At Home in the World – ‘hot B stars’ by Jasmin Kent Rodgman

Someone Named Humanity

1 – 4 July 2020
hot B stars can be viewed here

Inspired by abstract tantric painting from Rajasthan, Malay poetry and her own notion of identity and mixed heritage, hot B stars is a collection of 4 miniatures by the artist, musician and composer Jasmin Kent Rodgman. Titled Air, Phoenix, Someone Named Humanity and Lake of Longing, these digital installations, were released online over four nights from 1 – 4 July 2020, providing fragments of memory and journeys at a time of self-isolation.

Sound art is weaved into musical textures and unfolds with each animation/cinemagraph, manipulated digitally to contain micro-movements that are not always immediately apparent to the eye. Through focus on the image and sound, these minute shifts will begin to reveal themselves.

The visual and aural aspects of each miniature have been treated as equals and in responding to these landscapes that Rodgman has also called ‘home’, a musical poem is created through percussion, guitar, voice, electronics and sound design.

These snapshots offer a glimpse into Chinese and Malaysian culture through the eyes of the young transnational Chinese community in London and challenges audiences on outdated tropes and assumptions held of East and South East Asia.

The name hot B stars comes from the star constellation ‘The Pleiades’, the nearest cluster to Earth and visible to the naked eye in both Malaysia and the UK, as well as many other countries along the way. Taken from the Ancient Greek word plein meaning ‘to sail’ it is a nod to the significance of the Ancient Greeks to both Europe and Asia, ancient pathways and a reminder that our interconnected history runs deeper than we often think.

Special Thanks from the artist

I would like to thank the Bagri Foundation for their support in creating this work. I hope this can be the beginning of an even wider collection and audiovisual experience in the future. Thanks also to Beibei Wang for her performance for Air; and also to Daniel Kemshell for his performances on electric guitar and banjo, heard in Lake of Longing, Phoenix and Air.

A mention also to the British Council and PRSF, whose Musicians in Residence: China programme meant that I was able to live and work in China in 2019—a truly unforgettable experience. There, much of the field recording heard in hot B stars took place. You can also hear fragments from Malaysia and a rehearsal for Jo Fong’s Ways of Being Together.

Biography

British-Malaysian Artist & Composer Jasmin Kent Rodgman brings together the contemporary classical, electronics and sound art worlds to create powerful soundscapes and musical identities. A regular collaborator across various art forms including dance, word, film and VR, her music explores otherness, memory, connection and plays with a sense of narrative.

As Producer, Jasmin adds another level to her portfolio, creating bold new platforms for her music including visual artwork, site-specific and multidisciplinary theatrical productions. A driving force behind where and how her work is experienced, she often experiments with unique set-ups such as audiowalks, interactive installations, underground nights, moving image, 360° film and more.

In 2018/19 she was a British Council PRSF Musician in Residence, living and composing for two months in Lanzhou, China. In 2017/18, she was a London Symphony Orchestra Jerwood Composer, and was mentored by composer Errollyn Wallen and director/producer Jude Kelly. In 2019 she received a PRSF Women Make Music award for her site-specific music production TRIPTYCH. Her music and live productions have been performed across the UK and internationally with partners including London Fashion Week, World Music Festival Shanghai, Attakkalari Bangalore, Edinburgh International Festival, Wilderness Festival, Roundhouse, Shoreditch Town Hall, Barbican, Oxford Playhouse and the Royal Albert Hall. Her film scores have featured at festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, Toronto International Film Festival, Kaohsiung International Film Festival and the London Short Film Festival.​

Jasmin has curated and collaborated with a number of celebrated artists inlcuding MC Lady Lykez and poets Salena Godden, Sophia Thakur and Solomon O.B; choreographers and dance artists House of Absolute, Patricia Okenwa, Alexandrina Hemsley, Hemabharathy Palani and Hetain Patel; and filmmakers Gaëlle Mourre, Tian Tsering and Lisa Gornick.

Activism has an important place within Jasmin’s music. Much of her work investigates and challenges ideas centred around the female body, sexuality, race and cultural heritage. An advocate of gender and racial equality, her wider creative work includes delivering mentorship programmes for young artists, speaking at international industry forums and events, and arts activism projects that seek to empower both community and artists.