Overwhelmed but Marching On!

(pun intended)

February was a a short whirlwind of good news and bad news for me, especially in terms of my professional career and academic path.

The Good

I started my new job as an Arts Manager in Rimbun Dahan. The place is iconic to both the architecture and arts world. It’s the home of one of Malaysia’s most famous architects, Hijjas Kasturi and his wife Angela. It’s also a prestigious artist residency since 1994 for artists and creatives as well as researchers and art managers. Other than the contemporary styled main house and guest house, there are several cottages housing the staffs, a dance studio, various artist studios and residencies and 2 rejuvenated kampung houses in the 14-acres compound.

Back when I was an architecture student, we had studio trips to the compound but we focused mainly on the contemporary architecture that is the main house and the guest house. When I started teaching in architecture schools, students would favour going to visit one of the kampung houses in the compound as part of their heritage studies project.

As I ventured into the Fine Arts world, I hear of artists viewing the Rimbun Dahan Artist Residency as a program that has successfully propelled the careers of many local and South East Asian artists.

I was told by a friend that they have an opening for a new Arts Manager and decided to apply, since I was just waiting for news from ANU about my PhD. I was so excited and honoured to be given the job. True, there are new skills that I need to acquire in a short time and it is an entirely new working environment for me. But I am so glad I’m working in a beautiful green space with creatives around me. It’s incredibly relaxing and inspiring to just arrive to work amidst lush greenery.

Of course, it’s also good to no longer be broke and in between jobs.

The Bad

Well. I got news about my PhD.

It’s not pretty.

I have a massive revision to do in 12 months and, after reading the comments by the examiners, it’s going to take a lot of my efforts and time.

Maybe it’s just me but I can’t see this as a bad thing because I finally feel like I have the feedback that I’ve been wanting throughout my PhD. At least, I’m not confused and lost. At least, I know exactly what I am looking for.

Time to buckle down again. I guess #SisHabisThesis was prematurely conceived. Back to #SisTulisThesis again.


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