17 May 2018

A New Post-Election (Art) World

How much Malaysian art created up till 9th May 2018, will be put aside/thrashed/repurposed by artists? Should all commercial galleries stage a "pre-GE14" show, for displaying works created before 9th May 2018?
Where will the references to an oppressive regime stop, and to an uncertain future begin? 
How many Birkin and cunning animal images will be purged, and how many frogs and AirAsia planes will be depicted? Will political party flags be the new rage?
Who will self-censor, and who will censor? Will big noses and black eyes, replace clowns or a man of steal?
Can Balai finally have a decent website, and a transparent acquisitions committee? 
How many histories, can be re-written?

Installation snapshot of Hasnul Jamal Saidon - Kdek! Kdek! Ong! (1996)

This momentous change in government, will shift one’s mindset from a reflex to oppose, to a moment’s pause, for one to assess and evaluate. This pause, short as it may be, will be the biggest change for Malaysians, before expressing oneself. This pause alone, I believe, will help Malaysian art evolve. I do not harbour any hope in politicians, but I do hope that a new post-election art world, will make one practice that bit more care, in addressing Malaysian art as we know it. 

Blog post title reference: BFM A Bit of Culture (12th May 2018 episode) “A New Post-Election World”

Nik Zainal Abidin Nik Salleh - Corak Bendera (1970)

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