Ugo Untoro + How To Eat A Wolf

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I never did blog about the Utan Kayu International Literary Biennale 2007, and neither did I blog about the Singapore Writers’ Festival 2007 — both festivals which invited me and took care of me and fed my stomach, literary appetite and ego very well in all. Blogging about the first was sidetracked by preparing to move back to India, and as for the second, well — if you don’t know what kept me distracted at the same time, leave be! Am just thinking about this now as I’m heading off to Mumbai this week for another major festival, Kitab, for which I have the privilege of doing the first event open to the public this year.

The Biennale, I think, will remain in my memory as a pivotal career and life experience. It was my first real festival, my first taste of the literary high life (as opposed to the boho cult stuff, and utter mediocrity). It brought me closer to three friends, one of whom I in fact feel like I owe a great professional and personal amount to, and made me several more. It was a spiritual, thrilling, insightful ten days. I really must blog about the whole experience.

Reading at Borobudur was one thing, visiting Candi Prambanan was another, but this — this was the moment when I realised that I really and truly was what I always wanted to be. A writer.

Ugo Untoro's painting inspired by my poem

This was a very, very special moment. I am in front of the painting “Selamat Datang” by the Indonesian painter Ugo Untoro, which was inspired by my poem “How To Eat A Wolf”. Selamat Datang means Welcome in Bahasa, and this artwork was at the entrance of the exhibit, which featured various Indonesian artists’ interpretations of the prose and poetry of the writers participating in the Biennale. This was easily one of the proudest moments in my life, and completely unexpected — it had never crossed my mind until then that so large and beautiful a painting by a famous painter could somehow be attached to any poem of mine.

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11 responses »

  1. I found your site on google blog search and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. Just added your RSS feed to my feed reader. Look forward to reading more from you.

    - Randy Nichols.

  2. lovely picture – and what a great thing to happen and it’s nice to know you are now being taken seriously

    boho cult stuff, and utter mediocrity erm … you mean the kind of events we organise in KL? readings@seksan and so on?

  3. Bibliobibuli — Of course not. Boho cult stuff referred to the odd fan mail I used to get as a result of some of the early work, as well as the really early events, before KL had a proper lit scene. I think very highly of the Seksan readings, as you know… Utter mediocrity: I’ve been very blessed to never have really been in that position. Was trying to be self-deprecating.

  4. ha. you had me worried for a second there.

    mind if i put the picture on my blog? i’ll wait till you’ve posted about the festival so i can link that too

    we miss you here y’know? and i’m so happy and proud at how far you’ve come, girl

  5. Bibliobibuli — Of course you can. Ask Jerome about the apples painting too. I know there is a great pic of him looking thrilled and megalomaniacal in front of it!

    I do miss KL, sometimes. Most of all for the lit events and the food! Thank you, Sharon dear, for your support over the years :)

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