Showing posts from April, 2016

Pulse: January – April 2016 Art Auctions

~74% of 630+ artworks were hammered down in five auctions across four months in hotel ballrooms, as the majority of artists’ prices decrease slightly this season . Auction houses vary their selling strategies, which include a lowered buyer’s premium, and absorbing GST. The Edge Auction and Henry Butcher do well to introduce more artists into the secondary market, as compared to the other two auctioneers who focus on peddling selected artists only. 'Subdued Auction Sales' reads the hilariously- naïve title of The Edge’s event summary , although that can even be an over-statement for its 45% sales rate, and non-sale of its high-priced holdings. Its erratic estimates likely contribute to the dismal performance.  Chuah Thean Teng - Mother and Child For example, Chang Fee Ming’s ‘Rumah Kuning, Pulau Duyong’ appeared on the market in 2012 and 2014 , yet its estimate is now 100% higher; inflated estimates apply too for works by Fauzul Yusri and Syed Thajudeen which las

Introjection @ Lorong Kekabu

Five photography-based installations make up “Introjection” , a show that “…harus dilihat sebagai suatu eksplorasi seni visual dan juga sebuah corak ekspresi dalaman yang disalurkan ke dalam bentuk fizikal.” (excerpt from catalogue essay) The psychoanalytical term referenced in this exhibition’s title, confuses one in thinking that exhibited artworks indulge in the typical act of mimicry, when its presentation is more akin to narcissistic adoptions of one selves’ ideas. ‘Syok Sendiri’ by Afiq Faris is a brilliant introductory piece, where tailored images of used tissue fragments, allude to a sublime ecstasy normally attributed to beautiful art-making. A pair of rocking chairs belonging to Nia Khalisa’s grandparents is placed facing louvered windows, which visitors are welcome to sit in and squint upon tiny pictures placed in front of it, meditating upon the question, “huh?” Installation snapshot of Afiq Faris - Syok Sendiri: 38 Images of Work (2016) Captures of eye pairs l

Love Me in My Batik @ ILHAM

Batik is a technique. European artists were inspired by batik from Dutch colonies. Entrepreneurial Chinese immigrant fails at manufacturing batik in Malaya, but invents batik painting . Librarian becomes influential patron. Batik painting is recognised as a fine art. Batik is proclaimed as cultural heritage, and becomes the national dress. Batik painting as art medium loses relevance. And so the story goes . Joseph Tan’s iconic work, the namesake of this exhibition , portrays a mannequin-like figure undressing herself from batik cloth. The brown body is exposed, along with her inner thigh in a lighter shade. She holds up a newspaper snippet which leads to the words ‘BAT IK’ painted into the top right corner, although her back is arched upwards in a forceful pose. I stand by and appreciate its flat colours. Joseph Tan - Love Me in My Batik (1968) The wicked irony in Joseph’s work is lost on the present-day viewer, although catalogue essays by Simon Soon and Farish Noor descri