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 if this work was done during Merdeka celebrations. The well-drawn figures of Bayu Utomo Radjikin and Jalaini Abu Hassan were also on display, where the former's lone blue eye and the latter's bloody whip marks, were sufficient to convey the meaning of their respective painting titles. The words inscribed onto both paintings were a superfluous distraction, deterring the appreciation of the strong visual impact of the characters themselves.

Anurendra Jegadeva - Best Friends Forever (2012)

Welcome drops of blue drip cover Hamidi Hadi's 'Blood Disorder', a morbid representation of the artist's style with its long trails of industrial paint. The more pleasant surprise was 'Keras', a masterpiece hiding in a small room in this small gallery. Hamidi constructed the frame with a metallic stud motif, that is repeated across the work with a textured and active flow of red paint. A mesmerizing piece with expert handling of industrial materials.

Hamidi Hadi - Keras (2012)

An outstanding collection works overall which showcases some of Malaysia's best contemporary artists and their respective trademark styles. A pity that the Chong Ai Lei was not displayed, but much kudos to Galeri Chandan for undertaking this effort to bring local works to an international audience via the Kembara Jiwa travelling shows.

Jalaini Abu Hassan - Cakap-cakap Belakang (2012)