A Space For The Other

By Veronica Shunmugam The regular gallery visitor setting foot in Galeri Petronas today will be, first of all, roused into curiosity by the colour of its now jet black walls. It’s never been anything but white, made pearly by genteel lighting. Then again, it’s never quite had a show like “The Independence Project”, now six […]

Malaysia at First Sight

By Gina Fairley “Selamat Datang ke Malaysia” is a cultural expo of sorts … on one hand playing off the clichés and truisms in how we are asked to present and think of ourselves, and on the other dismantling the structure of such prescriptions to reveal the fault-lines in such a presentation.” Valentine Willie Fine […]

Rabbits’ Eyes and Seascapes

By Gabrielle Low On January 28th, 2007, the art world’s luminaries and big-spenders converged on the Kuang estate of the architect Hijjas Kasturi and his wife Angela Hijjas. They were there to view and appraise the work of two young artists, the past year’s Rimbun Dahan artists-in-residence. The Rimbun Dahan residency programme provides its artists […]

Drawing Water

By Gabrielle Low An Indonesian artist once pointed out to me the pervasiveness of visual clichés. He said that Indonesian schoolchildren, whether from Aceh or Irian Jaya, always draw the same landscape in art class: A rectangular sheet of paper, divided lengthwise by a horizon line. Rising from this horizon are two green hills, roughly […]

Protocol 101

By Gina Fairley Censorship is a contemporary issue. It is mitigated by a new set of protocols that we are negotiating globally. Goenawan Mohamad’s recent piece on Kakiseni speaks about the recent reactions to Prophet Muhammed’s cartoon representation in the popular press and I raised it recently in relation to biennales. I also discovered, cruising […]

Playing With History

By Beverly Yong As children we are told the names of things – naming is one of the earliest tools we adopt to negotiate our world. We put pictures and sounds and feelings to words, they define people and places near and far. As we grow up things named grow associations, take on deeper and […]

Rise From The Ruins

By John McCarry It was a lovely evening (17 Sep 2005) in Kuala Lumpur – a bit steamy, but it was the kind of steaminess that only added to my sense of anticipation. It was my first trip to Malaysia, and I am embarrassed to admit that my knowledge of Malaysian life up to that […]

Angin Kemarau

By Zulkifli Mohamad Muzium Islam mempunyai persepsi yang agak baik di kalangan pencinta seni tanahair. Kehadirannya di suatu tempat yang begitu strategik, berdekatan Masjid Negara dan bangunan lama Stesyen Keretapi Tanah Melayu, menjanjikan sebuah keindahan yang berbeza. Seni binanya yang moden dan simpel, berasaskan bangunan tradisi Timur Tengah, sekaligus menampilkan perbezaannya dari bangunan lama Stesyen […]

The Political Artist

By Carmen Nge If Wong Hoy Cheong’s exhibition at the National Art Gallery had kept to its original opening date – September 2003 – his response to the sacking and arrest of Anwar and the judicial misconduct that followed would have taken on an entirely different tone. Anwar would still be in jail; it would […]

Nakhoda Tergoda

By Hasmi Hashim Katakanlah, pameran Bakat Muda Sezaman, macam nyanyian merdu dewi laut itu. Kerana tidak mahu tergoda, demi cinta Penelope, Ulysses mengarahkan kelasinya, mengikat dia ke tiang agung. Nyanyian merdu dewi laut akan terus memerangkap setiap kapal yang lalu, dan kepada nakhoda yang tergoda akan lekas-lekas pula mengembangkan layar menuju ke arah suara. Akhirnya […]

Public Hangings

By Yelena Gluzman Galeri Petronas Many people I have spoken to say that the Malaysian art scene is in some or all ways “lacking”, and this perceived lack interests me. I am a foreigner and, as such, I view and react to Malaysian art with the tentativeness of an outsider. But I think it is […]

Koran Nyamuk

By Hasmi Hashim Katakanlah, kita akan membubuhkan nama untuk lapangan seni lukis nasional hari ini, sudah tentu ia bukan medan “Kurusetre.” Ya! Kurusetre: sebuah medan atau lapangan perang antara pasukan Pendawa lawan Kurawa, dalam puncak kisah Mahabrata – penuh tipu muslihat, kemahiran guna senjata, sebuah tragedi, busur yang melepaskan anak panah, akan hujung kisah cinta…  […]

Crawling Toward 2020

By Kam Raslan “My dynamite will sooner lead to peace than a thousand world conventions. As soon as men will find that in one instant, whole armies can be utterly destroyed, they surely will abide by golden peace.” – Alfred Nobel It didn’t quite turn out that way. The Nobel Centennial Exhibition was just over […]

Autonomy in Setapak

By Tan Sei Hon In 1997, a few Malaysian artists took over a spacious single-storey house in Setapak and turned it into their personal studio. Not just as a place to find their muse, but also their rice bowl. When not working on their art pieces, these struggling artists would be constructing bulky items for […]