The Nusantara is a geographical state of being. The word Nusantara comes from two words, Nusa, meaning the seas and T ara, meaning between. The Nusantara in this sense refers to the cultural identities of the lands which are now Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam through its connection with the seas that bind them. The project seeks to curate some works from the region which form a long poem about our collective identities in the 21st century. Stories of social rebirth, war and the micro-movements of our societies which may have larger implications on ourselves, the children of seafarers. Through this, I hope to find echoes of a past that still thrives between the cracks of our collective geographical history.

Vignes Balasingam is a photographer and curator based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is the director of the OBSCURA Festival of Photography and the Monsoon Artist In-Residence programme. He has curated over 40 exhibitions featuring international and Malaysian photographers, including works multi-award winning photographers. Vignes produced and edited Ian Teh’s third monograph, Confluence. He was jury for the P OPCAP Prize for African Contemporary Photography (2015 & 2016) and curated the T ravel Photographer Asia 2015 exhibition at MAP KL, Kuala Lumpur. He recently curated P ERSON(A), a contemporary photography exhibition featuring 20 Malaysian artists in 2015. Vignes has been invited to speak at Yale-NUS in Singapore (2015), S tories From The Land, a lecture at the Nikon Centre in Kuala Lumpur (2015) and at Universiti Putra Malaysia (2015).
Instagram: @ obscurafestival @ vigatarian