10/16 Musings about Negaraku @ NAG

Greeting one into the exhibition gallery, is a large collage consisting of 13 state flags, the national flag, printed snapshots of scenes captured within this country, and brushy strokes of coloured patches. Completed by the American artist Robert Rauschenberg, on the 9th leg of a 10-countries self-funded tour, ‘Yang Teragung’ denotes a fascination with the country’s diverse landscape, and co-existence of many sovereign rulers under a single nation-state. The artist was known as a compulsive creator, and improvised upon what he had on hand, at any one point of time. That a personal document, can be turned into a gift of goodwill, then utilized by administrators to signify the grandiose image of one country, is a testament to the power of art. Some say Rauschenberg’s slapdash style & form have lived on in Malaysian contemporary art until now…

Robert Rauschenberg – The Greatest (1989)