A poignant tribute to artist’s heritage
THE House Of Sulaiman in Kuala Lumpur was once an actual place. Now, it is a remnant of an artist’s memory. Malaysian artist and curator Shooshie Sulaiman, 40, has explored this theme in her past works, including her installation (Open House) at the 2011 Singapore Biennale.
For her current solo exhibition Sulaiman Itu Melayu (Sulaiman Was Malay) at Tomio Koyama Gallery (situated at the arts hub Gillman Barracks) in Singapore, remnants of a home have been resurrected and transported across the Causeway. She uses themes from the past to reflect on notions of identity.
“By constructing this home in a gallery space and surrounding it with drawings, collages and site-specific installations, I am interested in seeing how distinct Malay and South-East Asian cultures have been shaped and perceived,” says Shooshie about her exhibition.
Every work presented in the purpose-built home is layered with symbolism and meaning. The house itself is modelled after her late father’s home. There is text etched in Jawi and she has kept some soil from her father’s grave. By using several elements of her father’s life, she ties in various elements to explore how history, memory and identity intersect in Malaysia.
What she also displays as an artist is her ease with various materials and her use of artistic approaches. The house is more than a physical structure. It is made complete with things that lie within, including texts, drawings and collages.
Born Susyilawati Sulaiman in Muar, Johor, the artist graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Malaysia’s Universiti Teknologi Mara in 1996. – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network