Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, KOK Siew-Wai 郭小慧 started out as a video artist, and now active as an independent artist-curator/organizer and vocal improviser. She received her B.A. in Media Study at University at Buffalo, and M.F.A. in Electronic Integrated Arts at Alfred University in America, where she lived there from 1998-2005. Siew-Wai has shown her videos, performed and presented her works in Asia, Europe, Canada and USA, including Choppa Experimental Music Festival 2016 (Singapore), Singapore International Film Festival 2015, Asian Meeting Festival 2015 (Japan), RRRec Fest 2015 (Indonesia), Asian Experimental Video Festival in Hong Kong 2014, Busan International Video Art Festival 2013 (Korea), Video Art Attack! 2013 (Belgium), Bangkok Experimental Film Festival 2012, Malaysia-Japan Video Art Exchange 2009-2010, Kuala Lumpur Contemporary Music Festival 2009, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2007, Les Rencontres Internationales 2007 (France), solo exhibition & performance in Beyond/In Western New York Biennial 2005 and many more. In 2015, Siew-Wai joined the Asian Meeting Festival Orchestra led by Otomo Yoshihide and performed in Tokyo and Kyoto.
Siew‐Wai has a deep passion for the avant-garde, improvisational and experimental arts. She feels that it is important to embrace the variety of unique expressions in the arts, especially not to discriminate works that are lesser known or that challenge conventional codes and expectations. After moving back to Malaysia in 2006, Siew-Wai has devoted her time and energy mainly as an artist-organizer. She set up SiCKL (Studio in Cheras Kuala Lumpur), an alternative artist collective with her peers, and organized many DIY video screenings and music events since then. She was the co-festival director of Sama-sama Guesthouse Mini Alternative Art Festival 2010, a no-budget art festival; and music programme co-coordinator of the Notthatbalai Art Festival 2007. Siew-Wai’s most committed role as an independent artist-organizer is as the co-founder, festival director and co-curator of the Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video & Music Festival (KLEX) since 2010. Through KLEX, Siew-Wai is actively connected with the international experimental art communities, and has shown her curated screening programmes in Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and USA. She is currently teaching at the Faculty of Creative Multimedia, Multimedia University, Malaysia.
Siew-Wai’s artworks are mostly personal and poetic, expressing subjects in everyday life such as emotions, contemplation and the human body. Her greatest inspiration in artmaking comes from “the little things in everyday life”. She works with video and music improvisation, and is most interested in focusing at the moment and reflecting oneself inwardly. To her, reflecting daily life experience and understanding the basics of our humble existence is a very practical yet significant inquisition. She believes that insights and wisdoms are discovered from the most honest and banal daily happenings. Her artmaking method is an extension of diary writing (a self-reflecting activity), a habit that she has adopted since 8 years old. In her vocal improvisation work, Siew-Wai is interested to explore the hidden or unknown sounds in her voice, and experiment the human voice in various ways. Siew-Wai and Yong Yandsen formed Reflex Reactions in 2006, an improvised duo of voice and saxophone.
See full curriculum vitae here.