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Borneo Heart presents the work of Kota Kinabalu-born and based artist Yee I-Lann, made in collaboration with weavers, filmmakers, dancers, other fellow creative producers and friends. It offers a shared platform and a site of exchange for the peoples of tanah (land) and air (water/sea), and for traditional and contemporary art practices. Borneo Heart celebrates the possibility of creating new spaces, aesthetic languages and shared ideas through conversation and collaboration.

The physical exhibition Borneo Heart, held at Sabah International Convention Centre, was first held from 2 to 28 May 2021, and visitors can continue to enjoy the show via its own dedicated page here and through this website.

Many of the works from the exhibition have travelled on and out to different exhibitions around the world and you can track their Further Journeys, perhaps to a site near you. You can also read articles and interviews and listen to conversations on and about the mat in Sharing the Tikar.

From January to June 2023, in the year of the 60th anniversary of the formation of Malaysia, Borneo Heart travels to the Peninsula, or “Semenanjung”. Borneo Heart in Kuala Lumpur is a sharing of tikar with six wonderful spaces/organisations/communities in the capital, encompassing exhibitions, workshops, talks, a tamu and a book launch. We’re very excited and honoured to be working with The Zhongshan Building, The Back Room, A+ Works of Art, ILHAM Gallery and Rumah Lukis on this new adventure. Together, we hope to welcome you in KL.

Further Journeys

Art Basel with Silverlens
June 2022. TIKAR/MEJA edition 2 will be shown as part of Art Basel’s Unlimited section; and Silverlens brings a Feature presentation of I-Lann’s work, including PANGKIS, Tikar Reben and Tikar Reben (video) and two new tikar, The Dancing Queen and The Tukad Kad Sequence #04

Silverlens, Art Basel Hong Kong 
24 May – 29 May 2022 | featuring (The Tukad Kad Sequence #03)

Steep and Sample: Possible Futures/Impossible Present, A+Works of Art, Kuala Lumpur
9 May 2022 – 25 June 2022 | featuring (& (black), & (white), Exploding & (black), Exploding & (white))

The 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT10)
Dec 2021 – 25 Apr 2022 | featuring Dusun Karaoke Mat: Ahaid zou noh doiti (I’ve been here a long time)

See a list of other appearances by various works from Borneo Heart on the Further Journeys dedicated page. 


If it’s a mat, we’re healthy because mats are good. Mats are good for resting. Carpets are bad. We really need the mat. For sleeping. For ancestral rituals. For healing. It’s used for food. The mat will be spread out!

– Kak Budi
(trans. Valerie Vanessa)





Saya paling suka menganyam dengan kawan supaya senang berbincang. Apabila kami menganyam, kalau satu orang tidak begitu pandai tetapi ada orang lain yang lebih pandai, orang itu yang akan mula, baru kami sama-sama buat. Itu pertama sekali dalam hidup saya menganyam begitu.

I like it best when I’m weaving with others because it’s easy to discuss things. When we’re weaving, if someone doesn’t know how to do it but someone else does, the person who knows will start the mat and the rest of us will follow. I’ve never done weaving like that before.

– Siat Yanau
(trans. Valerie Vanessa)