Sci-Non-Fi: Artist Ko Jeu and his Aliens

Not one for science fiction, I first thought this ‘artist note’ was strange and humourous.   Ko Jeu’s note is a free-write, thought exploration; somewhat comical on the one hand and endearing on the other. As I read it again 2 years later, I see the connections between not only the project accompanying the note but also his experimental sound recordings and environmental installations. There is something other-worldly about his concepts.

In 2010, Ko Jeu gave me one of his notes on Aliens. An incredibly honest and meticulous look into what his reaction would be to aliens and how he would feel about them. I’ve selected a few lines from this note to highlight some of his questions.

Since 2006 I have been trying to find out and accept a thought that I have had on seeing night sky. An idea that I have believed in was there has been an alien generation who would have been living stay outside our real world.

 ALIEN…………………………..PERCEPTION/KNOWING…………..A

HUMAN BEING……..PERCEPTION/KNOWING……………..B

There would be much difference about feeling, suffering and beauty with different view…

Of course I am really interested in art more in favor of desperate sensuality. For saying I am drawing paintings, doing installation works and performance art. Upon those art works, my inspirational sense about Alien has been kept draining. Through this sense, I felt like I have been eventually getting closer to those Aliens. Even I have tried to create a new language to communicate with them. I put up a line of words “I just wish to think quietly with a flower on my head in the place of knowing” in my painting. I named this place of knowing on my own as “Free Dimension.”… I WOULD WARMLY WELCOME to the Aliens who would probably arrive to our earth. Living with them, my perceptual senses would have linked to the universe during spending my life. At this time, a quiet thinking with a flower on his head would be ‘Jeu,’ an Alien absolutely. Bulo…Bulo…Sheenie…

I want to be an Alien

                  Jeu (Artist)

                  Myanmar

                  2nd March 2010

It was the alien project that launched him into working with sound and environmental installation. There is a great photo of Ko Jeu with a stethoscope in his ears, listening to the “breathing” of a tree. Hope I can find the photo later. I would post some of his tracks from his sound album Burmelange here but I first have to upgrade my browser. Ain’t nothing for free anymore. Anyway, I really love Ko Jeu and his odd and out-of-place thinking about the world. It’s just the sort of the world you want an artist to be in – his very own. Not to mention the fact that we don’t speak of Aliens enough. We see them as a complete fiction, despite our knowing so many things about the universe and how unpredictable it remains. Ko Jeu just wrote it down, then developed a project where he engaged with others in the conversation about Aliens. He used a mask to ‘alienate’ Ko Jeu from the performance or action.
Though this project was last developed in 2010, I thought it spoke to what’s happening here with the ethnic violence. People are really reacting badly to “those Rohingya” in the West which they claim “belong” to Bangladesh. It is a seriously scary thing when humans turn against one another, especially an ethnic majority like the Burmese, poised for protest since birth. I wonder if we all took the approach of Ko Jeu to his aliens, we wouldn’t try to understand further what is needed rather than separate ourselves from said aliens and make them into monsters.

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