7/16 Musings about Negaraku @ NAG

Why is the consciousness towards cultures outside one’s own ethnicity, so low among Malaysians? Despite the hollow calls to celebrate diversity, monoculturalism is practised among the ethnic groups that control the economy and politics. This concentration of capital and power is centred in Kuala Lumpur and diffused along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia; Incidentally where the local art scene also is, which continuously underpins the status of art as luxury object. This is my main problem when viewing contemporary artworks that touch upon topics about indigenous or non-mainstream cultures – if the audience is middle class and liberal, cultural understanding is often turned inwards and desensitised into clich├ęs. In this example, the triptych format appears ill-conceived without a clear purpose, apart from attracting eyes accustomed to Western art. Aku enda mereti…

Shia Yih Yiing – Homage to the Vanishing World (1996)