Showing posts from June, 2013

Forms of Void @ Richard Koh Fine Art

I do not know Saiful Razman.  I do not know who decided the hanging configuration at RKFA's Bangsar Village gallery. I do not know what the blue means.  I do not know whether he has seen Avery Preesman's work at the Stedelijk Museum.  I do not know if horizontal bands spell comfort and structure to the artist.  I have not seen the Pelan-Pelan / Bilik Gerakan and Pelan Cap works in person.  I do now know why the move away from socio-political visual containers.  I do not know whether the titles in the "Forms of Void" series mean anything.  But I know while viewing Saiful Razman's works from Numbers one to eleven, I discovered a whole range of emotions that are as penetrating as it is fleeting. Number 3 (2013) The void is first seen on the catalogue cover, the deep blue of 'Number 5', a liquid sea of calm rippling with white horizontal stripes that draw the viewer in, not unlike Barnett Newman's zips .  This mysterious blue is present as the

Jiwa @ Segaris

Browsing through a gallery occupied with aluminium sculptures, up-cycled parts, and skeletal paintings, can be a touch overwhelming.  However, Daud Rahim's works consistently present an irony that is difficult to ignore, a reminder that we are never that far away or different from these living beings, also creations of God.  Humankind's obsession with harvesting natural resources, to build mechanical machines, are only as primitive as the natural functions that many animals already possess.

Modern and Contemporary Malaysian Art Auction Preview @ The Edge Galerie

Riding the auction bandwagon is business newspaper The Edge, where a small selection of 33 Malaysian works (with the exception of a Chen Wen Hsi) go under the hammer .  Figurative portraits form the majority, including 2 lots of dancing Balinese girls - a colourful and joyful rendition by Tay Mo Leong, and Ahmad Zakii Anwar's realist illustrations garbed in sumptuous gold, against a black background.  Khoo Sui Hoe's 'Figure with a Bird' stands out in its classical beauty, where simple lines accentuate a verticality that contrasts with the parallel diagonals of a flying bird and a right arm, which draws attention to the figure's impartial face. Khoo Sui Hoe - Figure with a Bird (1967) Penang hyper realists Cheah Ewe Hoon and Yeong Seak Ling project their respective composition skills onto empirical observations.  'The Woodpecker' by the former depicts a close-up forest scene with leaves strategically lighted, not too bright or dark to identify the

Pulse: Foreign / Masterpieces

Having seen thousands of artworks over 3 weeks, I feel enlightened but equally exhausted just trying to filter through the strong sentiments, gathered from (re)visiting a few cities and their museums / galleries.  An especially sobering moment came before my return flight, when I stepped foot into the Malaysian Airlines lounge at Heathrow, and see a couple of Ismail Mat Hussin's batik works depicting kampong life.  "Is this the best we can come up with?" was the impulsive thought, but upon sitting down I knew my expectations was an unrealistic one. Zhong Zhengchuan - Peace, 无争 Indonesian art auctioneer Masterpiece made its Malaysian début during my sojourn, amassing an astounding 160 works for sale.  Malaysian paintings form the majority in this catalogue, with significant holdings of Penang-based artists, Chinese ink scrolls, and two delightful bronze sculptures by Heng Eow Lin.  Securing a remarkable sales rate of 98%, including the high-priced works of decease

Up! @ Taksu

"Up!" capitalises on upcoming local artists, a few whom recently participated in House of Matahati exhibitions .  Each artist presents two works, with the exception of the relatively senior Najib Ahmad Bamadhaj, who contributed a pop-art painting in his signature stencil style.  Ed Roger takes advantage of this quota to create two large atlases made from computer keyboards, one with a black land mass and the other white. The flimsiness of this installation (some letters are falling out) only adds onto the social commentary, a reflection of our livelihood in this global, digitalised, and idealogical world. Sabihis - Kingdom of Humanity (2013) Another great depiction of duality is a woodcut and its adjoining print by Sabihis, manipulating binaries with thoughtfully incised lines.  Triangular motifs form the central figure's reptilian skin, where Liliputian figures scurry around this divine character. Seah Zelin's 'Rise' includes a welcome injection of

Recess: Honeymoon

Not in Kuala Lumpur, but plenty of art awaits. Travel guide Tan Choon Ghee