Contemporary Propulsion – Influence and Evolution @ G13

Repressed desire in Loh Bok Lai’s pair of women aside, Dasein graduates present humdrum paintings – personal metaphors and visual effects lack intellectual depth, while Hoo Kiew Hang’s ambitious take on Pop Art borders on irrelevance in this age of social media. Abstract forms by Kim Ng and Yim Yen Sum fare better, as one imagines Muji Lee’s corkboard constructs to be more impressive at a larger scale. Krystie Ng’s sewn fabric are clever and representative depictions, the tactile features of thread and pulled cloth reinforcing the sustained tension of women-related issues. Lilliputian figures on isolated islands stuck upon the gallery’s white walls, however, draws my attention back to the exhibition’s best works. Commenting on materialism via found objects is a common idea in contemporary art, yet Tiong Chai Heing’s latest output communicates something deeper.

Krystie Ng (A Collaboration with the Artist's Mother) - Love and Hurt – Unsung Sentiments (2013-2015)

Last seen at “1 CARES • 關懷!”, the barren landscape is now presented as fragments, where humans wander about in decaying islands. These minuscule creations are akin to temple murals illustrating mythical worlds, but Chai Heing’s version of purgatory conveys the pain of desolation, a fear that religious hells seldom describe. Rags that make up her older creations are less visible in ‘Small World’, which materials dissolve into something beautiful, projecting a sensory pleasure that mitigates the misery of living in this sordid state. Also displayed are very attractive hung works based on photographs, ‘Drowning’ an example of the artist’s exceptional technical skill, at creating visually captivating images despite not utilising found objects. As religion continues to isolate Malaysians from each other, I take a respite by inspecting the installation’s details, again and again.

Installation view and close-ups of Tiong Chai Heing - Small World (2015)


  1. Interesting post of the exhibition. Totally agree with your opinion about Muji Lee's sculpture, he's also participating in another group exhibition entitled 'Presence' at The Gallery @ Starhill. Would be interesting to have your opinion on his other sculptures. It's been ongoing since March 14th and will be ending this weekend on the 29th.


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