Beauty in black and white – New Straits Times Paper

Two contrasting colours that showcase ingenious creativity. John Tiong takes a look at 20 art pieces by 17 – up-and-coming artists

The theme is minimalism and the colours black and white. It aptly creates that space that helps us break free of mental limitations. White is a spiritual colour that allows our inner self to roam, while black has the property to absorb the negative energy and help us feel the brighter side of space.

This Is It-Black and White exhibition at Core Design Gallery in Subang Jaya, Selangor, is aimed at helping art enthusiasts fill just that dream space in their house or office. It features 20 art pieces of 7 up-and-coming artists whose works encompass mainly wall installation pieces, metal art work, pop art and caricatures of famous people, as well as stone and wood sculptures.

A charming cockerel with an impressive crown sparkles in chromed steel bars, created by Nizam Abdullah. Another star attraction is a metallic house by Azhar Udin, with forelegs in the air composed of scrap metal from a bicycle-screws, cogs and chains.
The exhibition showcases the ingenious creativity of some of the artists. A wooden installation by Sarawak born Anniketyni Madian looks like the pleated black skirt of a dancer in action while Liu Cheng Hua’s The Frame , of mixed media and lighting circuit, exploits nostalgic images of a Kapitan China and wife in costumes. A slew Chinese characters evokes the old days of the tin trade in a piece that looks like a window frame.

Anniketyni, who works as an artist consultant at the gallery, says she spent 2 days to construct her piece and that she loves its symmetry. She prefers three dimensional art. The medium of her piece is pine wood with black furnish. She says the piece can be hung or just placed on a stand.

Safwan Ahmad from Kedah depicts the beauty of Islamic geometry design in his wooden installation. His piece, Alun Melintang, looks like the matches piled up but the whole effect in black is that it reinforces the symmetry of the wooden structures. Safwan says he wants to portray the equilibrium that one can experience in life through his art piece. “It is like a square, to be born, to live and to die-the square of everything good or bad.” He took a week to complete his wall installation piece. The most tiring part was cutting the wood into a similar size and making sure they bore no rough edges, at the same time.

Caricaturist Raja Lope Rasydi Raja Roslan from Beruas, Perak, has been painting all his life. His works are caricatures of air brush and acrylic paint. His set of three caricatures, To Kill a Mocking Bird, comes with a mustachioed Marilyn Monroe mocking two historical figures on both sides- a plump-faced Charlie Chaplin and a bewitching–looking Hitler. He says, the 3 figures are all the makings of the environment they lived in, good or bad. In some way, his large caricature of Michael Jackson (with frazzled hair and a golden glove with three pointed fingers) complements the theme of the exhibition except for the high energy emanating from the painting. There are so many lines that remind one of the waves.

Core Design Gallery curator and owner Scarlette Lee set up the gallery with her architect Tan Chun Hooi to promote local art. She confesses that she absolutely loves the work of the late Datuk Ibrahim Hussein and that she wishes to help local artists in any small way she can.

The exhibition is on till March 31 2011 (10am-7pm, Monday-Friday)


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