Kim M Khaira: Pulang Balik: “I Am Going Home Too”

IndigoDyeDays-FallWorkshops2020
Indigo Dye Days - Fall Workshops 2020

Khaira’s residency with the Lynden Sculpture Garden, Pulang Balik: I Am Going Home Too, draws on the sense of home, creating home, and of making “sense” of the literal and abstract. In the Malay language, Pulang Balik means “to go back and forth,” or “to return.” Her residency began in 2019 to envision a community-directed event, HOME, and her current role as the Lynden’s community engagement specialist enables the development of the HOME program, focusing on engagement with refugee community members and leaders, the Lynden’s Call & Response artists, and allies to envision and build a space of leading, of coming together, and of celebrating refugees.

Khaira’s own art practice and residency with the Lynden, Pulang Balik, began as an exploration of the art and appreciation of henna and batik, and Khaira’s own drawings and paintings, that intersect with community and solidarity building. This has evolved to a focus on cultural and familial ways of living within –but not limited to– the areas of natural dyeing, indigo and batik making, as a connecting point between peoples, cultures, and nature. Her work is supported –and mostly challenged, by long-time collaborators and friends, Malaysian-based Iranian artist Komeil Zarin and Milwaukee-based Rohingya refugee leader Hasinah Begum.

About the Artist
Kim M Khaira received her BA in Political Science, with a minor in English Literature, from the International Islamic University of Malaysia. Khaira has worked in a myriad of intersecting areas including gender-based policy, environmental issues, and refugee issues in various roles and capacities including community worker, artist, editor, report writer, facilitator, and moderator for community-based organizations and nongovernmental organizations. As an artist-in-residence at the Lynden Sculpture Garden, her work Pulang Balik: I Am Going Home Too, draws on the sense of home, creating home, and of making “sense” of the literal and abstract.


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