Showing posts from February, 2015

2 Jan 2015 (II): Recent Acquisitions @ NVAG

Akin to an apologetic gesture, works last seen at the dismal M50 exhibition greet the visitor into Galeri 1A, Gan Sze Hooi’s map leading to Yee I-Lan’s pinafores and plates. The recreated chessboard-floor studio space demonstrates a seriousness in institutional collecting , an observation reinforced by the variety of mediums on show. Accolades are a useful starting point to add new artists into the national collection, as one spots panoramic photographs by Yaman Ibrahim (Maybank Photo Awards), a hanging wood sculpture by Sun Kang Jye (Malaysia Emerging Artist Award), a minimal but powerful audio-visual installation by Fuad Arif (Bakat Muda Sezaman), woven fabric patterns by Anne Samat (Prudential Malaysian Eye), and a matrix of light switches by chi too (Young Guns), not connected to an electrical board which unfortunately negates the work’s impact. Installation view of Yee I-Lann - Malaysia Day Commemorative Plates (ed. 1/100) (2010) [foreground]; Commemorate 2013 (2013) [back

HOLES Perspective @ Atelier Art Space

Coinciding with the launch of a pothole-reporting mobile application by the Petaling Jaya city council, this exhibition plays upon the common gripe of Malaysian road users, and applies a sometimes-effective metaphor to urban and national concerns. Photographs take the form of post-internet images, although its crude manipulation denote an amateurish execution. In ‘New Technique?’, a giant plaster is crafted to emphasize the analogy, the exaggerated object posing a visually potent motif that can be used for anything from graffiti to statement posters to advertising. The state of the nation is represented as a punctured race track, while more immediate concerns like golf diplomacy and water shortages, are doctored into photographs. New Technique? (2015) Reference to local colloquialisms are pretentious with the exception being ‘Grandfather’s road’, its chalk drawing imbuing a comic element to a favourite rant, frequently blurted on the relatively less holey Jalan Tun Razak.

Into Outside (I/O) @ 無限發掘 FINDARS

“Of course there is inside, otherwise there wouldn't be outside. You are inside, now come out!”, reads the hilarious first line of the exhibition brief. Greeting the visitor is Ayesha Keshani ’s presentation, the collection of photographs, dying plants, and paraphernalia obscure but attractive. It also foreshadows the artist’s intent to highlight historical examples, of humans imposing power via the systematic obliteration of nature. A grainy video of animals being hunted is partially shrouded in foliage, leading to four-word slogans that point to the misconception of ecology-friendly plantations, and a Maoist farce that resulted in many lost lives. Installation snapshot Goh Lee Kwang’s ‘photocopying recording’ is nestled within a gunnysack tent, its double projection of ambient sound a secondary concern when one lies down on a concrete floor with straw mat. Potted greenery and makeshift platforms impress colour and cosiness into the Spartan space, a contrast to the monoc

Making Space: We Are Where We Aren’t @ Sekeping Sin Chew Kee

“Here space is everything, for time ceases to quicken memory. Memory – what a strange thing it is! – does not record concrete duration, in the Bergsonian sense of the word. We are unable to relive duration that has been destroyed. We can only think of it, in the line of an abstract time that is deprived of all thickness. The finest specimens of fossilized duration concretized as a result of long sojourn, are to be found in and through space. The unconscious abides. Memories are motionless, and the more securely they are fixed in space, the sounder they are. To localize a memory in time is merely a matter for the biographer and only corresponds to a sort of external history, for external use, to be communicated to others. But hermeneutics, which is more profound than biography, must determine the centers of fate by ridding history of its conjunctive temporal tissue, which has no action on our fates. For a knowledge of intimacy, localization in the spaces of our intimacy is more urgent

2 Jan 2015 (I): Trans Book Sketches @ NVAG

Greeting the visitor are twenty rectangular frames, each with an object placed upon a dot matrix printout of Surah Al-'Alaq. Low-tech reproductions emphasise the Quranic verses’ inherent meaning instead of its form, the faint pages reminding of divine omnipresence when juxtaposed with disparate stuff like coins and cutlery. Nasir Baharuddin’s sublime work meditates upon the revelation of learned knowledge, and was hung up in early October 2014 for a “Book Art” exhibition. “Fotografi & Lakaran” occupy Galeri Reka, the output contributed by artists who joined field trips as part of the 1Malaysia Art Tourism campaign. Atmospheric captures of Gua Niah by Shahrizan Aziz and Nublee Bahar utilise creative shooting angles, while uninspiring panoramas of Labuan are further diminished by the gallery’s dim lighting.  Installation snapshot and close-ups of Nasir Baharuddin - Baca dan Lihat (1995) Upstairs, encased pamphlets by Tsai Horng Churng lead one into a narrow passage exh