11 February 2016

(χ_+) Unknown Plus @ Minut Init Art Social

“Unknown to us, we do have a sense to appreciate beautiful and morbid things”, states a wall text in Ajim Juxta’s exhibition of drawings, paintings, and poems. The prolific artist, active in Publika’s Art Row and often seen at Artisan Roast TTDI, is known for his grotesque yet attractive creations. Dystopic visions – of technological assimilation and development pace – are quoted as a source of inspiration, although the mesmerising quality of his works draw from a visual familiarity with organic forms. Scrawling perspective lines and dark shades threaten to overwhelm, but distinct shapes and ample white space around the subject matter nicely balance out these pictures. 

Installation snapshot

Contrasting with the dense and vivid paintings in his past works, the presentation here follows a typical portraiture and character design formats. The mannequin/ mask and the monument symbolise the artificial, but sinuous lines utilised to illustrate reveal such metaphors as a façade. Two “Penghuni Distopia” works titled ‘Obsesi/ Bntt’ and ‘Obsesi/ Ttk’ hang side by side, signifying the simple yearning for authenticity that manifest in all city folk. Blood, coffee, and saliva project a questionable novelty in its colouring effects, although one does admire Ajim’s personal conviction as portrayed through his works, and especially his poems. “In this monotonous world, we seek the unravelling of endless questions. Let this be a relic, a tribute, a testament to our journey.” 

Penghuni Distopia (2015): [l] Obsesi/ Bntt; [r] Obsesi/ Ttk

“A dead tree   I see   in this heat   I breathe;
standing waiting for a saw   thunder and lightning might hit   yet falling is uncertain;
the town is not quiet   it is robust and shifting   old and new   new and old;
I look up again   forming a style   rhythm works together   in discord or in unison;
yet I am silent in this confusion   viewing all that travels through life;
we are all lonely trees   we shall die standing straight   or falling to worship Earth”
- TREE_, wall text in “(χ_+) Unknown Plus”

Installation snapshot of Arkologi: Pohon Tak Berdaun (2015)

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