17 May 2016

Sembelit @ Lostgens'

 “The myriad of characters cramming his paintings are eating each other, smoking, running somewhere, shouting, puking; they drive sputtering motorcycle, Malaysian own Proton Sagas, lorries and buses…Teachers are throwing rubbish on their students’ heads; there are Japanese troops invading Malaysia on their bikes; there are British soldiers and British warplanes from the colonial era attacking heroes from Keh Soon’s childhood; there’s people dressed up as Superman and people with green skin, giant vaginas and porn actresses and actors transformed into everyday objects (…) Exploding heads and severed limbs, giant rabbits, men and women swimming or drowning in pools or at sea…”
- Exhibition statement written by Fabrizio Gilardino, co-assisted by Rini Hashim, posted on Facebook event page 

pigi mana (2015)

As compared to fellow FINDARS artist Tey Beng Tze, Lim Keh Soon’s illustrated output projects an incisiveness that warrant an impulsive yet sustained reaction. Straightforward metaphors – like the pants-less office boss climbing atop his subordinate with a smiling balloon head; or two boys pointing at people sucked into a dark whirlpool – hammer into the viewer powerful and memorable images. ‘You Will Never Walk Alone’ is inscribed Barbara Kruger-style into a vertical depiction of human life at various stages, the show tune/ sporting anthem relegated to a meditative chant on top of a monochromatic visual. In his drawings, grotesque characters are subjected to violent situations, notably in the wickedly funny “Dilarang…” series. 

Phantom of the Working Class (2009)

Keh Soon does well to evoke emotional impulses across a variety of issues, with only the occasional painting (‘sex is war, war is sex’) bogged down by excessive references to personal icons. Two “AV” paintings appropriate Japanese pornographic video covers, where body parts are replaced with industrialised objects, its repeated references to penetration striking a counter-point to the 'constipated' exhibition title. Such imbalances stemming from worldly pleasures materialise as a surreal vision in the older work ‘Whispering on Desires’; In ‘pigi mana’, the terror of traffic congestion is fully realised as a cruel & selfish reality for urban folk. We all want to go somewhere, but for what, and at what costs?

AV I (2016)

The most memorable exhibit best typifies the We are Fucked sentiment, prevalent in this small collection of works. ‘satu lagi bata di dinding’ supplements the haunting music of Pink Floyd’s hit song, with a picture of a deranged teacher pouring toxic waste on a subservient student-turned-bunny. The sejarah text book is overturned, as childhood heroes are persecuted by the weight of historical events at the bottom of the scene. Graffiti at the table sides retain truthful comments, but the platform may sink soon. The innocence of childhood is ruined by the education we received at schools. No dark sarcasm in the classroom, please!

satu lagi bata di dinding (2016)

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