Wordsmiths, musicians make 9Lives exhibition come alive with music and poetry

By Patricia Hului
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True to the nature of the ‘Sarawak: A Mixthology’ art exhibition by 9lives, its opening ceremony was enlivened with music and poetry that celebrated Sarawak’s cultural uniqueness on Malaysia Day.

Held at The Granary Kitchen + Bar, local talents Sasha Ningkan and Jalee paid homage to the theme of Mixthology by performing their own renditions of local classics such as ‘Puteri Santubong’, ‘Injit-injit semut’, ‘Paku Si Paku Gelang’ and ‘Leleng’.

Then, seven poets  from Wordsmiths of Kuching (WoK) evoked the audience with rhymes and poetries of what ‘Sarawakian’ meant to them.

Sape player Saufi Aiman Yahya closed the evening with his enticing tunes on the famed Orang Ulu lute.

The event marked the launching of 9lives’s first independent art exhibition.


Sasha Ningkan (left) and Jalee entertaining the crowd at the opening ceremony with her smokey vocals and his soothing guitar strumming.



Neyna Radzuan embodying the spirit of her piece on the dichotomous natures of rival sisters Puteri Santubong and Puteri Sejinjang.



Chloe Ling inspiring with her immersive poetry.



Bethany Luhong Balan presenting her poetry on her Kayan roots.



Georgette Tan ruminating on the conflicts of cultural and personal identity as someone who was born Chinese but does not fit society’s rigid ideals of a Chinese woman.



Chrislynn Siaw gets personal on her Sarawakian identity.



Nazreen Mohamad opening up about being a Sarawakian but not knowing enough about his fellow Sarawakians.



Veteran poet Angelina Anthea Bong hypnotises the crowd with her lilting verses.



Sape player Saufi Aiman Yahya enchants with his soothing sape playing.



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