26 February 2014

Thinking Drawing @ Galeri Serdang

Having done residencies there, it is no surprise that acting curator Astrid Köppe selects Lostgens’-affiliated artists to participate in this exhibition. As one whose artistic output is mostly A4-sized drawings, Astrid hopes to raise local awareness towards drawing being regarded as a complete artwork, and not just as preparatory sketches. Her curatorial statement also describes drawing as "...simply the most direct way of expression for an artist. It is personal, intuitive, immediate, enriching and also intriguing…” Still recovering after being blown away by the sketches of the Bouroullec brothers last June, it takes effort to recognize the subtle complexities in Astrid’s illustrations. Organic forms and coloured ink draw visual contrasts that tap into the subconscious, a refreshing experience not found in her more adventurous but straightforward works, which feature the usage of bamboo skewers, pins, shadows, and plastic grass!

Wall of drawings by Astrid Köppe

Nylon and plastic creations by Abdul Latiff bin Ahmad Padzali fail to impress; As do Chuah Shu Ruei’s paper collages, whose intent to explore the “…fading and illuminative effects of sunlight…” can be more effectively projected, through a sundial in this gallery space soaked in natural light. Eddie Choo Wen Yi continues in the same trajectory from her “Diary of Madline” series, this time including projections on ceramic plates. Smaller and framed, the zoomed-in focus of her driving markings display a controlled inhibition, which deviates from the Automatism concept detected in the original drawings. Silhouettes of a woman and outlines of a boy are illustrated upon open envelopes, made in 2001 by Phuan Thai Meng and covering a single wall. Exhibited beside it are smaller works on paper, which provide a glimpse into the artist’s thinking and the penchant for including geometric designs in his larger works.

Eddie Choo - 04022014, Tuesday Morning: Home - Taman Seputeh (2014)

Liew Chee Heai displays a hidden talent with his simple yet evocative pen drawings. The density of dots, contours of curves, and the hairy bristles of intersecting lines – are laid bare and delineated clearly for one’s inspection and introspection. These works are not sketches (no objective) and not rants (not out of control), but a form of doodling stripped off pretensions, a visual expression for one’s stream of consciousness. A lack of colour highlights every single line and dot, the black & white approach also applicable to the artist's photography output. Remarkably personal and emotionally powerful, Chee Heai's drawings exemplify Paul Klee's maxim of "taking a line for a walk". Galeri Serdang curator Nasir Baharuddin observes, that “...it is the gesture of (drawing) that thwarts the ordered unfolding of significations and revelations..." Hence, the exhibition title should have been: “Thinking Drawing, and Feeling”.


Liew Chee Heai - Untitled drawings

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