また2007年からは、ミュージシャンとして、古典的ガザル音楽からマレーシア伝統のアスリ音楽、パンク、サウンドアートから実験的なノイズミュージックまであらゆる種類の音楽を取り込み、シンガポール、日本、中国からのさまざまなミュージシャン、ダンサー、アーティストと共演してきました。 ザイはさらに、社会問題への関心を基に据えたアート作品をより積極的に作るようになります。2008年の作品「A Bowl of Rice」は1トンの白米を使った3つの巨大絵画で、絵の完成後にその米はシンガポールの使用人を援助するNGO団体へと配られました。
目下、初代のマレー王ダプンタ・ヒャン・ジャヤネサに関する研究と創作実践から成るプロジェクトに長年にわたって取り組んでおり、マレー民族がイスラム化する前のアート及び文化の様相を明らかにしようとしています。 ZAI KUNING was born in 1964 in Singapore, and he lives and works in Singapore. Having worked with an array of sculpture, installation, painting and drawing, experimental sound and music, video, film, performance art, dance and theatre for more than two decades, Kuning resists convenient categorical claims to his art-making. Multi-disciplinary and improvisational art practice has always been important to him. Today he is considered one of the most versatile artists working in the region, and is at the forefront of avant-garde practice in Singapore.
Upon graduation in 1989 from LASALLE College of the Arts with a major in ceramic sculpture, Kuning was selected as the direct disciple of Sultan Alisjahbana (Bali) to study literature and rituals. Thereafter, he lived in The Artist Village (TAV), an artist colony founded by Tang Da Wu, and was nominated the first president of TAV. It was during this time that Kuning extensively explored the arena of performance art, under the guidance of Tang.
Connected closely with his interest in the body, Kuning's visual artwork was focused on the "tortured body". He explored the possibilities between sculpture, sound, and performance, often creating wax objects. In 1996, his work "The Body" was selected to be part of "The 2nd Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art" in Brisbane, and the following year his work was shown at the Art Gallery of New South Wales alongside European masters such as Francis Bacon and Egon Shiele as part of a large exhibition entitled "BODY".
Quickly, Kuning's interest moved towards physical movement and language related to Southeast Asian rituals. After departing from TAV, he formed Metabolic Theatre Laboratory (MTL), a research-oriented dance theatre company, during a residency at The Substation. Many memorable productions of MTL toured Hong Kong and Korea in 2000. During this time, he also performed throughout Singapore and Japan, collaborating with artists such as bassist and composer Tetsu Saitoh and the late dancer Motofuji Akiko.
After MTL disbanded in 2001, Kuning pursued his own work as a soloist, focusing on drawings, music and research on Melayu history and the Orang Laut, "sea gypsies" who are indigenous to the Riau Archipelago. His journeys throughout the archipelago inspired him to create a series of drawings titled "Brutality of Fact"; a collection of original acoustic guitar compositions; a novel titled "Segantang Lada" (translated to "a bunch of a chilies"); and most notably the short film "RIAU". In 2005, the film was screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Busan International Film Festival and at "The 3rd Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial".
Due to health reasons, Kuning gradually stopped visiting the Riau Islands from 2007 and focused on his music and visual arts practice. As a musician, he has embraced all forms of music from classical Ghazal music, traditional Melayu Asli music, punk, sound art to experimental noise, and has collaborated with diverse musicians, dancers and sound artists from Singapore, Japan and China.
During this time, Kuning was also active in producing visual artworks which were rooted in social concerns. In 2008, he was commissioned by The Sculpture Square to create a work for its 10th Anniversary. "A BOWL OF RICE" saw three massive drawings using 1000 kilos of rice, which was later distributed to a non-governmental organisation that aids domestic helpers in Singapore. The artist's participation in the Singapore Biennale in 2011 involved a proposal to renew The Substation's garden space as an arts space for a period of one month.
Currently, Zai Kuning is focusing on a 5-year project to produce work and research on the first Melayu King, Dapunta Hyang Jayenasa, to uncover the pre-Islamic arts and culture of the Melayu people. 哉昆宁，1964年生于新加坡。艺术家在过去十年间，不被既定的艺术形式局限，透过雕刻、装置、绘画、实验音乐、录像、电影、行为艺术、舞蹈、舞台等多元的媒材，来实践跨领域且即兴的艺术创作。哉昆宁是当今东南亚地区最才华横溢的艺术家之一，同时也伫立在新加坡前卫艺术的最先端。
1989年，哉昆宁于拉萨尔艺术学院雕塑学系毕业后，从对身体的兴趣出发，将题材锁定在「被拷问的身体」上。同时也开始探索雕塑、声音、行为三者间的可能性，运用蜡来进行创作。1997年与欧洲的重量级艺术家，法兰西斯·培根(Francis Bacon)以及埃贡·席勒(Egon Schiele)于新南威尔士美术馆(Art Gallery of New South Wales)举行大规模的展览“BODY”时，展出作品「The Body」。 尔后，艺术家将焦点扩及东南亚祭仪中的肢体动作及语言上。与低音大提琴暨作曲家的齐藤彻(Tetsu Saito)、已故舞踏家元藤烨子(Akiko Motofuji)合作，在新加坡与日本两地进行演出。 2001年，艺术家开始对马来文化，特别是廖内群岛的原住民，也就是人们口中的“海上吉普赛”(Orang Laut)进行研究。以周游该群岛时的灵感，所发展出的短片作品“RIAU”，也曾于鹿特丹国际电影节、釜山国际电影节、第三届福冈亚洲艺术三年展上映。 此外，自2007年起，艺术家将古典的加扎勒音乐(Ghazal)、马来传统音乐(Melayu Asli)、庞克、声音艺术，甚至是实验性的噪音音响等多样的音乐种类融入创作中，并与来自新加坡、日本、中国的音乐创作者、舞者、艺术家们共同演出。 不仅如此，哉昆宁也更加积极地创作可以反映出社会议题的作品。2008年的作品“A Bowl of Rice”，是一幅使用一公吨白米绘製而成的巨大画作，而这些白米在画作完成后，被分配给支援新加坡国内帮佣的NGO团体。 目前，艺术家正在着手一个，关于首位马来王Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa的长期性研究暨创作计划。意图将透析穆斯林化前的马来民族艺术以及文化样貌。