23 April 2016

Introjection @ Lorong Kekabu

Five photography-based installations make up “Introjection”, a show that “…harus dilihat sebagai suatu eksplorasi seni visual dan juga sebuah corak ekspresi dalaman yang disalurkan ke dalam bentuk fizikal.” (excerpt from catalogue essay) The psychoanalytical term referenced in this exhibition’s title, confuses one in thinking that exhibited artworks indulge in the typical act of mimicry, when its presentation is more akin to narcissistic adoptions of one selves’ ideas. ‘Syok Sendiri’ by Afiq Faris is a brilliant introductory piece, where tailored images of used tissue fragments, allude to a sublime ecstasy normally attributed to beautiful art-making. A pair of rocking chairs belonging to Nia Khalisa’s grandparents is placed facing louvered windows, which visitors are welcome to sit in and squint upon tiny pictures placed in front of it, meditating upon the question, “huh?”

Installation snapshot of Afiq Faris - Syok Sendiri: 38 Images of Work (2016)

Captures of eye pairs looking straight at the camera, are exhibited beside a wooden drawer covered with soil and folded old photographs, the latter installation referring to a constructed memorial for one's deceased father. Peeping into a small hole in the adjacent enclosed space, the visitor is able to see their own back, via an arrangement of slanted mirrors. Emir Nazren’s set up physically transposes the self-image, and plays upon the classical approach of depicting a self-portrait. While its visual impact is only mildly interesting, these exhibits collectively project a yearning for the audience to perceive through the artists’ lens. Social acceptance of one’s individuality is a notable pursuit when one is young, and every art engagement here is transcribed as a Like.

Snapshot of "Introjection" catalogue with Emir Nazren's statement about Pandang Dari Belakang (2016)

In another room, I was fortunate to appreciate artworks exhibited in Lorong Kekabu’s previous showcase by Izat Arif. “Nine Questions” refer to a questionnaire received by the artist from a journalist, after his printed t-shirts were inexplicably removed from the Bakat Muda Sezaman 2013 competition-exhibition. The artist’s experience is captured in one scrapbook-catalogue, which serves as a clarifying document within our hearsay-heavy local art scene. These questions are stencilled upon a variety of plastic surfaces, including garment covers, acrylic sheet and a mirror, and a painted-over tablecloth. Two of three video works elicit loud laughter, one involving a former TV broadcaster, while the other shows a snippet of children learning the Arabic alphabet. *Insert hashtag*

Installation snapshots of Izat Arif (2016) [c/w from top-left] - Soalan No. 8; Soalan No. 2; Soalan No. 5; Soalan No.6; Soalan No. 4

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