8/16 Musings about Negaraku @ NAG

Narrowing the timespan in looking at exhibits in “Negaraku”, I notice an inter-generational difference in making art. Looking at Fauzan Omar’s ‘Luminosity 3’ and Joseph Tan’s ‘The Formation Series’ – both made in 1990, and depict interesting surface textures (or lack of) using acrylic paint. It is abstract, yet formal. Contrasting with works from artists in the Matahati collective – screaming figures made in 1992/3 by Bayu Utomo Radjikin and Ahmad Fuad Osman, and Ahmad Shukri Mohamed’s 1994 assemblage of indigenous items & motifs – there is a stark difference in mood and intention, despite the virtuosity on display. The latter works channel an immediacy, but what that impulse relates to is not clear. The audience for the art, and philosophy behind the art, appear to cross a boundary – that has since ushered in Malaysian contemporary art as we know it today. 

Bayu Utomo Radjikin – Bujang Berani (1991)