Haffendi continues to expand on his New York feature of the same title through clusters of anthropomorphic panel pieces evocative of masks. Displayed as free standing sculptures and wall-mounted pieces, the works come together collectively as an immersive installation in Migratory Objects. A novice mask collector himself, Haffendi first encountered tribal masks through his travels. Having further invested in this interest, the plethora of ceremonial and tribal masks made available internationally through the internet reminded him of the movements and dissemination of seeds, scattered across the globe by the migration of birds.
Haffendi puts emphasis on the translation of cultural artifacts into currency through the use of a wallpaper of lush green landscape captured in Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur. This is reminiscent of the artist’s encounter with an eco-tourism campaign of his homeland Malaysia in Central London during his student days. The seemingly familiar visual of lush forestry set against a foreign and displaced environment sparked in him to survey the idea of the “tourist gaze”, a by-product of commercial tourism posters disseminated for promotion of a country, and how this is being consumed. The panel pieces are the artist’s idea of pixelated Dayak and Iban masks as a result of a fictitious movement, the upload and download of these images through online trade portals.
The series is accompanied by irregular silhouettes of wooden sculptures made up of conjoined souvenir ready-mades, with their surfaces painted over and sanded down. Migration Objects is an object-based presentation that surveys the symbolic mutations of cultural objects, the authenticity of tourist souvenirs and the cultural debris as a result of displacement, movement and digitalization for economic interests.
Haffendi Anuar – Migratory Objects