Your Cart

Nothing in your cart yet.

Continue Browse Publications

Regional Art Stories Jade Dewi Tyass Tunggal and Jacky Cheng with Alana Hunt

Join Jade Dewi Tyass Tunggal and Jacky Cheng in discussion with Alana Hunt for the sixth episode of our second series of Conversations with the Assembly.

Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal is a Javanese Australian dancer, choreographer and creative collaborator. Born in Darkinjung country NSW her work has been made and shared nationally and internationally. She has ancestry of Australian Scottish Viking convict-settlers, kinship ties with Borobudur Temple 800AD and is a direct descendant of Yogyakarta’s first Sultan 1755, Kangjeng Hamengku Buwana.

Jacky Cheng was born in Malaysia of Chinese heritage, and now resides in Yawuru Country, Broome, WA. Her practice is fundamentally about identity and awareness through cultural activities and memories of home, country, and relationships. Her awareness was amplified through her diasporic identity as a Chinese descendant in foreign borders as she continues to question her notion of 'home' and 'belonging' - 'here and there' and the 'in between'.

Alana Hunt coordinates the Regional Assembly. She also makes art and writes, finding ways for this material to move affectively through the public sphere and the social space between people. She has worked with journalists, filmmakers, human rights defenders and lawyers on works that unfold over many years, with gradual yet accumulating resonance. The iterative memorial Cups of nun chai (2010-20) was serialised in 86 editions of Kashmir Reader (2016–17). In late 2023, Hunt completed Surveilling a Crime Scene (2023) a film that examines the materialisation of non-indigenous life on Miriwoong Country in the town of Kununurra and its surrounds. Hunt has exhibited nationally and internationally and is the recipient of a number of awards, most recently the 2023 STILL: National Still Life Award judged by Max Delany at Yarrila Arts and Museum, Coffs Harbour.

Jade Dewi Tyass Tunggal: I was homesick for the bush, for the beach, and I was realising the treasures of learning, for me to come back home. That was a big incentive, and that was around 2000, I think I had a paranoia about the Y2K bug. And I was surviving as a dancer in New York city—getting really cold—and I was like “I’ve gotta back to an Australian Summer”.

Jacky Cheng: It’s very interesting because it’s almost like, you and I, we’re both traversing the in between terrain. Wanting to go back to Yogyakarta, and learn, because you’re missing home and the bush here in Australia, but also wanting that tradition. But it’s the same thing for me. When I came to Australia and I did all the things that I thought—I was looking West, and I was so excited to be amongst it, because I wasn’t reflecting on myself as being of Asian identity, or being a person of colour. And then I realised I didn’t quite fit in, and when I went back home to Malaysia for the first time I realised, “Oh, this is really who I am!”. So I was finding that terrain and trying to realise what it really truly means in terms of encapsulating that idea of our identity. So it’s very refreshing to hear that from you as well Jade.

Jade Dewi Tyass Tunggal: A memory that comes to mind—when I went to Jogya I had a Darmasiswa scholarship for a year so I didn’t have to worry about visas and things, and I had a small stipend—but you know I walked around for three months being very Javanese. I didn’t say anything, I was completely language handicapped. Old women, I’d give them my seat on the little bus, and they would speak to me, tell me full stories in Javanese—I’d say "Maaf Ibu, saya kurang mengerti” (apologies Ms, I do not fully understand)—and they’d just laugh and keep talking to me. But just having a year, seeing myself in others was a profound shift in how I perceived myself and my body and, the kind of stories I want to tell.

02 Conversations with the Assembly