Exhibition Showcases Malaysian Art
The exhibition examines the cultural-political tapestry of contemporary Malaysia and the common ground that bonds it to its neighbouring countries.
All artwork is selected and arranged in collections of well-known artists who use different styles and materials. These collections reflect both the style of the individual artist and the broader category of Malaysian fine art, which is influenced by the UK, other Western countries and its neighbours in Southeast Asia, including China, India and Viet Nam.
“Malaysian art and culture have gone through many changes since the country united and joined ASEAN. Artists attempted to reconstruct the formal convention of art and to represent their own conditions and the dynamic transformations that are emerging throughout Southeast Asia,” says curator Shireen Naziree.
Most of the artwork displayed belongs to artist Abdul Latiff Mohidin, who has been an important patron of Malaysian fine arts since 1960.
Mohidin believes that his artwork always describes two aspects of creation, good and evil, which are expressed as darkness and brightness.
“Forms, colours and spaces of the force of life in my homeland in the Southeast Asian region are no longer products of my imagination or memory. Now I am face to face with them and breathe them in, straight from the source, in the nature of the Malay world,” he says.
The highlights of his collection are two groups of paintings, Pago-Pago, which features pagodas he has visited, and Voyage, a reminder of his continuing journey.
A visitor, Adeline Darrow, has to stop in front of Mohidin’s works.
“As I know, Abdul is not a painter, but also a philosopher and poet,” she says, “his works contain many values on philosophy and humanity.”
“Viet Nam fine arts and artists are highly appreciated in the world and region. That’s the main reason why we chose Ha Noi as the first venue for the exhibition,” says Naziree.
“The similarity in art between Malaysia and Viet Nam helps promote the cultural exchange between two countries,” she says.
The exhibition also highlights the artwork of Shia Yih Ying, Masnoor Ramli Mahmud and Bayu Utomo Radjikin. The variety of media such as oil on canvas, water-colour, acrylic, silk, slide video, photography and mixed media on plywood, reflect an overview of present-day Malaysia.
Galeri Petronas was founded in 1993 by the Petronas Group in Kuala Lumpur to support Malaysian art and create a venue for artists to display their work.
To commemorate the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Viet Nam and Malaysia, the exhibition will run until the end of this month, after which all entries will be displayed in Manila, Jakarta, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur in 2010.
In addition to the exhibition, the organising board also held a presentation on Malaysian contemporary art last Thursday. The same presentation will be held on September 30. — VNS
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