Featured under this theme are works which show the interconnected relationship between planned precision and an artist’s willingness to let go and let art make itself.
Self-conscious | Dee Chia Yu Teng
Artist Blocks | Diana Ghazali, Joscelin Chew
Target Setting | Iris Chia
Analog | Jaliza Bte Jamaludin, Siti Nurhidayu Bte Mohd Najib
Working Spaces | Kwok Liwen Beryl
Mechanical Dance | Nur Aqilah Bte Johari
Awake and Unafraid | Suvitha Pillay
As Suvitha Pillay paints, she allows herself to be guided by “feelings, expression, and intuition (internal mental sense).” She delights in the uncertainty and unexpected outcomes that largely informs her art practice.
In a similar vein, the collaborative work by Siti Nurhidayu Bte Mohd Najib and Jaliza Bte Jamaludin thrives on the “unknown” as they experimented with chemicals when processing negatives shot with an analogue camera. What resulted from this par chance are the vibrant abstract images of Analog (2017) and Exuberant (2015).
With Artist Blocks, in the deliberate act of encasing debris in resin, the debris is endowed as a sculptural work with formal characteristics. Diana Ghazali and Joscelin Chew, looked to change the perception and regard given to leftovers in art-making, which otherwise would be discarded. This transformation involves careful selection and a desired outcome.
As part of Nur Aqilah Johari’s investigative and exploratory process, she began by creating robotic drawing machines from everyday objects. Despite her initial structured approach, the challenges in controlling these robots resulted in a state of flux where the maker who is the one in control creates drawing machines that are beyond control.
In contrast to the randomness of robotic drawings by Aqilah, the ink and wash painting by Kwok Liwen Beryl is a result of her formal exploration of the medium. Beryl started contemplating a particular type of space and started sketching office cubicles. She observes that these working spaces seem to manifest the personalities of their occupiers so much so that these sketches can be read as portraitures.
Fortuitous and enigmatic are ways to describe the ink and ceramic paintings of Dee Chia Yu Teng, whose practice ironically hinges on formalistic studies. Through her exploratory studies in water and ink, she seeks an emotional outlet to let herself go and discover the things hidden within her.
“It is within her desire to control, and yet losing control of the media she uses, where Dee, concludes her thoughts on her struggles with being ‘self-conscious’.”
Guo Yixiu, Teacher-curator
Iris Chia also indulges in exploring the formal qualities of ink. However, unlike Dee, she combines the notion of chance with the element of “play”, inviting public participation in her art-making. Mirroring life in the shooting attempts, Target Setting questions the meaning of success and how we measure it.
“Success perhaps does not come easy to some, and when a hit is a bull’s eye, the natural reactions of jubilance and confidence often abound.”
Iris Chia, Teacher-artist
Through the participatory nature of the work, Iris regards her audience as “joint creators” in exploring metaphorically their “priorities, hopes and desires”.
Throughout the two weeks of the exhibition, interviews with 6 selected artists will be posted here. Stay tuned!