GREAT Malaysia Contemporary ART

art expo Sept ’13

ahmad fuad osman
anuar rashid
Scarlette Lee , the director of CORE DESIGN GALLERY, an exclusive boutique art gallery which specializes in Malaysia Contemporary Art, talks to us about the gallery’s new project, the Great Malaysia Contemporary Art (GMCA) Malaysia Art has been very much sought after especially with the emergence of art auction houses or the past 3 years.
What is the current scenario or Malaysia Contemporary Art?

For the past 10 years, Malaysia Contemporary Art has been receiving tremendous awareness and response from art enthusiasts, collectors and public alike. However, due to the lack of proper representation from art dealers, galleries or even agents, the top notch Malaysia Contemporary Art has never been displayed in a major scale event like this to the mass public. It has always been the privileged few who have access to contemporary art galleries and get to collect and amass many pieces of seminal works of art. Due to the lack of the infrastructure in the Malaysia art market, many can only head to the fairly accessible art auctions to select and pick, mostly on the Malaysia Modernist works of art. As for those without access to the information will seek to buy from international art market without knowing that Malaysia does have truly international artists that can match or even superceed the Masriadi of Indonesia or Zhang XiaGang of China, be it in value or quality of work.

What is the concept of GMCA?

For the first time in the Malaysia art history, Core Design Gallery brings together the selected Malaysian Contemporary Artists whose works have the critical value and museum quality through a project known as the Great Malaysia Contemporary Art (GMCA). GMCA will consist of top contemporary artists whose works are critically acclaimed and sought afer. GMCA is a curated exhibition that will showcase the true quality of transforming months of painstaking effort into a seminal artwork.

Which Malaysia Contemporary Artists are involved?
All the Malaysian Contemporary Artists has been specifically selected for being the top in their specific genre from painting to sculpture to installation works.. We have Ahmad Fuad Osman, AnuarRashid, Eng Hwee Chu, Fadhli Yusoff, Hamir Soib, Haslin bin Ismail, Husin Hourmain, Mohd NoorMahmud, Muthalib Musa, Shooshie Sulaiman, fan Chin Kuan and Zulkifi Yusoff.

How will GMCA take the Malaysia Contemporary Art to another level?
Te first GMCA show will take place during Malaysia Art Expo from September 19th to September 22nd at Matrade, Kuala Lumpur. Core Design Gallery will make this its continuous trademark project that seek not only to bring all the top notch Malaysia Contemporary Artists to important art fairs like Malaysia Art Expo but also to international art fairs as a next step. It is time to bring the well-deserved international Malaysia Contemporary Artists to the international arena.

>> Zulkifi Yusoff
is remarkably the second Malaysian to showcase at the Venice Biennale (‘Don’t Play During Maghrib’, 1997,mixed media installation & painting, ‘Modernities & Memories: Recent Works from the Islamic World’). Pahang Warrior is his dual fascinations with history and Malaysian politics. Te entire background of Pahang Warrior is fashioned from strips of canvas that have been printed with Jawi script. Pahang Warrior is a crucial development in this series as it furthers his existing palette with newer, brighter hues. Spaced out at the four corners are the names and references to Mat Kilau, Tok Gajah andBahaman, four warriors during the British occupation of Malaya who were central to the right for independence from colonization. Zulkifli takes it upon himself to underpin how the actions of these figures have given rise to the freedoms and privileges enjoyed by Malaysians in contemporary society.
>> Tan Chin Kuan
Rainy Day is an emotional piece for Tan. Adding to the weight of his tittle and content, Tan has employed a palette of soothing pastels in dark hues to paint an emotionally direct work that express his current emotional state in a newly developed atmospheric technique that impresses an all encompassing sense of thunderous rainfall on the viewer. Tan was born in the Chinese year of the horse and often utilizes it as a symbol when remembering to himself and his reaction to his surroundings or events in his artwork. In Rainy Day Tan’s dead horse describes his sense of being lost as an artist when he first moved to Seremban. He felt his artistic vision was sliding downhill, reflected by the death of the horse. Standing centrally in the canvas, just in front of the horse is a self-portrait of Tan. Despite the heavy rain and animal carcass behind him, and the slightly bowed head stance,the viewer is given the impression of the strength of the central figure and his desire to move forward and rise again artistically
<< Hamir Soib
’One of the prominent members of Matahati, his work has caught the attention of an avalanche of collectors, critics and galleries within the last five-six years. Te Auctionland marks Soib’s return tothe social-political content art. Hamir has painted a large koi fish, in the lateral view. The koi has been used as an icon to represent the ideas of value, buying and selling and the auction market. He depicts the landscape as submerged to reflect the loss of land through excessive development, the initial step in which is always the transaction of buying and selling the land. Environmental concerns and the resulting effect on the Malaysian landscape are a recurring concern for Soib. Commenting that everything is for sale, Soib draws parallels between the glamour of auctions with the chaos and mess of a fish market with the use of the super sized koi.
> > Husin Hourmain
Nota dan Yasin Untukmu is a 2013 mixed media on canvas work by the celebrated contemporary calligraphist Husin Hourmain. Five panels -to refect the five pillars of the Islamic faith- have been worked in the detailed calligraphic style that has last become Hourmain’s hallmark to create a personal tribute to his late father and also speak about the artist on three levels: as a son, as a Malay and as a Muslim. It is setting as a tribute to his late father the artist is using the tittle of the prayer he regularly recites in his memory. Nota danYasin Untukmu shows Hourmain’s tremendous progression as an artist from his triumphant solo “Awal Huruf, Asal Huruf” by combining his previous creative achievements with a development in concept. Hourmain layers both multiple concepts with physical layering of painting and collage to create an impact Qul piece that carries personal and social resonance.

<< Anuar Rashid

has always been a maverick. At a tender age of 20 years old, through his Birth of Inderaputera (1978) #31, Syed Ahmad Jamal, the then director of National Art Gallery declared him as “the new sensation of the Malaysian Art scene, perhaps its brightest star yet”. After a thriving solo exhibition “Wind, Water & Fire (1983) in Kuala Lumpur, he left for Europe on several grants and fellowships. Upon his return to Malaysia in 1986, he completed a mural for Central Market titled Farewell..Home Sweet Home North Star Constellation of Galaxies is the pinnacle of his Mih(raj) series. Here, the golden peacock and his winged horse (artist’s version of Al-Buraq) ascends towards an opening glow of the heavens. Anuar Rashid often claims himself as a story teller combining both myth and mysticism. His skillful use of oil clearly demonstrates that he was able to layer and glaze the bluish hue as if he used watercolor to enthrall the viewers in.

> >Eng Hwee Chu

is a younger generation female artist who emerged during the 90’s and has succeeded to establish a reputation for her highly feminist orientation. Hwee Chu’s use of her well known icons- the black shadow and red figure- are the viewer’s first clue that she has once again created an autobiographical work. Hwee Chu’s inner self, is a dark looming figure in a frightened or heavy stance. Here in Searching-Facing to the New Age, Hwee Chu has chosen to represent her inner self in an energetic position, flying freely across the top of the canvas, reflecting the confidence she has at this stage of her life. Representing Hwee Chu’s true self is the red figure that is central to the painting.
A sense of curiosity radiates from her new red figure; she seems to be appreciating the difference in the value of her new life. Hwee Chu’s identity strongly encompasses her cultural identity as a Chinese Malaysian woman.


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Senikini (Balai Seni Visual Negara) | Issue #20 | Page 26-27



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