Art Stage 2016

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Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA) is pleased to showcase a group presentation of works by emerging Malaysian artists which include Chang Yoong Chia, Gan Chin Lee, Haffendi Anuar, Justin Lim, Kim Ng, Liew Kwai Fei, Tan Wei Kheng and Yeoh Choo Kuan, at Art Stage Singapore 2016 (Booth B11), from 21 to 24 January 2016. The fair will be held at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. The artists will be exhibiting recent works, showcasing the diverse range of practices coming out of Malaysia.

Fittingly themed “We Are Asia’’, the sixth edition of Art Stage Singapore hones in on its focus on the region- a characteristic feature of the event as Southeast Asia’s flagship art fair. Accordingly, RKFA’s carefully curated presentation aims to spotlight Malaysian art on a regional platform, naturally extending from last year’s exhibition Malaysian Art, A New Perspective, staged at both its Kuala Lumpur and Singapore galleries, in which the focal point was to introduce the diverse practices recently developing in Malaysia. These emerging artists signal the changing trends and shifting dynamics of the Malaysian contemporary art scene at present; whether exploring figuration or abstraction, they characterize their individual practices by pushing boundaries both through technique, materials and thematic choices.

Although diverging in style and discipline, each artist represents an interesting strand in today’s contemporary art framework and collectively locates their practices within the spectrum of recent developments permeating Malaysian contemporary art. Whilst the artists range from those who have been widely exhibited locally, to some who have exhibited regionally and internationally, RKFA is hopeful to encourage in its presentation of these emerging artists and their challenging works a more prominent space for Malaysian art, leaving an indelible mark on the Southeast Asian scene.

Questions on identity and the nation state noticeably inform each artist’s practice, apart from myriad social and political concerns as inhabitants of an increasingly transforming Malaysian national landscape. Sardonic humour and whimsy, as employed by Liew Kwai Fei, portray complex notions of identity politics with a touch of exuberance. Pop culture imagery achieve the same intent as evident in the works of Justin Lim; constantly deconstructing our social contemporary context. Meanwhile, Chang Yoong Chia employs symbolisms of myth and the everyday, juxtaposing them as commentary on consumerism and how it inevitably influences personal identities.

Comparably, the intricate compositions of ceramic constructions by Kim Ng function as a subtly profound critique on modern life in what is seemingly a repetitive, cyclical socio-political environment. The myth of modernity is given a further interrogation by Haffendi Anuar, whose works take root in the interplay between nature and architecture, the organic and the built environment. The simultaneously personal and political is given a voice by Yeoh Choo Kuan in his representations of the female figure, investing in his practice an inquiry into gender politics and the blatant inequality and sexism still so pervasive within modern Malaysian society. These inquisitions, material and thematic, offer varying artistic approaches of what it means to be a modern-day Malaysian.

It then becomes pertinent to not overlook marginal narratives while conversations on national ideals pervade the mainstream. The painted portraits by Tan Wei Kheng depicting the indigenous people of Sarawak estranged by development, and Gan Chin Lee, of refugee and migrant communities in both their public and private lives, at once function both as intimate portrayals and an unflinching critique of social structures and hierarchies. While the former are native to the country and the latter still largely finding their place, both communities live in the margins of contemporary Malaysian society, despite calling the country their home. Together, these portraits form a profound consideration of the nebulous constructs surrounding the elusive Malaysian identity.

In essence, these artists depict a collective picture of present-day Malaysia, whose art is a portrayal of their affections and affectations as emerging Malaysian contemporary artists.

  Art Stage 2016

Art Stage 2016

21 - 24 January 2016

Booth B11

Level B2,
Sands Expo and Convention Centre,
Marina Bay Sands,
10 Bayfront Avenue,
Singapore 018956.