Convergence III: Cultural Legacy @ Galeri Petronas

After navigating landscapes, eyebrows raise when the third part of Galeri Petronas’ 2013 agenda relate Cultural Legacy with Indo-Chinese and Nusantara influences, perhaps stating a fact that escapes most Malaysians’ recognition of cultural identity. Latiff Mohidin and Nadiah Bamadhaj form a formidable feature, the curatorial decision to showcase two artists with contrasting styles, rewarding the visitor whom identifies similitude. Agave plants evolve into contemplative dots then powerful brush strokes, Latiff amalgamating figurative observations with an honest visual language. Nadiah’s 2001 monochromatic works are sprawling, panoramic, and detached – its precise lines carefully drawing a specific narrative. Cultural multiplicity and social complexity unravel to the well-travelled artist. 

Latiff Mohidin - Vientiane - Pago-pago (1967)

Utopia is irrelevant when one lives in the current, evident in this selection of works which highlight deeply personal yet contemporary expressions. The long-winded introductory essay accurately describes the condition which all Malaysian artists should aspire towards: “Confident and articulate, they have been able to match their executive and technical skills with intelligent grasps of art critical and theoretical discourse, empowered by the expansion of historic assertions of objects, space and time that bear traces of certain moments of being that have enriched our diverse culture.” Cultural legacies are acknowledged, but do not need to converge, in life and in art.

Nadiah Bamadhaj - Teguh (2001)