21 May 2013

Art Criticism Today and Tomorrow

Recently came across a 2012 academic paper by USM lecturer Sarena Abdullah, that highlights the lack of art criticism in this country, where art writings are confined to catalogue essays and newspaper reviews.  The failure by any cultural institution to document Malaysian (art) history in a comprehensive manner, and that most art writings are commissioned by gallery owners, have collectively contribute to an industry that disapproves of criticism, much like the present government.  An inspiring read that reminds me to exercise my role as a neutral observer, for commenting on art from both subjective (aesthetic-appeal-emotion) and objective (tradition-technique-knowledge) perspectives.  I need to be consistently aware that I am writing for myself, ultimately.

Azliza Ayob - The Makings of A La-La Land (2010)

"Today and Tomorrow: Emerging Practices in Malaysian Art" is a book project by the folks at RogueArt, featuring a number of visual artists, and others who employ art practices that go beyond a flat canvas.  The 'Collectives' section confirmed my thoughts that artist groups are divided by language and race, mostly preoccupied with individual agendas.  Public art engagements are covered in the final section, highlighting commendable events that typically reach out to a small demographic.  Selection of the featured artists in this book are done by the curatorial team, where an effort to be inclusive of all forms of art, take precedence over other contemporaries whom may be pushing the aesthetic boundaries of visual art.

Wallpaper detail: Vincent Leong - Tropical Paradise AG32 (2006)

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