29 May 2016

Exploration x Expression @ PORT Commune

In a radio interview, Anahita Ghazanfari tells Syahbandi Samat that “…he needs to travel (…) watch, listen and read…”. Both artists-in-residence of the Sembilan program, the form of expression taken by each is distinctly different, and is a measure of the respective artist’s outlook of life. Self-taught Syahbandi draws faceless figures without his characteristic reference to fairy tales, the metaphorical symbols diluted by its self-serving seriousness. Despite the technical mastery displayed with ballpoint pen, all pictures point to inward-looking scenes and are unnecessarily emotionally-charged. Heavy metallic frames contribute to a dour visual experience.

Syahbandi Samat – Yang Pernah (Duri Dalam Daging) (2016)

Iranian-trained Anahita’s plants, rooms, and dresses, illustrate too an introspective moment, yet her presentation is more invigorating. ‘Harbouring Dreams #2’ depicts the artist standing with her paintings in a background of floral-patterned tiles, the water pipes and blue glow imbuing the picture with a heightened awareness of one’s material reality and emotional state. Hung on a wall are quotes and doctored portraits of local residents, the documentary record a collaborative effort by both artists during their stay at Seremban. Getting to know a foreign locale via conversations with its people, demonstrates a respectful attitude and broadens one's life perspective, which is a cue the younger artist should learn.

Anahita Ghazanfari – Harbouring Dreams #2 (2016)

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