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)