Showing posts from October, 2019

Foreboding Purpose @ National Art Gallery (II of II)

...In his tribute essay titled  A Protean Appearance In Malaysian Art , Krishen Jit surmises that " Digital Collage  (...) might well be an ironic strategy for Ismail wishes to raise consciousness about how in the decoding strategies of extracting meaning, observation is amalgamated with the observer." This task of decoding is mediated through the Macintosh SE, one boxy personal computer with a 9-inch monochrome display, also the cutting edge of consumer electronics in 1987. Ismail undertakes a pioneering move by exhibiting framed dot matrix printouts on gallery walls, thereby transmuting the binary bits of digital signals into art. This is an outdated concept in the age of Instagram creatives; Nonetheless, clear outlines ease one to dwell upon Ismail's visual semiology approach, and reflect on the appeal of the framed portrait-sized image that we consume through mobile phones, the cutting edge of consumer electronics now. Vincent (1988) Published reviews  of t

Mem(Bayang) Maksud @ Balai Seni Negara (I of II)

The exhibition title and its curatorial thread, derive from a conversational text between friends Noordin Hassan and Ismail Zain, published in the catalogue of the latter's 1988 solo exhibition "Digital Collage". The former questions the use of the word collage  in this body of work, in which Ismail clarifies that collage here does not refer to the simple juxtaposition of images, but about "how borrowed fragments of the signified can be summarised in one form or another many characteristics." He goes on to quote two examples which perhaps fit his intention - the Malay pantun with its " pembayang maksud ", and the " intellectual montage " coined by Sergei Eisenstein. I imagine seeing a  landscape of paddy fields & coconut trees, followed by a 'Tumpal' painting by Syed Ahmad Jamal, which then conjures one packet of nasi lemak bungkus in my mind... or maybe, I am just hungry. The Wayang Affair - Yield It! Yield It! (1970)