Showing posts from January, 2013

Kuasa, Harapan dan Tanah @ NVAG

Held in conjunction with our 55th national day, the "Power/Hope/Earth" exhibition by NVAG was always in danger of being overtly political, since elections are nearing.  It did not help that the first wall to the left was covered with Noor Azizan Rahman Paiman's '48' series. The artist's trademark satire of colourful but ugly figures, coupled with politician comments, brought smiles to my face, but also a weariness to this country's political climate.  Wong Siew Lee's 'Reformasi' series, reminiscent of Goya's 'Los Caprichos' etchings, did not help lessen the dreary feeling of Power hanging over this exhibition. Noor Azizan Rahman Paiman - Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (2005 There were a number of masterpieces hung, beginning with Zulkifli Dahalan's 'Realiti Berasingan – Satu Hari di Bumi Larangan'.  The delightfully drawn naked men, going around their business in open roof houses, suggests a Malaysian landscape devoid o

Snippets: 1H 2012

Got hold of it in 2012 (and subsequently gave away as a birthday present) - a Pudu map done by the artists collective that was recently active around Jalan Sultan.  They did a similar map for the Petaling Street area, but I prefer this one as it has more historical jottings.  The accompanying sketches of the window sill, frame, and grille designs, are a wonderful way to preserve cultural heritage, as we face the looming reality of "re-development".   Spotted this shop in my only time visiting Viva Home Mall - Kraftee Bee lets the customer decorate items with mosaic tiles.  Hung beside the counter is this amazing (albeit poor quality snapshot below) A3-sized replica of Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers', which the owner claimed to be a work of a student, and that he was willing to part with it for RM 1,200.  I said no, but I will be visiting the shop in the future if I have kids... Took our pre-wedding photos at Sekeping Tenggiri , a refurbished back-to-natu

Serangga @ Sasana Kijang

A building in the middle of the original KL green lung, a simple well-lit space.  Just the right atmosphere to have an exhibition for Malaysia's national treasure Latiff Mohidin , now famous for the wrong reason due to  the recent popularity of art auctions. Serangga 25 (2012) The praying mantis on the leaflet was an eye-catcher, along with the typeface for the exhibition.  But nothing prepared me for the textural delights on display, where handmade Tibetan paper played a big part to create the raw but natural aesthetic.  The colours and shapes are entirely Latiff's, but the paper brought out a depth in drawing, not unlike a wise sage who decided to draw a lifetime of observation on a rock wall in a cave. Serangga 18 (2012) 'Serangga 9' looks like a south east Asian design where Bali meets wayang kulit, but a longer gaze reminded me of a kampong scenario - yellow light emitting from the house porch behind, long shadows drawn out in front, a half-lit to

Kembara Jiwa Homecoming @ Galeri Chandan

Two black & white works by Juhari Said and Yee I-Lann flank the entrance, hardly catchy at first glance. Juhari's 'Dalmatian' is a woodblock print, and I-Lann's 'Dear Cousin' is batik on silk. These quirky subjects and its contents held my gaze longer, than Ramlan Abdullah's signature aluminium ball hanging in the middle. Animals feature heavily with a tiger and a sting-ray in two paintings - but the sculptural pieces of Umibaizurah Mahir's 'I'm Not A Dog', and Daud Rahim's 'Ikan', are the more attractive binatangs in comparison. I imagine a future toxic planet, where the colourful bulldog cannot bark through its gas mask, and a large goldfish fossilised in metal. Umibaizurah Mahir - I'm Not A Dog (2012) Friendship, hardship, and Malaysians' love for fried chicken fast food chains, is illustrated delightfully in Anurendra Jegadeva's 'Best Friends Forever'. I felt almost patriotic, and wonder

The Local Aesthetic

In one of the busiest stretches of my life, I seeked out a number of quiet spots in the middle of the city, where I re-discovered a lifelong interest - Art.  Despite having spent many hours in some of the world's most famous art galleries, I knew next to nothing about the visual arts scene in Malaysia. The first exhibition which piqued my interest was Hamidi Hadi's "Antara" at Wei-Ling Contemporary, conveniently located right next to my office block.  After visiting a number of galleries around town over the past few months, Hamidi remains my favourite Malaysian artist, whose work is also my first ever purchase of a contemporary art work. The second event that sparked me to go on a KL art gallery visiting run, was the release of the  Narratives in Malaysia series, which gave me a good introduction to Malaysian visual arts.  Highly recommended for an entry-level introduction to Malaysian art and its history. A higher aspiration is that by recording my tho