HuRU-hARa (Thomas Henning with Wayang Polah and Survive!Garage)

Showing the chaos, wonder and multiplicity of the old and new, is HuRU-hARa on at the Abbotsford Convent on till the 1 March 2020.

A one-of-a-kind event, it is a multi-disciplinary, immersive installation of genre-bending arts experiences, and is part of Asia TOPA 2020.

HuRU-hARa features avant-garde artists from across Australia and the Nusantara archipelago of South East Asia, drawing on lo-fi, DIY aesthetics and street culture to transform the Convent’s Industrial School and Sacred Heart courtyard into a living installation and non-stop party. From projections to pop up performances, the installation will evolve around a lo-fi dive bar and hotplate street eats, open from 7pm to late.

HuRU-hARa is a riotous celebration of the South East Asian artistic underground, echoing the aesthetics of sprawling street stalls and arts enclaves. The collaborative installation draws on the artistic traditions, folklore and street culture of the Nusantara or the Malay Archipelago, situated between China and India.

“Chaos once reigned in Nusantara and out of the chaos arose cities, kingdoms and countries where artisans strived. Artists defined that chaos through music, sculptures, literature and murals,” said co-creator Thomas Henning.

“HuRU-hARa translates as ‘riot/chaos’ in Bahasa Indonesia. Total order is unnatural, constant control is oppressive. True beauty is an accident. Natural life is the harmonious balance of order and disorder. This is HuRU-hARa”.

“In HuRU-hARa, we recall a rapidly evaporating past, nearly remembered in fog of neon, mouldering photographs and fading newspapers,” adds co-creator Govin Ruben, from TerryandTheCuz.

“We’re embracing this chaos. It’s going to be a nightly festival of colour and sound, transporting audiences into an atmosphere of Asian futurism. It will be a mad, disorientating, cultural collision – and you can also enjoy a Lychee Martini”.

HuRU-hARa will bring together experimental artists working in visual art, sculpture, video, live music, street and graffiti art, performance and dance, representing a wide variety of backgrounds and aesthetic styles. These artists are united by their ability to contemporise artistic traditions in new and radical ways. Performers such as Malaysian dancer Rithaudin Abdul Kadir, Butoh artists Yumi Umiumare and Takashi Takiguchi, and renowned Indian Bharatanatyam dancer and academic Swarnamalya Ganesh from Chennai will be attending.


Yes No Klub have curated a contingent of avant-garde musicians and sound artists from the underground scene of Yogyakarta and Bandung, Indonesia, to perform and experiment in HuRU-hARa. The line-up will include Riar Rizaldi, Duto Hardono, and radio DJ Karina Sokowati (aka. “haxanized”), the lead singer of Punk/Riot Grrl band Bananch.

Visual artists will be continually working on the large-scale installation for the duration of HuRU-hARa – adding and changing layers with found materials, from antiques to literal rubbish. Nothing will be permanent and there will always be something new for the senses. Visual artists and designers contributing to the installation include ‘interactive mural’ artists Wayang Polah with Indonesian street art collective Survive!garage, East Timorese visual artist Alfe RM, and creative duo Gundul Peyang.


Dates: 20 February – 1 March 2020

Times: Thurs – Sun, 7pm until late Location: Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford Cost: Free entry

Abbotsford Convent Website