Rasa Sarang (라사 사랑): The Translator's Dilemma

The act of translation is usually a private affair that takes place when the translator engages with a piece of text. Other players – the author, the editor, the publisher, the reader might also be involved – but the craft still lies with the translator. In Rasa Sarang, a love affair between a Malay man and a Korean woman is rendered first in Malay, then translated into English and finally transposed into performance, with multiple reenactments collectively forming an act of tribute, translation and playful defiance. Drawing from Dr Nazry Bahrawi’s experience of translating Mohamed Latiff Mohamed’s short story Cinta Gadis Di Korea, which resulted in the English version, K-Love for the anthology Lost Nostalgia under Ethos Books, Rasa Sarang is an attempt at exploring translation through performance.

Dr Nazry will also shed light on the art of translation, and the difficulties he often faces when trying to do justice to an original work. Rasa Sarang is a boisterous exploration into a quiet art form – but can translation (and re-enactment) become an act of violence itself? If so, how does this implicate the translator? And where does this leave the translated?

Photography by Docket SG

Rasa Sarang
Production History

13 & 14 March 2020

Blue Room, The Arts House

Textures 2020