Showing posts from July, 2015

Ashes of Time 告白.告別 ~ 灰燼之後 @ Lostgens’

A burn usually leaves a lifelong mark on oneself. The scar is a reminder of an event – perhaps malicious, perhaps unintentional – that is destructive nonetheless. Applying this visual metaphor literally, Chong Yi Lin burns photographs and baby singlets, two objects that carry overt but effective symbolic associations. Family portraits are stuck and burned onto pictures of soiled walls, causing severe discolouration around the image of the artist as a little girl. Nostalgic effects are popular among Dasein graduates, but in Yi Lin’s case, the purpose is not to freeze time as a melancholic moment, but to create a material reminder of the “…pain and unexpressed anguish…” suffered by the artist. The effectiveness of making artefacts to exorcise oneself, is not apparent in the final product, and likely manifest in the process of making. Installation snapshots (2015): [top] We Move Away From This Place; [bottom] I See How Warm It Is Inside Joss sticks char holes on white singlets,

Recess: Revealing Deceptions 自欺欺人

Going beyond merely art fatigue, I re-evaluate my personal conviction that art has to be avant-garde. 95% of local creations still subscribe to centuries-old painterly representation, its market buoyed by capitalist transactions initiated by the nouveau riche, who have not grown out of bourgeois notions of connoisseurship. In an immigrant land where handicraft cultures are diluted across generations, historical context in Malaysian art is inexplicably absent. The dominant mode of describing a contemporary era are shallow and straightforward depictions, of an imagined nostalgia or popular politics. Much looking has built up unrealistic expectations, and looking from the outside is a tiring endeavour. Perhaps I am not looking hard enough, or at the right places. Perhaps if I stop looking, the avant-garde will find me instead. Ajis Mohamad - Karangan di Penjuru Pulau (2014)