masak masak

Unstate 05 – A closer examination of the interview

In the audio interview that was conducted in the art work Unstate #05, a form of ‘play’ was imagined and invented by secondary school female students. The best word to describe this ‘play’ would be the Malay word masak masak where children learn about cooking process with toy kitchen utensils.

Whereas the game in this case, was to ‘play’ with seeds, fruits, leaves, flowers and plant parts source from the garden. They ‘prepared’ and ‘cooked’ dishes using these nature elements and bargaining or hawkering became a part of the ‘game’ in exchanging non monetary items.

It seemed like a form of mimicking the realistic world or adult world. But its a sense of connection with nature. A form of role playing. For example, foraging, observation, interaction and simply just being in the environment itself. Maybe there is a very subtle realisation of our dependency on nature. However nature also becomes an educator in the process of acting out.

Our geographical landscape is Southeast Asia, the connection with herbs, flowers and edible plants are like our roots to the lands. Take for example, Nasi Ulam which has about 15 to 20 herbs, you can learn to make yourself here.

In John Cage and Lois Long’s book Mud Book: How to Make Pies and Cakes, it’s an illustrated children’s book that works with mud as the ingredient to create pie.

It’s a parallel journey for these students to be involved in role playing through imagination, improvisation in the school garden and getting their hands dirty and with nature resources to invent a living game. Out of this, the potential for a new space is given a living form.

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