still from Olivia Koh's 'Palm Family'
Still from Minyak Sawit Keluarga (Palm Oil Family) (2023), Olivia Koh

ACMI + Hyphenated Projects present

Olivia Koh: Minyak Sawit Keluarga (Palm Oil Family)



From 1 Sep 2023

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In this exciting new co-commission from Hyphenated Projects and ACMI, artist Olivia Koh examines her paternal family’s farming practices in rural Southern Malaysia.

Minyak Sawit Keluarga (Palm Oil Family) by artist Olivia Koh, examines her paternal family’s history of farming practices in rural Southern Malaysia (Peninsula). Footage of domestic-scale palm oil plantations in Johor is interspersed with visual and auditory recordings of funerary Daoist rituals, documents and interviews that consider the palm oil industry and relevant history of migration in the local area.

Using a combination of new footage and archival film from ACMI's collection, with audio-mixing and post-production by Bonnie Cummings, Minyak Sawit Keluarga takes a fragmentary, ethnographic approach to history of palm oil production, tracing the emotional, social and political resonance of the industry across decades.

ACMI + Hyphenated Projects Digital Commission is a new opportunity for a moving image artist of Asia-Pacific heritage to develop a digital work for ACMI Gallery 5. Through this joint initiative, the selected artist receives an artist residency and mentorship with Hyphenated Projects, as well as a part time residency at ACMI X. This unique opportunity recognises the sustainability of digital practice and offers time and space for artists working in digital forms.

Work commissioned through Gallery 5 will enter the ACMI collection.

Co-commissioned with Hyphenated Projects


This FREE online exhibition will show in Gallery 5 on the ACMI website from 1 Sep 2023.

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A portrait of a young woman with dark hair, wearing a brown top.
Photo credit: Kate Meakin

About Olivia Koh

Olivia Koh is an artist and curator working in moving image production in Narrm/Melbourne. Drawing on a personal family history of land ownership, migration and extractive agriculture, her work examines the complexities and real challenges of navigating a diasporic identity and history. She holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Art Research at RMIT University (2022).

Olivia organises recess, an online platform for moving image works. The platform facilitates online exhibitions and physical screenings, including ‘the hearts of the people are bigger than the size of the land’ at RISING Festival (2021), 'recess presents', ACE Open (2020). recess is co-curating a suite of moving image works for the Artist Film Program for Melbourne Now, NGV Australia (2023).

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About Hyphenated Projects

Hyphenated Projects is a platform for artists with transcultural practices and a collective that presents, collaborates and develops new ideas. They focus on supporting artists who operate with the hyphens — culturally, socially and geographically. Situated in a suburban house in Sunshine West, Melbourne, the space supports artists, producers and researchers through an artist residency and development program.

Co-directed by Nikki Lam and Phuong Ngo, the collective was founded after presenting a survey exhibition of Asian-Australian artists in Victoria at The Substation titled Hyphenated  (2018). Since then, they have partnered and collaborated with Due West Arts Festival, Next Wave, Footscray Community Arts, ACMI, Incinerator Gallery and The Substation with a range of contemporary and community arts projects. In 2020-2022, Hyphenated Projects delivered their largest project to date: Hyphenated Biennial, a multi-venue exhibition across Melbourne's West.

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Gallery 5

Explore art that reflects, celebrates and interrogates the internet and digital culture through a series of free virtual exhibitions and performances.

ACMI X colourful wall


ACMI X are offering three new residency options to screen practitioners, including part-time, shared, and full-time options. The program is open to Melbourne-based creative practitioners, startups and businesses working across film, TV, videogames and art.


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