The presentation at Art Central 2017 aims to highlight a breadth of divergent practices illustrating a broad range of material concerns and conceptual focus by featuring recent works of emerging Malaysian artists. The artworks demonstrate the dynamic artistic and creative energies from Malaysia in practices that tackle varying issues such as, abstraction in painting, the Malaysian folklore and identity as well as the transient nature of life.
The Malaysian identity is explored in Anne Samat’s wall-mounted mixed media sculptural works that bridge the foreign and exotic to the everyday. Through assemblage and a host of weaving techniques, she mixes domestic objects with traditional craft to create works that draw influence from Malaysia’s tribal culture versus life in the suburbs.
The urban landscape proves to be a source of inspiration for the artists working in urban areas. Taking the form of drawing as a method of contemporary story-telling, Penang-based Hasanul Isyraf Idris’s mixed media drawings recycle and remixes regional myths and folktales with street and graffiti art. Popular culture and urban life in Malaysia are re-interpreted through a personal lens and articulate narratives which address existential issues such as life and death, sin, reward and love. While Haffendi Anuar’s sculptures and wall-works are informed by the urban fabric and vernacular architecture of Kuala Lumpur with the collective idea of progress as a fleeting and unstable notion. Modular and geometric in their forms, when the singular painted panels are playfully constructed in groupings, they visually echo recognizable figures and objects.
Working in the veins of gestural abstraction, Yeoh Choo Kuan’s self-coined “Fleshing Abstraction” paintings display tactile surfaces and luscious expressive brushwork. Exploring the qualities of paint in an intuitive manner, the scratched surfaces of the paintings allude to subject matters that are intimate, violent and humourously dysfunctional. Manipulating layered paint, Yeoh suggests evidence of aestheticized violence lurking in our daily lives.
Art Central 2017, Hong Kong