Friday, 8 March 2013, 8pm
Followed by Artistic Minds, 8.30pm
Venue: Galeri Chandan @ Publika
Duration: 21 Feb – 21 March 2013
About the show
Whatever changes we go through in life, sharing remains an innate defining characteristic of humans. A cognitive psychologist at Yale, Laurie Santos, suggests that this is the very enabling characteristic of mankind to create culture. Storytelling with one another took place long before we could write. We drew pictures and symbols at cave walls before papers were invented. Fast forward to today, we continue to share our stories, experiences and opinions through more advanced channels of radio, television and social media networks. These days, through the likes of Twitter and Instagram, you don’t even have to personally know each other to spread ideas and images.
However, the “human mind meld” is an unfiltered process. Our brains would also automatically process the knowledge and stories of others, and we do this unknowingly. As communication channels get more sophisticated in our world today, lacking proper filters and unawareness of how easily we can be influenced by others start to pose problems.
This concept is also very applicable to art. Art possess the ability to evoke strong reactions from its viewers, as connection is often visceral rather than factual.
Like a good story, art gives us the chance to see, feel and explore through the eyes of an observant artist, who peels through the literal and aptly paints the unspoken and the abstract of the surrounding world.
At times, we may not be able to fully articulate our response but we are able to understand the artist, his artwork and his story. Where speech may fail, a picture could indeed be worth a thousand words.
The great ability of artists to communicate visually comes padded with the responsibility to stir conversations; generate ideas; share insights. In other words, it is to surround the minds of viewers with important messages that they would then meld with others within their circles. As such, for all the power it carries, art has the responsibility to capture the fundamentals and progress of society. But the sharing must be thoughtful, truthful, reflective, as well as appropriately provocative – if there is even such a thing!
And it is for this very reason that art, for the longest times, has shaped culture and drove changes in societies. It was writings contributed by hundreds of intellectuals during The Age of Enlightenment that drove a reform in which we today know as the French Revolution. Platform is an exposure for Adli Nazrin, Ainurfatin Majid, Alif Che Berahim, Arikwibowo Amril, Azzuan Osman, Farihan Mawardi, Fateen Ilani Kamaruddin, Haimiza Johan, Husin Othman, Juliady Rifandy, Mohamad Nor Hakim, Mohamad Ridzwan Mohd Fuzi, Mohd Aliff Ahmad, Mohd Azami Ismail, Mohd Rushdi Ahmad, Muhammad Faiz Ghazali, Nizar Sulaiman, Nor Amirah Kamaruddin, Nor Hidayaah Shahrun, Norhaizan Bais, Nurfarahin Zanel, Raja Azeem Idzham and Sofia Haron to share their works. This is also an invitation for viewers to study the environment, the life of, and the surrounding culture that serve as vital clues in understanding the artists and the works on display.
Flip this understanding to the other side of the coin: are you, as I, beginning to realize how influential we actually are on one another? So how do we ensure this mind meld works to our advantage and to those around us? Ms. Santos said we should “surround our minds with the smartest people.” In fact, it is not an overstatement to say that it is our responsibility to do so for our own good and for the betterment of our society. And the irony is that in our quest of a better us, our imperfections tend to appear just as glaring. Whilst we don’t always like to learn them, there is no other way to grow. What other choice is there but to welcome them in an embrace together with the rest that is beautiful within us?