to combine this with cultural and creative paths through a balance of spiritual and artistic maturity. Innovative focus and international collaborations will expose the community to a potentially vibrant new direction in the development of Melaka's future within the Global MAP. Traditional Arts will be showcased alongside contemporary expressions with innovative uses of new technology.

photo left: Tarrant Kwok

    photos: Si Maikel - E-Plus  
>> Back to Top