The Kampung City

The Kampung City is a multimedia project to explore our urban neighbourhoods as they are lived now and to imagine the potential that they hold for the future.

Reimagining the city.

Rediscovering the kampung.

Reconnecting with nature.

A celebration of the plurality of Malaysia’s bio-cultural heritage, interpreting urban space through the lens of food. An exploration of “wild edibles” and domestic food sources in our neighbourhoods, reflecting on how they are being re/discovered and used today—and tomorrow!

In many towns and cities

there are pockets of scrub or belukar, “leftover” space that has not been developed for one reason or another. Typically, such spaces are inhabited by wild plants and animals. Sometimes, there is a negotiation between humans and the rest of nature, in the form of informal farming or “guerrilla” gardening—something that seems to have been accelerated by pandemic-induced movement restrictions in 2020 and 2021.


Many come to the city to seek refuge; in what ways does the city provide this refuge, and in what ways is it not hospitable?

We wander, we collect. Pictures and sounds. We don’t always know what these mean.

In sharing them we wonder: in your neighbourhoods or wherever you’ve found yourself, have you seen or heard these, too?

We seek resonance and dissonance. We seek the threads that connect us all.

W a s t e l a n d o r f o o d s c a p e ?

How do we interact with our city? What do we want it to be?

Cities are alive in more ways than one. They are not just skylines and shopping. During the pandemic people sought comfort in their surroundings, planting, growing and sharing the land. The kampung imaginary is already here, happening around us—tactile, sensory, experiential. This is a documentation and exploration of our lived experience, what makes us happy and what makes us feel at home.

How do we share our spaces with nature?

When did we forget how to use the belukar and it became a place to be feared? When did we forget the names of the animals and how to forage and harvest?Nature and the landscape blends with our culture and sense of place. How do we maintain this connection and not lose it?

Some plants to connect with the past; some have no such past and are creating new connections. Young and old alike can find joy in the same landscapes.

Home to both the known and unknown, contested space can serve as a gateway to re/discovering nature and culture. What plants are grown and growing wild? What about invertebrates? Can they be consumed, and if so, how?

Can we

r e / i m a g

i n e u r b

a n s p a c es

guided by our landscape, heritage and culture?

If we can re/discover a living landscape in the city, what does that do to our norms, values and expectations of urban space? If we can somehow connect people with their landscapes, and those landscapes become a gateway to so much more—past and present, near and far—all of time and all of space... Maybe, just maybe, we’ll have an answer for