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Launching Issue Nov / Dec 2008

Malaysian art now

Sometimes I feel,
you treating me
like game

>50 years of
Balai Seni Lukis Negara
>Timelines: Time to think,
or, some thoughts on Susurmasa
>2nd International Art Expo
But I am so
Malaysia 2008 fawn of you!
>Singapore Biennale 2008
#00

SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW


2 CONTENTS

4 50 tahun Balai Seni Lukis Negara


4-6 Timelines:Time to think, or, some
thoughts on Susurmasa
7 Program Kesinambungan
Hayat:Klirieng
8 Wajah Jati Malaysia
9 2nd International Art Expo
Malaysia 2008
10 Review of Singapore Biennale 2008
11 Relocations
12 SeniArt.Info: Suara Baru Seni
Kontemporari di Lembah Klang
13 Anderson & Low
13-14 Icons: Zulkii Yusoff
14-15

Editor
Program BSLN
15 Artist:Marvin Chan
inc.
For the rst time in 50 years, we vow to be your popular newsprint 16 Activities
medium for reading about the art practice of today . 18 The Passing of a Giant of Modern
Malaysian Art
We are indeed challenged in this unusual task. The , besides
communicating about the latest happenings of this institution, will
19 Whats on?
present updates on events run by other groups and organizations,
PUBLISHER
shall showcase selected exhibitions, with commentaries on particular
aspects of the show or artists. is grateful to the artists , friends Balai Seni Lukis Negara
and peers who have given input on what they hope to nd in this National Art Gallery Malaysia
venture , and especially to Marvin Chan who gave us the idea about
featuring an artist , who may host-design the cover of each issue. This No 2, Jalan Temerloh
Off Jalan Tun Razak
Launching Issue presents Simon Soon citing the signicance of the
53200 Kuala Lumpur
Singapore Biennale , Roopesh Sitharan locating electronic art , Faizal MALAYSIA
Sidik introducing SeniArt. Info, Daniel Chong fascinated by the iconic
Zulkii Yusoff, and the Opinion section features Rachel Jenagaratnams Phone : 603 4026 7000
experience of being deluged by Timelines. Fax : 603 4025 4987

website : http://www.artgallery.gov.my

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Dr. Mohamed Najib Ahmad Dawa Dr. Mohamed Najib Ahmad Dawa

Editor-In-Chief MANAGING EDITOR


Chng Huck Theng

EDITOR
Zanita Anuar

DEPUTY EDITOR
Wening Cheah

EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS
Hashimah Nyok
Tan Sei Hon

CONTRIBUTORS / WRITERS
Rachel Jenagaratnam
Roopesh Sitharan
Simon Soon
Daniel Chong
Faizal Sidik
Alizam Hassan
Usnita Nasir
Shamsul Bahari Mohamad Yusof

DISTRIBUTION
Osmihamidy Osman

PHOTOGRAPHY
Sometimes I feel, Mohd. Noorhisyam Amir Nazarullah
you treating me
like game

DESIGN
Norhaslina Ahmad Kamsin
Nuzaihan Mustapa

Any feedback and comments please email to us at:


wening@artgallery.gov.my

The publisher, National Art Gallery Malaysia,


Cover Artist:Marvin Chan hold copyright of all editorial content in the Malaysia and abroad.
The cover artwork is a parody on
But I am so
fawn of you!
how easy it is to misunderstand SENIKINI (ISSN: 1985 - 7233) is published six times
each other when we dont see a year by National Art Gallery Malaysia.
eye to eye, perhaps senikini will
provide an eye on things. All Rights Reserverd.
Copyright 2008 SENIKINI Malaysia Art Now
Printed in Malaysia.
NOV / DEC 2008 | ISSUE #00 SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW
3

2009-2011

SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW ISSUE #00 | NOV / DEC 2008


4
Sempena ulang tahun ke 50 Balai Seni terhimpun. Khazanah Seni Visual mempamerkan himpunan tetap negara
Lukis Negara (BSLN), Khazanah Visual Negara adalah koleksi catan pelukis- iaitu Pameran Susurmasa atau Timelines,
Seni Negara melangkah kesatu tahap pelukis terkenal Malaysia yang menjadi penerbitan Direktori Galeri-Galeri
atau konteks yang lebih jauh lagi. peneraju dan pengasas kepada seni lukis Seni, Kids World Longest Underwater
Satu penghargaan buat BSLN untuk moden di Malaysia. Hasil karya yang Painting di Pulau Mabul, Sabah,
merealisasikan buat pertama kalinya dipilih adalah berdasarkan perwakilan Simposium Konservasi Antarabangsa,
karya tiga pelukis tersohor diabadikan kepada tema guratif dan landskap yang Rantau Budaya Merdeka : Pencarian
sebagai setem Khazanah Seni Visual dipersembahkan dalam gaya seperti Wajah Jati Malaysia, Pameran SEMESTA,
Negara dengan kerjasama Pos Malaysia realisme, eksperisionisme, kubisme Pertemuan dan Dialog dengan penggiat
Berhad menjadikan satu koleksi setem dan seni moden yang berilhamkan seni seni, Sidang Seni : SINI 08 kerjasama
seni visual yang akan menjelajah ke tradisi. BSLN bersama Kementerian Pelajaran
seluruh pelusok dunia. Malaysia dan Persatuan Seni Visual,
Sebagai pengisian ulangtahun ke 50 Koleksi Saya: Rahime Harun dan yang
28 Ogos 2008 dipilih sebagai hari Balai Seni Lukis Negara juga telah akan datang Pameran TENG: Satu
pelancaran sempena menyambut hari berjaya menjalankan beberapa aktiviti Penghargaan yang mempamerkan karya
kelahiran BSLN yang ke 50. Dalam sama ada di dalam mahupun di luar terbaik oleh Mendiang Datuk Chuah
tempoh 50 tahun penubuhan BSLN, BSLN. Antaranya adalah pameran Thean Teng seorang pelukis terpenting
terdapat 3,700 buah karya yang telah koleksi karya seni visual terbesar yang negara.

Setem Khazanah Seni Visual Negara


ini telah dilancarkan oleh Y. Bhg. Dato
Seri Hj. Mohd Shae Hj. Apdal, Menteri
Perpaduan, Kebudayaan, Kesenian
dan Warisan Malaysia (KEKKWA).
Bersama-sama pelancaran ini juga
telah dirasmikan katalog bagi pameran
SUSURMASA versi Bahasa Inggeris
juga sambutan harijadi warganegara
Malaysia yang bertuah dan terpilih yang
sama tarikh lahirnya dengan BSLN.

Timelines: Time to think, or, some thoughts


OPINION
on Susurmasa I Rachel Jenagaratnam

Art produces and reects the The exhibition spans the entire building of the exhibition was based primarily spans six central subjects - Prehistoric
spirit and characteristics of the and appears to pay homage to one of on its catalogue. Academically, the and Indigenous, Maritime Empire
people that shape a nation. the NAGs earlier exhibitions, RUPA publication served a ne purpose, but and The Age of Commerce, The
Malaya has many artists to MALAYSIA: Meninjau Seni Lukis Moden it wasnt enough to formulate a proper Illustrated News, Malayan Beauty,
be proud of, but it is only at Malaysia. Held in 2001 and curated by comparison. Moreover, I was seeking an Iconic Works, and Contemporary
art galleries that the general the late Redza Piyadasa, the exhibition honest rst-account of the exhibition, and Beyond. With the exception of
public are able to see and marked the gallerys move to its current which its catalogue did not offer. one gallery, individual artworks are
enjoy their artworks. Unless premise on Jalan Temerloh. The scale clustered into sub-categories, again,
the best artworks by our local of Susurmasa is far larger than its As such, I hope this essay will serve as a ignoring sequential development.3
artists are purveyed for the predecessor; works span across vast brief document entailing a
National Collection, these temporal and cultural differences, contemporaneous experience of Thematic approaches are paradoxical
works will rarely be seen.1 mediums are varied, and the number of Susurmasa. My arguments are not an and prone to complications, as proven
possibilities for intellectual discourse, attempt to depreciate the artworks or the by the case of Tate Moderns hanging

O
ur National Art Gallerys limitless. Indeed, these elements could gallery in any way; reversibly, I hope in 2001. Western art historys stringent
(NAG) ofcial duties were lend to some striking critiques on my points could add to its future value. stylistic developments, -isms so easily
laid out succinctly in the Malaysian art, thereby adding to the Points that I will cover are the viability separated by dates, were disregarded.
exhibition catalogue that accompanied growing corpus of Malaysian art history. of a thematic approach for an exhibition Artists and critics were critical, as were
their rst ever exhibition in 1958.2 In However, my essay takes a slight detour of this scale, the importance of academics that lamented the difculty
essence, the national collection belongs from more conventional academic literature and contextualization, and the in teaching with the haphazard layout.4
to all Malaysians. It is likely, however, routes. I divert from pure analysis of shortcomings of gender generalizations,
that more than half the population have artworks to the gallery experience as found in their section titled Malayan Where does Susurmasa stand in relation
not yet visited the gallery. The need itself and touch on general arguments Beauty. I contend that if the context to this? For one, despite this not being
to develop a gallery-going culture pertaining to the exhibition. This is isnt laid out coherently, this could slow the NAGs permanent hanging, it
amongst the general populous is, in my not to be seen as a cop-out of any or stagnate discourse at both academic functions very much like one for the
opinion, a must. It is, however, a big sort there are reasons to justify this and grassroots level. breadth of its exhibits and the fact that
challenge and remains one of the NAGs approach. In research for this essay, I no space is left artless. The ground
biggest hurdles. So, on the occasion hoped to make a comparison between Thematic Grounds oor itself is overwhelming. At the
of its ftieth anniversary, and, in an RUPA MALAYSIA and the present Prehistoric and Indigenous section,
attempt to reserve this predicament, exhibition, but found this to be very Despite the chronological hinted in you are greeted by Burung Kenyalang
the NAG hits back with a blockbuster difcult; I did not attend the exhibition the exhibitions title, curators have on plinths and a wood-carved Ulu tribe
exhibition: Susurmasa or, Timelines. seven years ago and my understanding decided upon a thematic approach. It dining set, which has been juxtaposed

NOV / DEC 2008 | ISSUE #00 SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW


5
with the industrial installation of Zulkii work, worthy of this classication? I The deluge of artworks here can be a Literature and Contextualization
Yusofs Hikayat Pelayaran Abdullah. The am certain the curator does not intend little intimidating. The rst time, I do
latter occupies center-stage, but there is for these conclusions, but grouping not fully comprehend the organization There is no information on the
little about it that is either prehistoric or historically disparate artworks leaves and am unable to take in everything. Burung Kenyalang to inform viewers
indigenous: old advertisements for Swan gaps for these arguments. It also A second visit, however, reveals of its signicance to the Iban tribe,
condensed milk, Jeyes hygienic toilet diminishes the religious and secular many interesting facets. And, whilst I who regard it as their God of War,
paper, Lux soap, and Gillette blades, are functions of the items on display. For cautioned certain aspects of Prehistoric or its centrality to the Ibans Gawai
printed onto the crude metal material; example, the function of ceremonial and Indigenous, there is an example Kenyalang festival. American Pop artist,
they are emblematic of the dawn of masks, of which there are an abundant in this section that dees my criticism Robert Rauschenbergs Yang Teragung
consumerism and contrast with the text number, lose signicance due to the of Susurmasas thematic approach. (1989) hangs surreptitiously in the
that forms the backdrop to the artwork, lack of historical focus. In a section on pastoral landscapes, second gallery without any mention
pages from Hikayat Abdullah that was Tan Vooi Yams terracotta sculpture of his stint in Kuala Lumpur. O. Don
completed in 1843. Maritime Empire and The Age of Conversation of Object 2007 (2003-07) Peris painting, Portrait of My Wife In
Commerce narrowly escapes this splits the space in half. It looks very Wedding Dress (1933), the oldest and
The enigma is the inclusion of works predicament. This section is split into much like a distorted human spine; it most valuable artwork in the National
like this and others, such as Ahmad seven sub-categories and artworks curves forcibly at the start, and as you Collection placed at Malayan Beauty
Zuraimi Abdul Rahims Confrontation- from the mid-twentieth-century to the go along, appears more horizontal, and not at Iconic Works as one
Power (2006) or Fadzul Yusris oil noughties intermingle. Understandably, nally ending in a pile of individual would imagine is not given further
paintings, such as the very recently it is a tall order to juggle so many bones amidst rubble. My exhibition explanation. Information is also sorely
completed Grey (2008). In Grey, different elements, but the exhibition notes reveal my exact rst thoughts: I missed at The Illustrated News, as
childlike scrawls of alphabets oat handout proposes a reading in honestly dont know what this is doing it would offer viewers the historical
across the canvas that also contains conjunction with the larger narrative there. context to better appreciate the works
a crassly drawn gure and bicycle. of empire; the hanging is meant on display.
Ultimately, it lacks the precision of to be indicative of the responses of The exhibition handout answers
realist representation, but surely stylistic contemporary artists to this theme.6 my question - in the context of this Susurmasas exhibition catalogue may
grounds are not enough to warrant the Marvin Chans portrait of a girl in a exhibition, Tans sculpture functions clear much of the confusion faced with
heading of Prehistoric and Indigenous? Japanese schoolgirl uniform does not as a strait that separates the images of a thematic approach or the lack of
Whilst it is good to see the NAG necessarily hint at this, but there are sea and land.7 This is a very thoughtful supplementary literature; understanding
representing contemporaneous some gems in this section. Landscapes, curatorial move, but it must be Malaysian art would be a much easier
artists, these loose interpretations and for example, form a large portion of noted that the artworks are not given task. However, the fact remains that the
classications could easily be misread.5 the overall artworks. They highlight individual explanations. The exhibition publication isnt likely to be purchased
Is the curator saying prehistoric or the changes in our landscape and it catalogue and handout are the only by every gallery-goer. Priced at RM100,
indigenous works are primitive and is a treat to see rare works, such as sources of information for viewers - both it isnt a cheap souvenir for the average
childlike? Are certain subjects, for the unassuming watercolours by A.B. are available only in Bahasa Malaysia. person. This is not a setback, but it does
example elephants in Ahmad Zuraimis Ibrahim and A.B. Kecik. reect the importance of concise and

Hasnul Jamal Saidon. The Smiling Van Gogh And Gauguin Interactive Computer Art, 1995 BSLN 1997-005
SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW ISSUE #00 | NOV / DEC 2008
6
Zulkii Mohd. Dahlan, Kedai-kedai - Shops
BSLN 2006.082

it difcult to trace a linear history of art


in Malaysia. Refering to Tate Moderns
2001 hanging, the British art critic,
Jonathan Jones, made a sly comparison
to a much earlier and frowned-upon
example, the Nazis Degenerate Art
exhibit of 1937: As with that brutish
predecessor, people could go around
and laugh at everything without being
enabled to understand.11

The pertinence of enabling viewers


to understand is what sums up my
thoughts of Susurmasa. With the
thematic approach, the juxtaposition
of artworks does encourage viewers
accessible handouts and wall-texts. It An entire section devoted to images injustices espoused by the dominance of to think independently, but these links
would be worthwhile for the NAG to of women already borders on being modernism. One of the main exponents arent immediately noticeable how
consider printing handouts in different distasteful and disrespectful, but of feminist art history, Griselda Pollock, many viewers take the trouble to visit an
languages, or at least an English version, accompanied by such blatantly noted, What we learn about the world exhibition more than once? Hence lies
so information is available to everyone. sexist text, fails in being objective or and its people is ideologically patterned the importance of ample and accessible
English translations in the form of historically conscious. The line, creators in conformity with the social order information. And, from an educational
wall-texts have been made available called men, solidies patriarchal within which it is produced.9 The perspective, erring on the side of
at the beginning of each section, but dominance in society; I do not think Director of the NAG, Dr Mohamed caution and avoiding generalizations
it is nonsensical to expect visitors to female artists, such as Katherine Sim Najib Ahmad Dawa, echoes this would be benecial.
continually return to the start to refer to whose portrait of Salmah (1949) hangs sentiment in a recent statement given
information; the portable handout saves here would be proud. Salmah lies in to a media, as he paid tribute to our
the trouble. between portraits of women by Robert rst PM, Tunku Abdul Rahman, for
Lau, Mohd Hoessein Enas, and Haji founding the NAG, which functions
Again, the importance of good general Mohd Aris bin Atan, and, it is ironic as a reection of the cultural values __________________________

1
My translation. Seni lukis melahir dan
literature must be stressed. The NAG that she is the only female encased of a nation. But, why encourage these
mencerminkan semangat dan keperibadian rakyat
plays an important role in educating behind the protective plastic shield; it inequalities? Why air dirty linen in yang membangunkan sesuatu bangsa. Malaya
mempunyai ramai pelukis yang sewajarnya menjadi
the general public of our nations art, accentuates her difference and seems to public? Are these the values wed like kebanggaannya, tetapi hanya di galeri seni lukis jua
its origins, intricacies, and context in say the female artists work is not worthy our young to learn? To the NAG, I offer orang ramai dapat melihat dan menikmati karaya
mereka, dan, kecualilah karya-karya terbaik pelukis
relation to society. Which is why I was of being seen in the esh. my apologies: I simply cannot mask my kita dibeli sebagai Koleksi Negara, karya-karya ini
taken aback by the text accompanying disappointment. jarangkali dapat dilihat. BSLNs rst exh. cat., Kuala
Lumpur, 1958, as quoted by R. Piyadasa, RUPA
the section on Malayan Beauty. This section houses some seminal MALAYSIA: Meninjau Seni Lukis Moden Malaysia,
works: Redza Piyadasas portrait of Conclusion BSLN, Kuala Lumpur, 2001.
2
As I have written this text in English, I shall
No Place For Beauty Pageants Two Nyonya Women (1982) from his retain the abbreviation of NAG throughout. However,
it appears as BSLN in bibliographic references,
Malaysia Series, works by Seah Kim I do sympathise. A lot of responsibility
respecting the ofcial publication titles of the gallery.
So as to serve as intuitive pleasure Joo and Cheong Laitong, an entire wall has fallen on the NAG in the absence 3
In the Iconic Works gallery, works are arranged
according to date. Painted columns separate the
to the eyes, we would like to devoted to the theme of Mother and of other more focused institutions, works according to decades, allowing viewers the
share whatever we have in our Child, and Suhaida Razis painting of for example, a space dedicated to opportunity to view works according to chronological
development.
collection works of diverse visual the iconic image of women training as contemporary or indigenous arts. As a 4
For a concise account of this, refer to J.Jones,
media and idioms uniquely home guards during the Darurat (2001- result, the NAG is forced to negotiate Where have you been all my life? The Guardian,
May 2, 2006. Available at http://arts.guardian.co.uk/
produced by creators called 02). Themes explored in this section a much wider selection of artworks features/story/0,1765512,00.html
5
men. If any of our guests or the include the role of women in society, than necessarily practical. And, as is I refer to a comment made by Farouk Khan
(Institutional curators) would rather stick to
neighbours are interested in heritage, and cultural identity, but they expected, nancial restraints are an the preapproved artists of the pioneer era as
reported by Suzieana Uda Nagu in Culture: Unseen
the beauty we put on display, disappear with the curatorial direction issue. In a magazine interview, Dr
Contemporary Art Scene, New Straits Times, Feb 24,
we offer our apology. Perhaps that demands visual exploitation of the Mohamed Najib stated, the main 2008.
6
Setiap segmen atau tema-tema kecil dalam
we shall keep your betrothal subject matter; the important social challenge is how to accomplish so pameran ini dikaitkan dengan naratif besar empayar.
request in our fond memories. context is overshadowed by the biased much with so little (funds) and to do it Susunan dan gantungan karya-karya terpilih adalah
respon pelukis moden terhadap isu dan peristiwa
The owers in our vase are projections of sexpot and vixen. now! We are fty years old this year yang ada kaitannya dengan naratif besar. Susurmasa
not for sale, they are simply for we are accountable for our report handout, BSLN, Kuala Lumpur, 2008.
7
Manakala dinding bersebelahan yang dipisahkan
visual delight. We are indeed As educators and keepers of national card, at the same time NAG must oleh lorong umpama selat kecil yang menempatkan
glad you could take pleasure in art treasures, propagating the ideology inspire and instil accountability in others keperluan hidup yang terdiri daripada sumber
makanan dan ternakan yang menjadi komoditi dan
the beautiful scenery in various that women are owers in a vase is to be able to uphold the ying colours bahan dagangan. Susurmasa handout, BSLN, Kuala
Lumpur, 2008.
courteous and respectful manners disheartening; it is objectication and of Malaysian art.10 8
Translation provided by NAG. The text was
let be enthralled and fascinated this is not why women were created reproduced on the wall leading to the Malayan
Beauty gallery.
by them. But theyre full of for the world. The late-twentieth- The ying colours of Malaysian art are 9
G. Pollock, Feminist Interventions in the
meanings. Thus are created century saw a pivotal paradigm shift indeed brilliant, as exemplied by the Histories of Art (1988), as reproduced in E. Fernie,
Art History and Its Methods: A Critical Anthology,
women for the world.8 in art history with the introduction of a many artworks on display at Susurmasa. London, 1995, p300.
10
feminist slant, a strand of thought that But, the non-issue of chronological 11
As quoted in Malaysian Tatler, April 2008, p222.
J. Jones, Where have you been all my life? The
sought to reclaim the many gender development at Susurmasa does make Guardian, May 2, 2006.

NOV / DEC 2008 | ISSUE #00 SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW


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Program Kesinambungan Hayat:
Klirieng I Alizam Hassan

B
alai Seni Lukis Negara atas kesedaran dan keperihatinan untuk mengekalkan
wadah warisan generasi terdahulu, telah mengangkat sebuah Program
Kesinambungan Hayat bersempena Pameran SUSURMASA dan Sambutan
Kelahiran yang Ke 50 Tahun dengan mengukir motif-motif paku-pakis, tali, topeng
hantu ke atas dua batang balak Cengal Batu berukurlilit dua pemeluk. Adiguru iaitu
Bapak Jelan Asoh berumur 70 tahun dibawakan khas dari Rumah Panjang Kajaman,
Long Segaham, Belaga, Sarawak bersama pembantu-pembantunya iaitu Bapak
Pagang Tinyam, Bapak Shaee Harun dan Encik Hamdani Louis. Mereka juga
dibantu oleh dua orang pelatih aperantis, saudara Anwar Ghawi dan Azli Abdul
Ghani.

Program telah berlangsung dari 07 April hingga 10 Mei 2008.

Klirieng merupakan binaan ukiran ke atas kayu belian oleh masyarakat etnik
Orang Ulu di Sarawak yang terdiri lebih daripada 25 etnik. Ianya berfungsi sebagai
kuburan golongan bangsawan atau raja-raja. Klirieng diukir sedemikian rupa adalah
sebagai ritual dan menghormati kematian raja-raja mereka. Motif-motif ukiran
adalah seperti tumbuh-tumbuhan, paku-pakis, bentuk-bentuk binatang, buaya,
naga, gong, tali, topeng orang dan gura hantu. Kayu Belian yang berukurlilit
dua hingga empat pemeluk dan berketinggian di antara 20 hingga 35 kaki adalah
ukuran kebiasaan bagi sesebuah klirieng. Hal ini boleh dirujuk kepada binaan
klirieng yang telah melebihi umur seratus tahun di Rumah Panjang Punan Bah,
Rumah Panjang Kajaman Lasah, Long Segaham, Sungai Rejang, Sarawak. Juga
boleh dilawati di Muzium Negara, Kuala Lumpur dan di Muzium Tun Razak,
Kuching, Sarawak.

Tulang belulang golongan bangsawan atau raja yang telah meninggal dunia akan
dipisahkan dari daging si mati dan akan dimasukkan ke dalam tajau (pasu) dan
kemudiannya diletakkan ke dalam lubang kayu di bahagian atas / puncak klirieng
dan ditutupi dengan batu hampar berketebalan setengah kaki. Upacara meletakkan
tajau ini dibuat setelah proses mengukir dan menegakkan klirieng siap diusahakan
secara gotong royong. Klirieng yang akan ditanam ke dalam tanah perlu juga
ditanam bersama-sama hamba perempuan atau lelaki kepada raja tersebut.

Mutakhir ini, pembuatan klirieng tidak diusahakan secara ritual seperti asalnya
kerana didepani oleh arus pemodenan iaitu keyakinan beragama (Islamisasi dan
kristianiti) oleh masyarakat Orang Ulu.

Adiguru, Bapak Jelan Asoh dibawakan


khas dari Rumah Panjang Kajaman, Long
Segaham, Belaga, Sarawak.

SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW


8

Pertandingan Seni Foto Kanak-Kanak:


Wajah Jati Malaysia I Shamsul Bahari Mohamad Yusof

Menciptakan
hasil karya sebuah
fotogra, dengan
mata dan dirasakan
melalui hati

- Mohamed Najib Ahmad Dawa.

S
etiap bulan September sempena
perayaan Bulan Kemerdekaan Program
seperti tahun-tahun yang lalu, yang bermula
pertandingan Seni Lukis Kanak-kanak pada Julai hingga
ExxonMobil pasti menjadi rebutan Ogos 2008 ini telah
golongan berkenaan. Manakan tidak, melibatkan negeri
aktiviti ini seringkali menghidangkan Terengganu, Perlis dan
habuan yang lumayan. Sabah. Dianggarkan seramai
400 orang pelajar dari 60 buah
Justeru, bagi memulakan momentum sekolah merangkumi pelajar
dimensi baru tahun ini, Balai Seni Lukis sekolah menengah dan rendah
1 2 3 4 5
Negara (BSLN) dengan penaja utama, telah menyertai pertandingan
Exxon Mobil bersama-sama Nikon (M) ini. Kesemua peserta-peserta
Sdn. Bhd. dan Epson Trading (Malaysia) ini mendapat panduan daripada
telah menganjurkan satu program julung mentor yang terdiri daripada
kalinya iaitu Pertandingan Senifoto kakitangan BSLN dan tunjuk
Kanak-Kanak: Wajah Jati Malaysia. ajar daripada beberapa jurufoto
6 7
profesional.
Bertemakan Wajah Jati Malaysia,
pertandingan ini bertujuan memberi Sepanjang program
penerapan nilai-nilai murni dengan berlangsung, RTM dan TV9
tiupan jiwa patriotik di kalangan telah membuat liputan
peserta dan khalayak. Program ini melalui rancangan Panorama
8
menekankan konsep potret fotogra. di siaran TV1 dan Adik di 9
Ia merupakan antara pengkhususan terbitan TV9. Program ini telah
dalam disiplin fotogra. Terlebih dahulu dirasmikan oleh Datuk Zabar
peserta diberi pendedahan berkaitan Bin Dato Mohd Adib, Pengerusi
konsep asas potret fotogra dan cara Jawatankuasa Pelancongan
penggunaan kamera digital model Negeri Terengganu. Manakala
Nikon Coolpix. Apa yang menarik majlis perasmian penutup
di dalam pertandingan ini, wajah pertandingan ini akan
penduduk tempatan tanpa mengira berlangsung pada 9 Oktober
lapisan usia menjadi objek untuk 2008 di Lobi Utama, Balai Seni
dirakam. Sesuai dengan wujudnya Lukis Negara.
teknologi rakaman digital, maka wajah
jati yang menjadi tema ini dapat
dijadikan satu garapan nostalgia pada
masa akan datang.

1 Kategori C Siti Nurul Aida Jusuh


2 Kategori C Nur Fazira Mohd Amin
3 Kategori C Yazlan Hasan
4 Kategori A Abd Hayat Moi
5 Kategori A Faezah
6 Kategori B Nur Ain Nabillah Yusoff
7 Kategori B Nur Asyikin
8 Kategori A Nor Farahana

NOV / DEC 2008 | ISSUE #00 SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW


9
nd
2
International
Art Expo Malaysia
2008
The 2nd International Art Expo Malaysia
2008 promises to be a bigger and grander
affair.

It held at the Matrade Exhibition and


Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur from
November 26 to November 30.

It has attracted artists, art galleries and


art entrepreneurs from 23 countries
displaying some 3,000 artworks taking
up 140 booths. This is new record for an
140 booths taken by art galleries, artists and art media from 23 countries.
international art exposition in the country.

Some 350 artists and 49 galleries will be


among the exhibition. The largest foreign
contingent, as was last years, is from
South Korea, who will have 51 artists
from the International Art Cooperative
Organisation. Raja Muda Perlis DYTM Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra
Jamalullail.

The countries taking part are Britain,


Cambodia, China, France, Hong Kong,
Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland,
South Korea, Macedonia, Malaysia,
Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore,
Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand,
Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Art Expo Malaysia is only the second


such exposition in From front left: Mary Tang, Vincent Sim
(Organising Chairman), Raja Muda.
South-east Asia, the other being Art
Singapore.

Several events have been planned to


make the AEM 08 more memorable.

The 10 highlights are: Mr. Vincent Sim Tlak Choo is giving speech
during VIP Preview Night.

1. Susurmasa (Timelines) 50 anniversary exhibition by the


National Art Gallery Malaysia.
2. Grandmaster Pavilion, featuring museum-class pieces by
world renown Zao Wouki, Li Keran, LiHaisu and Malaysias
own Yong Mun Sen.
3. Advisers Arcade - Special solo exhibitions by AEM advisers
Professor Chung Chen Sun, Cheak Yew Saik, Choong Kam
Kow and Dr Mohamed Najib Ahmad Dawa.
4. Tribute Pavilion Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal.
5. Henry Butcher Charity Auction Preview. A charity dinner
auction to raise funds for the National Cancer Society
Malaysia and the Tabung Leukaemia Lions Lyfe-Line.
The Patrons and Organising Chairmanxis
6. Launch of Documentary on the 888 Feet Precious Artwork touring the art fair on VIP Preview.
to wish the Beijing Olympics 2008 Success, a Special For further details, please
Project of the AEM. contact:
7. Visualising Rukunegara - An interactive collaboration 03 7728 3677
between visitors both local and foreign with selected artists 012 2016 245
on the ve principle tenets underpinning Malaysian or visit:
everyday practices. www.artexpomalaysia.com
8. HeArt Club - Art by a group of children artistic talents. To mark this special occasion, a 360-page commemorative
9. Malaysia Sculpture Now - An exhibition of the nest of book is published.
Malaysian 4-D works.
10. Art talks and demonstrations. Talk on art collecting by Datuk The Art Expo Malaysia is under the patronage of DYTM
Dr Tan Chee Khuan and Ooi Kok Chuen, and demonstration Tuanku Raja Puan Muda Perlis, Hajjah Lailatul Shahreen
by Macedonian artist Ilina Arsova. Akashah Khalil.

SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW


10
Review of Singapore Biennale I Simon Soon

Sherman Ong, who resides in Singapore permanently,


presented a video narrative, Banjir Kemarau (Flooding
in the Time of Drought), which comprises of vignettes
revealing a not too distant dystopian future when
foreigners make up forty percent of Singapores
population and the nation is faced with an imminent
drought as water supply is running out. Structuring
the conversations amongst his subjects (who never
meet and whose stories develop within their own
ethnic boundaries) along the formula of a patient
singular static shot, he creates a theatrical stage in
which the banal and the quotidian dramas are given
weight. Through this gravity, he manages to weave
these different strands of concerns into an absorbing

T
o enter into conversation with a thematic What I am interested in is an alternative reading of account of the uidity as well as the impasse of human
statement as concise and as multivalent as Wonder, which the curatorial statement invokes, relationship, as a common threat looms across the
Wonder for a biennale in Singapore, one is promising a thematic radicalism. Reading wonder as minds of the individual characters struggling to cope
hard pressed to ignore the over-riding ethos that have a verb, could suggest a provocative agency, suggesting with living in a foreign country.
shaped and governed a country like Singapore and curiosity or the ability to doubt thus to wonder aloud
how it can delimit the range of responses to a notion is a questioning response. Liew Kung Yu recycles his practices affectation
that is as innocent and open. of Malaysian cultural signiers towards a cynical
Interestingly enough, Malaysian works chosen for replication, in Cermelang, Gemilang, Terbilang, of a
Rem Koolhaas hints that this is the result of exhaustive the Biennale do indeed push the envelop in this kitsch aesthetic that sought not only to amuse but also
and far-reaching developmental programming, known direction a little further than many of the other works. to expose the excessive garishness of our national
as Asian modernity, which has produced a nation Perhaps in choosing these works, a form of curatorial visual language. Drawing elements of the Malaysiana
based on a systematic constructedness, one in which displacement is unconsciously articulated, from the into a constructed image plane, the installation
newness and progress is so totalising that even its apolitical Singapore to the socially engaged neighbour. regurgitates our nations limiting vocabulary of the
sense of history is inevitably articulated in these spectacular in a pronouncement that intensies the
deterministic terms as artice. Positioned in close proximity, artworks by Nadiah absurdity and vulgarity of such designs and through
Thus to programmatically read Wonder as an Bamadhaj, Liew Kung Yu and Sherman Ong formed its spectacle, its wonder, exposes the ideological
experience that could potentially introduce an an axis that was engaging enough to challenge the underpinnings of our visual culture.
element of indeterminacy into a cultural space such prevalent lull of the apolitical aestheticism at work in
as Singapore, in which randomness is completely the City Hall, a historical building designated for the But this awareness of the social and the curiosity of
eradicated, one cannot but feel that what is offered new National Art Gallery of Singapore in 2013. Malaysian artists that led them towards articulating
as wonder in this latest incarnation of the Singapore such concerns in their art are nothing new to
Biennale might be a calculated experience, safely Nadiah Bamadhajs works included her video Beyond Malaysian contemporary art. In fact one could argue
elicited from the concepts association with chance or Recognition as well as a number of her paper collages that to some extent, certain methodologies and
probability, t for general consumption. from her recent solo exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, models within this discourse have already exhausted
Surveillance. From the conscription of landscape as a themselves in the two decade long history in local art
It is not surprising that quite a number of selected textual tabula rasa through which colonial discourses development. But what could be its signicance in the
works are purely optical tease, almost like magic tricks are written upon (in Beyond Recognition) to the Singapore Biennale?
or sleight of the hand productions, designed to elicit a examination of Malaysian built environments as a
sense of amazement and just that. Some examples: The programmatic structure that delimits the formation of I suspect that the impossibility of such agency in a
pretension and posturing of a oating Wittgenstein text specic identities (from Surveillance), Nadiahs works country like Singapore could very well have been
in an aquarium tank lled with water. A sandy eld vigilantly probe at the discursive labour of man upon displaced curatorially, so that Malaysia could be the
stuck with little black cut outs resembling a forest of his environment on the assumption that neutral spaces, neighbouring cousin onto which is projected the
trees that was painted with colour on its ip side. The even in nature, do not exist. Wonder in this instance possibilities of contestation, enactment, critique. They
mis-translation of a light projection Beware of God, is a disciplined examination of the cracks and anxiety perform what is promised but sorely lacking in the
almost irrelevant in a country that (still Asian) cannot, that allows us to expose the artice that governs our 2nd Singapore Biennale, wonder (to doubt, to wonder
by large, appreciate the artworks postmodern irony. Of limited subjectivities. aloud) as an aesthetic means to rethink and relook.
course the Biennale claims to offer more.

NOV / DEC 2008 | ISSUE #00 SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW


11
Relocations I Roopesh Sitharan

T
he initiative to present Niranjan
Rajah and Hasnul Jamal Saidon
as part of ISEA 08 derives from
the necessity to highlight the signicant
contributions of these artists to the
development of electronic art in the
South East Asia at a time when ISEA is
making its debut in this region. Founded
in the Netherlands in 1990, the Inter-
Society for the Electronic Arts (ISEA) is
an international nonprot organization
fostering interdisciplinary academic
discourse and exchange among
culturally diverse organizations and of the specicity of the video as a medium while at the same
individuals working with art, science time looks at the depth of the Malay psychic. This results dynamic The exhibition had online:
and emerging technologies. video works that could be located on several levels of reading and http://www.12as12.com/relocations and ofine
critique. It subtlety invokes lessons for cultural re-examination of (gallery space) presence. Although these two spaces
This exhibition is conceived under Malay identity amidst the rapid technological change induced by are paradoxical and contrast in nature to each other,
the sub-theme of locating media the wave of globalization and deals with the effects of cross-cultural but these aspects are relevant in presenting the works
of ISEA 08 as the curator attempts paradox with the introduction of telecommunication technology. of the artists, both conceptually and logistically.
to recall and relocate their works The online and ofine exhibition conceived in an
amidst the evolving global discourse Meanwhile Niranjan Rajah is a conceptual artist that made a interdependent format through the use of web-
of electronic and new media arts. trajectory to the Internet medium. He deals with sharp ideas of cam and online video technology. The exhibition
Indeed this exhibition highlights the representation by carefully relocating the mainstream art practice, successfully highlight the integrated efforts by
broad and concerted efforts of both theory and history into the hypertext modes of representation. Hasnul Jamal Saidon and Niranjan Rajah as they laid
artists in constructing, deconstructing Through the use of multimedia technology, he reiterates the ready foundation for future New Media artist from the non-
and reconstructing the relationships of made iconic images from historical and cultural junctures to western part of the world-be it in the form of artistic
art, culture and technology in order to question the meaning of art. This depth of questioning is strongly practice or intellectual inquiry. For the exhibition
locate the emerging new media within rooted within his strength of knowledge in art history and theory, catalog, please get in touch with:
non-western art practice, and inversely, adding layers of meaning and context to his works. Gallery 12 at 03-4023 4128.
to locate non-western electronic arts on
the global platform. This exhibition ts
coherently with the aims and ambitions
of ISEA in expanding to become a
meaningful global symposium that
engages with diverse perspectives
and narratives on electronic arts. The
exhibition is named relocations to Electronic Art of Hasnul Jamal Saidon and Nirajan Rajah.
characterize the critical repositioning
in the works of these artists as well A partner exhibition of ISEA08, Singapore.
as to symbolize the idea of curating
new media in the constant ux of
redenitions and questioning that is
apparent contemporary electronic art.

Building upon the insights of visionary


Malaysian artist and theorist, Ismail
Zain, Hasnul and Niranjan endeavored
to explore, understand and locate new
media technology amidst the cultural
and social realities of Malaysia and
South East Asia in the mid 1990s. The
exhibition recalls the efforts of the artists
by relocating their contributions during
this period within the global narrative of
electronic art as well as presenting their
recent works.
Left:
Hasnul Jamal Saidon, Fictional Dialogue
Computer Animation In Video Projection On Corner of
Hasnul Jamal Saidon is a video artist Gallery Wall
1997
who explores his medium in terms of
contemporary Malay socio cultural Right:
Niranjan Rajah, Video Reux
context. He displays an acute awareness Website/Installation
2007

SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW ISSUE #00 | NOV / DEC 2008


12

SeniArt.Info: Suara Baru


Seni Kontemporari di Lembah Klang I Faizal Sidik

S
eni Lukis Kontemporari kini bukan Saya merasakan mungkin dari petikan di berkumpulan, kandungan di dalam SeniArt.Info meliputi juga bicara seni dan
lagi hanya berpusat di bandar- atas tadi itu juga telah menjadi sumber jelajah pameran bersama kurator, wacana dengan ahli akademik dan penyelidik
bandar besar dunia seni seperti ilham dan insprasi bagi Warhol dalam seni, koleksi kolektor. Tidak adil sekiranya fokus SeniArt.Info terhadap aktiviti artistik
New York dan London yang dikatakan menggunakan teknik sutera saring seni lukis di Malaysia hanya berlegar-legar dibandaraya Kuala Lumpur dan tidak di
art centre malah sejak sepuluh tahun silksreen ke dalam hasil karya seninya kawasan-kawasan lain jadi disini saya menggunakan nama yang sinonim dengannya
kebelakangan ini dengan meletusnya dengan menamakannya sebagai fast iaitu Lembah Klang iaitu kawasan bandar-bandar utama yang terletak di atas laluan
ekonomi di Asia seperti di Asia Timur, painting. Walaupun begitu dalam Sungai Kelang seperti Hulu Kelang, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Shah
Asia Barat dan Asia Tenggara ia telah esei ini saya lebih berminat untuk Alam dan sehinggalah berakhir di muaranya iaitu Klang. Lembah Klang tidak boleh
menular apa yang dikatakan dunia mempertemukan tentang bagaimana disamakan dengan New York kerana mereka mempunyai pusat-pusat seni utama
seni sebagai kawasan periphery atau penyalinan semula imej yang seperti di kawasan Chelsea, SoHo, Lower East Side dan Broklyn jadi mereka perlu
pinggiran seni. Malah menurut dari diperkatakan oleh Benjamin tadi dan kepada pembahagian-pembahagian itu.
sumber yang dikeluarkan oleh rumah bukannya untuk dieksploitasikan oleh
lelongan seni kontemporari Christies artis tetapi tujuannya ialah kepada Kemampuan suara baru di era digital ini mampu untuk melajukan kegiatan seni
dan Sotheby bandaraya pasaran seni masyarakat atau khalayak seni dalam terutamanya seni lukis kontemporari. Media digital ini bukan sekadar membuka
selepas New York dan London sebelum melajukan kegiatan seni disini. wadah baru dan diharap ia dapat mengimbangi media penyiaran arus perdana
ini di tempat ketiga terletak di Paris yang lebih berminat dalam memberi ruang yang luas seluasnya kepada seni popular
kini telah bertukar arah ke Hong Kong Bercakap tentang kelajuan kegiatan seperti rancangan muzik di stesen-stesen mereka. Semoga media alternatif dalam
dimana Paris jatuh ditangga keempat. seni kita tidak boleh mengelak daripada memprojekkan kegiatan seni kontemporari ini satu hari nanti akan menjadi satu siri
Artworld kini telah melangkaui membicarakan tentang perkongsian yang dinanti-nantikan seperti juga hiburan popular yang lain.
sempadan geogra yang mana dahulu maklumat secara atas talian di dalam
dianggap sebagai seni orang Barat kini internet. Salah satu contoh enjin
lebih bersifat antarabangsa, dengan pencari maklumat seni bervideo adalah
kewujudan media baru seperti internet YouTube, disini adalah tidak perlu bagi
dalam menyampaikan maklumat saya untuk memperincikan mengenai
perkembangan seni semasa. siapa pengasas atau penciptanya tetapi
apa yang penting adalah fungsinya
Media atas talian atau online seperti dalam mendekatkan jarak melihat
.com dan .net kini telah menjadi pameran yang terletak diberibu-
budaya popular yang baru dalam ribu batu jauhnya dari tempat kita
urbanisasi bagi masyarakat bandaran disini. Walaupun cara persembahan
yang mementingkan kepantasan didalam paparan terutamanya dari
maklumat. Jika dahulu masyarakat segi pergerakan kameranya dianggap
hanya boleh mencapai maklumat masih amatur tetapi menurut seorang
selain berkomunikasi secara lisan, artis konseptual New York iaitu Lucas
kemudian menerusi media massa Samaras yang menyatakan bahawa
secara cetak seperti suratkhabar dan walaupun ia iaitu kameranya bergerak
majalah sebelum munculnya media secara gerila tetapi ia lebih jujur dengan
elektronik secara visual dan verbal apa yang diperlihatkan kepada audien.
seperti radio dan televisyen. Mungkin
inilah yang diperkatakan oleh Walter Dalam memenuhi ketandusan media
Benjamin dalam esei yang mengegarkan cetak seni lukis dalam menyampaikan
seni dan budaya pada zamannya iaitu maklumat seni terkini, ia telah
The Art in the Age of Mechanical mendorong pelancaran sebuah laman
Reproduction pada 1937 dimana web info seni dalam bentuk video yang
katanya Penyalinan semula dengan berkonsepkan seperti YouTube iaitu
penggunaan jentera terhadap karya seni, yang dinamakan sebagai SeniArt.Info
walaubagaimanapun kini merupakan http://www.seniart.info. Laman web
sesuatu yang baru. Ia membuka sejarah yang berbentuk tv web ini memberi
baru dan merupakan satu lompatan fokusnya empat pemain yang utama
ke satu era baru tetapi yang lebih dalam dunia seni lukis itu sendiri iaitu
mempercepatkan dan melajukan artis, galeri, kurator dan kolektor. Walau
kegiatan seni. dimanapun dunia seni itu muncul
namun pemain-pemain inilah yang telah
Penulisan Benjamin dikatakan telah dan akan mengerakkan kitaran seni itu
melangkaui zamannya sehinggakan sendiri terutamanya yang menghidupkan
idea-ideanya masih segar bersama seni enjin-enjin kegiatan dan program-
kontemporari yang masih hidup hingga program yang berlaku di sekitar Lembah
ke hari ini dengan pelbagai genre- Klang.
genre yang lahir dari bentuk baru seni
halus seperti seni persembahan, seni Selain pembukaan dan perasmian
pemasangan, seni video, seni digital. pameran artis secara solo atau http://www.seniart.info

NOV / DEC 2008 | ISSUE #00 SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW


13

ANDERSON & LOW


Anderson & Low are currently
working on a ground-breaking new body of
the concepts of
colour work around
identity, culture, and costume
that explores a hybrid art-form
involving photography, graphics, and
calligraphy. This exciting new project, drawing
heavily on contemporary youth culture, was
conceived and photographed in Malaysia, and is being
curated and prepared for an exclusive premiere presentation
National Art Gallery of Malaysia (Balai
at the
Seni Lukis Negara) in 2009.

Icons: Zulkii Yusoff I Daniel Chong

T
he Icons exhibition at Wei- made a long retreat into the gardens of
Ling Gallery marks Zulkii Academia. His dedication to teaching
Yusofs (b.1962) rst local solo at UPSI also led to another grand honor
exhibition in eight years. Given his fame as he became the rst person to be
for pioneering installation art or the awarded the National Academic Award
quality of his expressionistic painting in the visual art category in 2007. As
and sculptures, the National Art Gallery such, Zulkli Yusof is a shining example
has regularly featured his work in its of the alpha artist who actively passes
thematic exhibitions. For a younger on his proven skills to the younger
generation art audience like me, it was a generation. This professional sacrice
chance to nally witness the full nesse counters two major myths. One is the
of, what I would regard as, a tiger in negative adage that those who can, do;
the jungles of Malaysian art. and those who cannot, teach. The other
relates to the image of the avant garde
Reading from the handsome hardback who has to constantly rebels against (Details) Zulkii Yusof, Different Culture
2008
tome launched in tandem with the any institutions and runs alone or in just
show, I was duly impressed with the fact in small packs. His success reects the
that even before graduating from UiTM, possibilities of making positive changes
this Kedahan had already captured top from within the system.
prize for the National Art Galleries
Young Contemporaries Awards in 1988. With this new production of 10
By 1997, Zulkii was at his prime. His paintings and 6 hanging sculptures at
magnum opus Dialogue 2: Dont Play Wei-Ling Gallery, Yusoff fully re-emerges
During Maghrib was a colossal 16 x 20 into the savage elds of contemporary
x 10 meters mixed media installation art. Can he survive or thrive as
that bought him to the prestigious 47th successfully as a decade before?
Venice Biennale and was shown as
part of the Modernities and Memories: The intelligent tiger patiently observes
recent works from the Islamic world its prey before the kill. Over the years, (Details) Zulkii Yusof, Dari Mata Turun Ke Hati I
2008
exhibition. Zulkii Yusof has moved on to develop a
systematic formula that follows the steps
It was at this pinnacle of his professional of reading, thinking, and researching
international artistic career that Yusoff before making the product (rTrP). His

SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW ISSUE #00 | NOV / DEC 2008


14
study of Frank Swettenhams Malays juxtapositions that can lead to readings political situation and the many In a work entitled Bobby, the text in
Sketches (1895) forms the basis for a that are both profound and comical tumultuous effects of Industrialization the catalogue states that the artist
series that features a variety of icons at the same time. The unique blend and Post-Colonialism still reverberating regards this painting as a warning for
salvaged from archival images. In their of Pop, Expressionistic and modern throughout the world, it makes sense the Malaysian lm industry, a message
original form, historical image, texts digital graphic aesthetic the artist has then that these paintings will not make to wake up before history repeats itself.
and objects are usually left on their concocted also explains the strong easy living room decorations but On reading this, I realize that our tiger
own gathering dust. The artist here energy the paintings exude. For an important contributions to a healthy is also facing such dangers of extinction
g y
thoroughly p
art historical reference point, imagine debate on Malaysian society and as the digital revolution and commercial
revitalizess the Warholesque family portraits
por
or of culture. capitalistic graphics dominate our
them Redza Piyadasa charged wi it a high
with current visual environment. As open to
throughh dose of Nirmala Shanmughalingam
Shanmugh h or Thankfully there are also the sculptures internet research and digital media as
variouss Rauschenb b
Rauschenberg. to serve as vital counterpoints. Whereas the brave Yusoff is, this tiger and many
the different binaries states in the 2D others have not fully embraced new
Dee
Despite the paintings and their rich meanings media and are living in a fast shrinking
m
muted require viewers to look actively for jungle. The google fact is that icons
colours a sense of balance and harmony, the today means tiny graphic symbols on
and the sculptures are calming in the simplicity electronic devices. More ironic was
minimal of their shapes and the way they that his monumental 240 x 240 cm
presence suspend in mid-air. As fascinating as canvas piece was still smaller than the
of it was to rediscover the many images laser printed PVC canvas advertising
painterly Yusoff has uncovered, I eventually his exhibition outside the gallery. It is
gestures, realize that these sculptures are the thus clear to me that something urgent
the series real icons of the show. As time moves must be done before our artists and art
ca have
can forward and leaves all famous people, become nothing but curiosities in a zoo.
unns
unsettling objects, events and places behind, Without abandoning the challenges of
effecct when
effects what is most easily passed on to the reality, I hope Malaysians artists will
viewed d in one future is the essence of our past. If the further explore the limitless planes of
Pe
sitting. Perhaps it is 2D paintings are powerful in the way cyberspace and the many opportunities
complee
the complexities of they stimulate questions on identity and for a creative existence there.
composiit
the compositions, or memory, the 3D works seem to quietly
sill
the way the silkscreened call for us to see the world from all sides
photos of spears,, banana and remind us to hold on to the basic
obb
ower and other objects often humanistic lessons of history.
morphed into violent abstractions.
With the countrys current restless (Details) Zulkii Yusof, Dari Mata Turun Ke Hati II
2008

Program BSLN I
Perasmian Susurmasa Perasmian Majlis Pelancaran Program Minggu Malaysia 08 Program Merakyatkan Seni Program Majlis Rumah Terbuka
Setem Khazanah Seni Visual Sempena Perayaan Regatta Lepa Malaysia Tadau Kaamatan
Negara

Lokasi : Balai Seni Lukis Negara Lokasi : Balai Seni Lukis Negara Lokasi : Potters Fields Park, Lokasi : Anjung Lepa, Lokasi : Padang Merdeka,
Tarikh : 15 April 2008 Tarikh : 28 Ogos 2008 London & Galeri La Bandar Baru II, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Gallaria, Pall Mall, Semporna, Sabah Tarikh : 1 Jun 2008
Sejak ditubuhkan pada tahun 1958, London Tarikh : 18 - 20 April 2008
Balai Seni Lukis Negara (BSLN) Himpunan tetap Balai Seni Lukis Tarikh : 30 Julai - 3 Ogos 2008 Perayaan Majlis Rumah Terbuka
berperanan sebagai penyokong dan Negara mengandungi karya terbaik Penyertaan Cawangan Promosi Malaysia Tadau Kaamatan tahun
pendukung kuat perkembangan pelukis tempatan dan luar Negara Penglibatan BSLN menerusi program dan Pemasaran menerusi Program 2008 mengetengahkan satu pesta
seni lukis moden Malaysia. Bukan yang dihasilkan seawal abad ke- Minggu Malaysia 08 di Potters Merakyatkan Seni, sempena seni dan budaya yang berteraskan
hanya menerusi program-program 19 hingga kini. Karya yang dipilih Fields Park, London merupakan Perayaan Regatta Lepa ke 15 perpaduan dan kebahagiaan
yang dianjurkannya seperti untuk dijadikan setem berdasarkan suatu ruang dan peluang dalam dilihat sebagai satu mekanisme dalam satu suasana harmoni yang
pameran dan pertandingan seni, perwakilan kepada tema gurative melonjakkan peranannya sebagai yang terbaik dalam usaha untuk kaya dengan pelbagai kesenian
malah menerusi usaha mengumpul, dan landskap yang dipersembahkan institusi seni yang terunggul mempromosikan BSLN ke segenap tradisi masyarakat Sabah, dengan
memulihara dan memperagakan dalam gaya seperti realisme, dan sebagai satu penghormatan rantau dan ragam masyarakat. dirai dan dinikmati oleh semua
karya-karya seni lukis. Bersempena eksperesionisme dan kubisme. kepada sambutan Jubli Emas 50 Pengisian seperti pameran lukisan lapisan masyarakat. Penglibatan
dengan sambutan ulangtahun Jubli Pelukis yang diberi penghormatan tahun BSLN. Kesempatan ini turut pelukis Sabah, permainan, interaktif BSLN adalah menerusi aktiviti
Emas 50 tahun BSLN, telah di untuk Majlis Pelancaran Setem memberi laluan kepada BSLN dan demonstrasi seni lukis telah Pertandingan Mewarna, Seni Kolaj
adakan satu pameran mega iaitu Khazanah Seni Visual Negara ini mengadakan pameran bertemakan menjadi tarikan utama BSLN dan Seni Arca. Aktiviti ini, mendapat
SUSURMASA yang julung-julung adalah Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal SEMESTA di Galeri La Galleria Pall dikunjungi ramai pelawat dari sambutan yang menggalakkan dari
kalinya di dalam lipatan sejarah menerusi Karya Semangat Ledang, Mall. Ternyata pameran ini telah pelbagai peringkat umur. pengunjung yang hadir di kalangan
BSLN menampilkan sebanyak 3700 Mendiang Datuk Chuah Thean Teng berupaya meletakkan hasil karya kanak-kanak, pelajar sekolah dan
koleksi dari pelbagai bidang karya menerusi Karya Musim Buah dan pelukis tempatan di tahap yang ibubapa.
untuk dipamerkan kepada khayalak. Abdul Latiff Mohidin menerusi Karya lebih berprestij.
Pameran ini dipaparkan mengikut Pago-Pago. Majlis turut diserikan
semasa iaitu era Prasejarah Dan dengan upacara memotong kek
Peribumi, Empayar Pelayaran Dan ulang tahun Jubli Emas BSLN dan
Perdagangan, Warkah Berlukis, pelancaran Buku SUSURMASA.
Jelita Malaya, Karya Ikonik dan
Kontemporari Dan Idea Baru.

NOV / DEC 2008 | ISSUE #00 SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW


15

Cover Artwork : Artist

Marvin I never really got down to write an artist statement


because there is always too much to say and explain
Chan at any given time (I will much rather talk).

To paint is a lifes choice.


I think that if we were all responsible
enough to make life decisions we
should be able to justify our actions
with what drives us. Mine is painting.

For me, painting is my process of


making an experience either in an
emotion or a story. By placing images
together and reworking them to
assemble observations and thoughts on
the canvas.

It may not have much impact on


changing the way the world thinks with
the kind of exposure art can afford. But
I guess we will never know for sure
when, we can only plan against the
arbiter, Life.

In the absence of guilt, 2008

Program Merakyatkan Seni (PMS) Program Bersama Pelanggan, Kota Program Festival Flora 2008 Program Apresiasi Seni dan
Majlis Rumah Terbuka Malaysia Bharu, Kelantan Budaya
Gawai, Dayak 2008

Lokasi : Stadium Perpaduan, Lokasi : Padang Perdana, Lokasi : Berjaya Times Square Lokasi : Universiti Teknologi
Kuching, Sarawak Kota Bharu, Kelantan Tarikh : 28 Jun - 14 Julai 2008 Petronas
Tarikh : 14 Jun 2008 Tarikh : 11 - 13 July 2008 Tarikh : 4 - 5 Ogos 2008

Mengambil pendekatan dengan Balai Seni Lukis Negara yang Bertemakan ora-fauna bermula BSLN turut memperluaskan
Konsep Rumah Ruai adalah diterajui oleh Bahagian Perhubungan pada 28 Jun hingga 14 Julai 2008 jaringan komunikasi ke pusat-
paparan kepada program PMS kali Korporat telah mengadakan Hari bertempat di Berjaya Times Square. pusat pengajian tinggi menerusi
ini. Program ini turut memberi Bertemu Pelanggan sempena Pameran ini turut didokongi dengan penyertaan di dalam Minggu
peluang kepada BSLN untuk Program Jiranku Keluargaku yang kerjasama pelbagai pihak lain seperti Apresiasi Seni dan Budaya yang
mengendalikan aktiviti pertandingan dianjurkan oleh Kementerian ASFON, FUJI FILM MALAYSIA dan diadakan di Universiti Teknologi
Seni Arca menggunakan bahan- Perpaduan, Kebudayaan, Kesenian Tourism Malaysia. Petronas, Tronoh. Usaha ini dilihat
bahan terbuang disamping aktiviti dan Warisan. Bahagian Perhubungan sebagai satu pendekatan yang
pertandingan seni lukis untuk Awam BSLN mengambil peluang positif kerana mempromosi dan
kanak-kanak dan seni kolaj. Aktiviti ini, mendapatkan maklumbalas dari menyerlahkan peranan BSLN kepada
ini mendapat sambutan yang pengunjung yang berminat tentang pelbagai kumpulan sasaran.
menggalakkan daripada kanak- seni, disamping menyediakan
kanak dan pelajar-pelajar sekolah borang soal-selidik kepada orang
yang datang. ramai dan memberikan keterangan
serta pendedahan berkaitan dengan
BSLN.

SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW ISSUE #00 | NOV / DEC 2008


16
Activities I
Contemporary Art in Schools (CAIS) Project in Sekolah Vivaldi-The four Seasons by Thota Tharani at Artspace,
Menengah Stella Maris, Jln Robertson, off Jln Pudu. Kuala The Gallery. (2008)
Lumpur. (30th Aug to 6th September 2008)
Art in India has always been
This project intends to open the door of contemporary art to students, by inspired, synthesized and presented
allowing them to experience as well as to understand the creative imagination of in classical, folk and contemporary
contemporary artists in a closer view. Ever since the popularity of Modern Art, art styles. ARTSPACE THE GALLERY
has evolved into two major tendencies, that is the expanding of aesthetic context intends to exhibit the whole range
(e.g. absurd, fashionable, favorable and etc) and the developing of art form (e.g. and richness of Indian art while also
photography, lm making, internet and etc) with especially the combination of hosting cultural activities in Malaysia
art with different disciplines such as psychology, mass communication, sociology and other countries in the region,
and so on, which results in the various including Australia and New Zealand.
and diverse forms of arts in creative This inaugural show brings to Kuala
connotation. Lumpur from Chennai the celebrated
Indian artist-director Thota Tharani.
Hence the curatorial committee has His works allow artists, critics and
invited artists to participate in this connoisseurs of Indian Art and south
exhibition and organize several related Indian cinema and insight into the
activities such as guided tours, artists creativity Thota Tharani has injected
presentation and art talks during the onto the silver screen and canvas.
exhibition with the intention of creating
an environment that reects the
contemporary art scene and a journey
of humanities for the audience. The
Pavilion KL Promotes Environmental Awareness through
objectives of this entire project are to
Recycled Art Kuala Lumpur. (10 to 14 October 2008)
provide an educational platform for
In an effort to promote
contemporary art and artists. The second
awareness of environmental
is to create an audience participatory
conservation, Pavilion Kuala
exhibition space and nally to encourage
Lumpur (Pavilion KL), National
exchange and interaction.
Art Gallery Malaysia and
The signicance of CAIS is valued in the
The Star are proud to present
method in which the next generation is reached, informed and educated about the
an art exhibition titled Art
importance of contemporary art. The project sets an atmosphere and experience
With A Heart 2008 a
unlike that of traditional gallery, but rather a location where students get to coexists
festival using Art as a form of
with the artworks daily, allowing them to simply engaged with the artworks on a
expression. Hence, this festival
regular basis in a familiar environment. In addition to that, a series of activities was
is aptly themed, Re-creation:
held to provide the audience insights into the identity of contemporary art. Artists
Art and Sustainability. This
involved in this project are Ahmad Fuad Osman, Amanda Heng (Singapore) Au
festival proves that we can
Sow Yee, Chang Yong Chia & Teoh Ming Wah, Chuah Chong Yong, Dean Linguey
effectively communicate an
(Australia) Erica Eaton (USA), Fahmi Fadzil & Azmyl Yunor, Kok Siew Wai, Lim Kok
important message artistically
Yong, Low Yi Chin, Ooi Kooi Hin, Shia Yih Ying, Tengku Sabri & Mastura Abdul
with a loving and caring
Rahman, Vincent Leong, Wong Hoy Cheong and the Stella Maris secondary school
attitude. Artists who took part
community.
include MistaWhy, They, Tan
Hui Koon, Nuriman Manap,
Palestine! Art exhibition Khairul Shoib @ MEME,
2008 Tan See Ling, Maslin Ramly,
Zila Zain, Lisa Foo and Mah
Art is the expression of ideas of SuSim. The art exhibition
an individual for the other. The hosted at Bintang Circle (level
art works offer an opportunity to 2), Pavilion KL from the 8 to
enter into an exchange with the 14 October 2008 features selected art pieces and sculptures of Malaysians artists
viewer, a non verbal dialogue. and art students from four local colleges using mainly recycled materials. Their
Art is communication beyond the works prove that a piece of waste can be turned into something more meaningful
borders of language. Thus, this and priceless.
exhibition offers the viewer the possibility to engage in a dialogue with the artists
on a particular subject, which is Palestine. Art pieces displayed at the exhibition have been put on sale to help raise funds
for organisations and bodies which support nature conservation and sustainable
The Malaysian Social Research Institute (MSRI) hopes that this exhibition, as an development. We would like to urge concerned organizations and individuals
expression of Malaysian support on the International Day of Solidarity with the to donate generously by purchasing these high quality art pieces. Most of the art
Palestinian People on 29 Nov 2008, will resonate in the viewers minds and pieces are specially made for this festival.
translate into active support of the Palestinian cause in the search for justice and
peace. After 60 years of dispossession, bloodshed and suffering, after 40 years of There was also an art competition and a contest on October 11 for children from 7
harsh Israeli military occupation, the Palestinians deserve to live as free citizens in to 12 years old using mainly recycled materials. These activities are meant to raise
their own viable state of Palestine, and the rst step for this is an end of the Israeli the prole of artists in Malaysia and to promote both recycling and art development
occupation and siege of the West Bank and Gaza. in the country.

Artists who took part are Avroco, Ahmad Fuad Osman, Azliza Ayob, Kamal Sabran,
Aisyah Baharuddin, RAT, Saiful Razman, Nur Hanim Khairuddin, Rahmat Haron
and many others.

NOV / DEC 2008 | ISSUE #00 SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW


17
National Art Gallery Publication 1. TENG: Satu Penghargaan
TENG: An Appreciation
RM 70.00

2. SUSURMASA - Senilukis
Malaysia Bersama 50 Tahun
Balai Seni Lukis Negara
Timelines - Malaysian Art With
50 Years National Art Gallery
RM 100.00

3. KOLEKSI SAYA : Rahime Harun


RM 70.00

4. Masterpieces From The


National Art Gallery Of
Malaysia 2002
RM 150.00
1 2 3
5. Bapa Seni Lukis Moden
Malaysia
Father Of Modern Art In
Malaysia
Abdullah Ariff 1904-2004
RM 120.00

6. Antara Merdeka
RM 35.00

All publication can be purchased at


the Gallery Shop located at National
Art Gallery.

For enquiries please email to


osmi@artgallery.gov.my
4 5 6

ARTIST MEMBERSHIP
Artist Membership is open to professional visual artists working in any media.

Coming
Soon..

SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW ISSUE #00 | NOV / DEC 2008


18

The Passing
of a Giant
of Modern
Malaysian
Art

Datuk Chuah Thean Teng or Teng as he is known the world over, passed away
peacefully on the 25th of November 2008 at his residence cum art gallery,
Yahong Gallery in Batu Ferringhi, Penang. Celebrated as the Father of Modern
Batik Painting, Teng shot to international prominence and put the then Malaya
1912 - 2008
on the map of the art world in the late 1950s when he single handedly
transformed Batik, an indigenous craft of this region into a new form of modern
ne art. Born in the province of Fujian, China in 1912, Teng came to Malaya
at the age of 18 and settled on the Isle of Penang. He dabbled in many trades
before deciding on becoming a visual artist. He formed the famous Penang
Art Studio (1960-61) with his illustrious contemporaries the late Kuo Ju Ping
and Tan Choon Ghee where they taught and shared ideas and skills with many
students who went on to become well known artists today.

He was honored with a rare solo exhibition at the National Art Gallery, Kuala
Lumpur in 1965 and was also the rst Malaysian to have his artwork entitled
Two of a kind 1965 selected by UNICEF to be printed as greeting cards in
1968. A pioneer of a new approach to a timeless medium, Teng was also well
known for his subject matters, which focuses exclusively on local peasants,
proletariat and the charming life of kampung living. His style of painting
was inuenced by Pablo Picasso and later by Paul Gauguin. Since his rst
successful solo exhibition of his unique batik paintings in Penang in 1955
followed by Singapore (1956) and later Kuala Lumpur (1957), he has exhibited
extensively oversea in countries like United Kingdom, the United States, Japan,
Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Switzerland, Canada, Brazil, Vietnam and
numerous others.

The National Art Gallery of Malaysia is to honor him again as a gesture of


appreciation and mark of respect to his outstanding contributions to art and
culture with an exhibition entitled Teng: Malaysia, My Inspiration which will
showcase many of his early works in various mediums and his batik paintings.
The exhibition is open to the public from December 2008 till February 2009.

The National Art Gallery offers its deepest condolences to the family of the late
Datuk Chuah Thean Teng. May God bless his soul and may he rest in peace.
Malaysia has truly lost an extraordinary artist and an outstanding patriot whose
ingenuity forged a visual language that combines the best of east and west,
of craft and art, both indigenous and international, one that we and future
generations to come can proudly claim as truly Malaysian.
Datuk Chuah Thean Teng leaves behind three sons Chuah Siew Teng, Chuah
Seow Keng and Choy Siew Kek who are all established artists in their own right
and two daughters Eva Chuah Geh and Chuah Geh Bee. He was 96 years of
age.

NOV / DEC 2008 | ISSUE #00 SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW


19

UTSAV 2008
Artspace, Bangsar
17 November - 31 December 2008
11pm - 7pm

DRAWING THE LINE:


SCULPTURES BY AMIN GULGEE
Galeri PETRONAS, KLCC
25 November 2008 - 18 January 2009
10am - 8pm (closed Monday)

LIMADANSATU
Kebun Mimpi Gallery, Bangsar
23 November - 21 December 2008
12noon - 8pm
(closed on Monday & Public Holidays)

CROSSING BY YEOH KEAN THAI


Shalini Ganendra Fine Art,
Artworks by 2007 Awards winner: (top) Josaia McNamara, Mapfara, Bright Eke The Private Gallery
(boom) Jignassha Ojha, Sadia Salim, Akuzuru 11 December - 21 December 2008
By Appointment Only
Commonwealth Foundaon Internaonal arts residency programme:
An opportunity for arsts from Commonwealth countries to develop
new skills, gain internaonal experience and share their culture. THE YEAR THAT WAS
Apply online or download an applicaon form at: Wei-Ling Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
www.commonwealthfoundaon.com/artrecidency 1 December - 29 December 2008
12pm - 7pm : Monday - Friday
Commonwealth
Applicaon dateline 1st March 2009 Foundation 10am-5pm : Saturday
By Appointment : Sunday

HERE AND NOW


Pace Gallery, Petaling Jaya
12 December - 26 December 2008
11am - 7pm

EXHIBITION OF SASARAN
INTERNATIONAL ART
WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS
Exhibition Hall, Wisma SGM
The residencies aim to increase mutual understanding between people from
dierent cultures through arsc exchange, and give up and coming arsts 21 December - 28 December 2008
opportunies to learn skills that help them develop their livehoods as arst. 11am - 6pm
In 2009 the Commonwealth Connecons residency programme (previously the
Commonwealth Arts and Cras Awards) will enable promising visual arsts from LOCALS ONLY
Commonwealth countries to spend me developing their art and sharing their
pracce in onother Commonwealth country.
Gallerie TAKSU, Kuala Lumpur
15 January - 29 January 2009
All professional visual arsts from Commonwealth countries are eligble to apply 10am - 6pm : Monday - Saturday
for the 2009 Commonwealth Connecons residency programme. For the rst
me photography and performance art are eligible categories. By Appointment : Sunday
(Closed on Public Holidays)
The dateline for receipt of applicaons is 1 march 2009 and six residencies,
worth up to 8,000 each, will be awarded for periods of between three and nine
months. RBS-MALIHOM ARTIST-IN-
For further informaon, please visit: RESIDENCE PROGRAMME
www.commonwealthfoundaon.com/artresidencies EXHIBITION
Commonwealth Connecons is part of the Culture Programme of the Royal Bank of Scotland Gallery, Penang
Commonwealth Foundaon. 9 December - 18 December 2008
Commonwealth Foundaon 930am - 4.30pm : Monday - Friday
We are an intergovernmental organizaon supporng the work of charies, not (Closed on weekends)
for prot and non-governmental organisaons, culture praconers and other
part of civil society in the areas of human development, culture, communies
and livelihoods and governance and democracy. The Foundaon is supported THE 2ND PUTRAJAYA
by Commonwealth governments, and raises addional funds from instuons,
corporate donors and individuals to support its growing work programme. NATIONAL WATERCOLOUR
COMPETITION: 2007/08
www.commonwealthfoundaon.com The Annexe @ Central Market
Culture Programme Tel + 44(0) 207930 3783 26 November - 14 December 2008
Commonwealth Foundaon Fax+44(0) 20 7839 8157
Marlborough House Email e.dcosta@commonwealth.int 11am - 7pm
Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HY Web www.commonwealthfoundaon.com Commonwealth
Foundation
United Kingdom

SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW ISSUE #00 | NOV / DEC 2008


20

A No 2, Jalan Temerloh, Off Jalan Tun Razak, 53200 Kuala Lumpur.


T 603 4026 7000
F 603 4025 4987

NOV / DEC 2008 | ISSUE #00 SENIKINI MALAYSIA ARTNOW W www.artgallery.gov.my