Showing posts from May, 2017

As We See It: History Through Visual Design @ National Art Gallery

After celebrating the opening of a physical space earlier this year, the enterprising Malaysia Design Archive stages an exhibition at Reka Gallery. Objects with distinct elements of graphic design are demarcated into three timeframes – colonial British Malaya, the Japanese Occupation, and from post-WWII to Malayan independence. Looking at product advertisements and public service announcements, I was struck by the vivid red and yellow hues that appear in many exhibits. Were these colours used for printing because it was cheap? Or has its enduring properties render these objects more attractive for exhibiting and preservation purposes? Are cinema billboard paintings – like Mr. Vampire – not peddled as nostalgic collectibles, because painted pigments fade faster than printed colours?  Cinema billboard for Mr. Vampire 新僵尸先生 (1992)

Collective: Individuals @ 2 Hang Kasturi

In the art canon, artist collectives are often mentioned in reverential tones, and remembered for providing the alternative to established art. This characteristic manifests in the underground location of “ Collective: Individuals ”, a group exhibition of works from artists belonging in seven collectives. The reasons individual artists gather together are varied – practical concerns of sharing a house, propagating an aesthetic ideal, co-producing a zine, or banding together to form a commercial gallery – but ultimately favourable in maintaining and promoting an artist’s individual agenda. Apart from the relatively formal statements of Make It Happen, the exhibiting collectives do not display overt desires to be similar, which result in a great collection of individual artworks. Installation snapshot of Nadirah Zakariya - Hitam Manis Walking through the exhibition – starting with The Sliz’ repurposed road signs, and ending with Orkibal’s pink chair and colourful painting – i

Afterwork @ ILHAM

For a curatorial premise that started as about domestic migrant workers in Hong Kong, “Afterwork” does remarkably well in its Malaysian adaptation , with the inclusion of local artists and relevant programs organised during the exhibition run. For starters, the exhibits are remarkably diverse. Artist nationalities and choice of medium are moot points; Timelines and approaches in tackling the issues explored (“class, race, labour, and migration”) are multifarious, where the starting point of each individual work is worth exploring in depth. The exhibition starts strong – Gan Chin Lee’s social-realist paintings appear to be an exercise in recognizing the people and things overseen when one walks the streets of Kuala Lumpur, a reminder to re-look at one’s immediate surroundings in daily life. Exhibition snapshot of Gan Chin Lee – Portrait Scape of Contemporary Migration (2013–2014) Two displays opposite evoke particularly different sentiments via its format and historical cont