WORDS FROM THE CURATOR
The first Grande started in year 2014 with the objective of bringing the artists who are at the top of their own genres to create an impactful and exclusive show. While it would have been much easier to tie the visual expressions of all the various genres of paintings, sculpture, installation, assemblage and mixed media together through one specific theme, instead it was more important for me to allow the artists freedom to achieve his or her very own best in subjects that they were truly passionate about.
The Curatorial Steps
The initial step is usually the hardest – to balance commercial interest, yet not follow the market trend of “what sells”. Having a small collection of Malaysian contemporary art myself, I looked at the show from collector’s perspective, asking myself: what would excite the eyes and appeal to the intellectualism of a collector who constantly seeks for seminal or museum standard works?
In our ever-evolving contemporary Malaysian society, the people’s taste in art is becoming even more discerning and demanding than ever. Being a strong advocate of new approaches and exciting visuals, I often challenged the artists to push their strengths to a higher level.
The show started with the conceptualization stage nine months prior to the exhibition, followed by brainstorming of narrative and contextualization during the constant studio visits (which at times dragged into the wee hours) just to formalize thought processes.
Technical fundamentals were and will always be a crucial part of the curatorial process. Exploratory experimentation and development discourse was essential between the artists and me as it formed the basis of understanding the creation process that would lead to the final visual.
To me, curating a show is not merely hanging or arranging the works together after the final work submission. The whole presentation of Grande becomes an artwork – from the flow of the writing to the visual imagery down to the minute design details of the catalogue.
Grande perhaps can be seen as a representation on a smaller scale of the developments and progression of Malaysian contemporary art to date. I hope that in the future it will not only be an important event on the art calendar to look forward to, but also contribute to the overall Malaysian contemporary art narrative and timeline.
Exhibition Dates: May 2016 till Friday, 1st July 2016
Opening night: 21st May 2016, 8.00pm at Core Design Gallery
Officiated by Farouk Khan, Co-Founder of the Aliya and Farouk Khan (AFK) Collection of Malaysian contemporary art