Showing posts from September, 2018

Sensory Photography @ RUANG by Think City

Billed as “Malaysia’s first photography exhibition by the visually impaired”, the second-floor space features snapshots by seven individuals with differing severities of low vision . How does one who is visually impaired, makes use of the photographic medium to capture an image? What is captured, if composition and technical qualities are put aside, and for what purpose? After the first walkthrough, it is apparent that most pictures possess an oddball quality absent from a typical show featuring amateur photographers. The angle of snapshots taken is lower. Things appear off-centre, yet the focus is intentional. Perhaps most surprising is that photographs do not display dramatic contrasts, a relatively simple approach towards creating visually attractive pictures. (clockwise from left) Snapshots of Ahar bin Tabe - "Cycle", tactile photography exhibits, "Journey" What triggered my reflections about photography as a medium, are the displays placed along the

Yang Lain-Lain @ Suma Orientalis

The gallery’s publicity statement for “ Yang Lain-Lain” touts Donald Abraham as a Sabah-born street artist , pointing out the artist’s lack of formal training, and “YAK” graffiti tag as his signature . Most exhibits are acrylic paintings on canvas or board, some with collaged snippets, effectively marking this a typical gallery showcase. In an interview with the local newspapers, the artist admits, that “(i)t’s a daunting challenge to go down the gallery path. But it’s a natural career progression”. Visitors are greeted by ‘The Green Monster’, its arrangement of cynical symbols indicative of the literal and boring characteristics, that typify Malaysian paintings making political commentary. Fortunately, this is the only poor example, in this exhibition of fantastic works.  Drifting (2016) For one with a signature style – his murals within Publika’s indoor walkways are immediately recognizable – there is an amazing diversity in Donald’s drawings of people & things. Numero

Caravaggio Opera Omnia @ National Art Gallery

What is the difference between looking at a painting, and an image of a painting? A huge difference, it seems. I walk briskly within Galeri 3A to see its life-sized backlit projections of Caravaggio paintings, pausing only occasionally to reminisce on how some exhibits look better in real life. Produced as a collaboration between the KL Italian Embassy and the National Art Gallery, this travelling show of reproductions is undeniable a crowd-puller, and a cultural export exercise. With the Italian artist’s distinct style, his dramatic life story, and less than 50 surviving authenticated works, many visitors would be familiar with these images. What can we learn from these backlit pictures – is it the scale in compositions? The drawing of muscles, and facial textures? The oscuro (i.e. darkening of shadows)? Exhibition Snapshot of San Matteo e angelo (1602) To better understand chiaroscuro – the style Caravaggio is famous for – and his application of coloured oils, one has to

Teh Tarik With The Flag @ National Art Gallery

After its victory in Malaysia’s 14th General Election, the new government and its leaders have been accorded a honeymoon period by most rakyat based on goodwill, to establish better policies and administration. Such forgiving attitudes should extend to the Malaysian art enthusiast , who is swamped with images of new art made with literal references to harapan , and to colours of the national flag. Following on the 2018 Balai program featuring gallery partnerships , Wei-Ling Gallery revel in this opportune moment to present highly relatable works by artists it represents. The exhibition statement reads, “…to explore the symbolic power of the flag as a means to reflect on and extend the rich and complex story of the ‘Jalur Gemilang’ as a potent symbol and a marker of identity, unity, belief, and division.” Exhibition snapshot A sense of post-GE14 elation prevails upon entering Galeri 3B, as I look at Ivan Lam’s large, four-panel interpretation titled ‘The Death of a Nation /