Raymond Liew Jin Pin ›Maria Cencaru‹
by Raymond Liew Jin Pin
Artists in residence
Maria Cencaru is the desire of re-experiencing a childhood memory of my schooldays in Malaysia and results in this dance project, which is about to fight for gay rights and equality; to understand, to change and to raise my voice to against the discrimination from political, religious and law forces in Malaysia; an Islamic country.
My first choreography in Malaysia was for a children talent competition in school when I was 11 years old, I remember my mum gave me a beautiful black and yellow dress, it was layered in ruffle sewing patterns with shiny golden sequins. A dress would have reached the knee level for an adult, but for me it was until my ankles. I was playing the cassette with a song called „Ja Jambo“, sang by a famous Chinese female singer named Ge Lan/Grace Chang and I was creating steps on the bed as my stage. On the competition day, my mum brought me to a salon, and the salon-lady put a long curly wig and a full make-up on me, my nails were polished in red, I was wearing oversized high-heels stuffed with tissue papers, a black bra and black tights underneath, earrings and necklace from my mum. I won the 3rd prize. But in fact, I think my alter ego Maria Cencaru had won it.
The reason I am telling this experience is because in this context it sounds adorable and reasonable for a mother of four sons who wanted to doll her son as a girl. But when I came out as gay to my mum years after, she could not accept it for quite a long period.
Gender. Sex. Religion. Is one of these truly the essence of human?- I use he/his as pronoun, but sometimes I wonder would it be different if I would grow up in a more open minded society. Should I blame how we are being formed as human within this powerful system of society? What can we do? Only to talk about humanity is never enough. People do need time to be educated with daily physical involvement and direct visual stimulation, matter of fact, LGBTQ+ community in Malaysia does not feel safe to come out from the closet."
Music: Jascha Hagen and Jan Soutschek (JAJA) Visual Artist: Fairuz Sulaiman Technical team and Outside Eyes: Jascha Viehstädt and Bianca Pulungan Makeup and hairstylist: Miss Foxy Bless
Thanks Paula Pau.
Solo rehearsal supported by: Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien, NEU START KULTUR, DIS-TANZEN