24 April until 18 May 2012
About the Show
There would be a big void in the art world today should the name Vincent Van Gogh not be part of it. Given how much his works are now valued, it is hard to fathom that he was a struggling (and starving) artist; having managed to sell not more than two paintings in his lifetime. On hindsight, the strong emotion that exudes from his unique sense of observation was a little ahead of its Post-Impressionist style to be appreciated at the time.
Whether we realise it or not, our world exists within certain sets of societal stereotypes; made up by what the consensus considered as norm. We live within certain boundaries, and for as long as we dance to the same rhythm as the others, we won’t draw too much attention to ourselves.
And we may never achieve much neither. Should we revisit history, we will find that greatness was rarely ever achieved by the conformists. Instead, they occur in the minds of those who dare to challenge boundaries and to question “what if”. Yes, most times they tread a fine line with insanity, but bravo! Had Thomas A Edison given up after a thousand trials, we would still be lighting candles at night. Should the Wright brothers not persist with their lunacy that men could fly, would air travel even exist today?
Sometimes we wrongly associate unpredictability as an act of regression. Every now and then, the consensus reality of a society could benefit from stunts that shake up the stereotype, especially where it has been hiding behind the false safety of numbers. How else better but to do so with art, as creativity is the greatest way to rebellion.
Betty Edwards, in her revolutionary book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, drew theories between drawing and the brain function. The fundamental is this: the brain has two ways of perceiving and processing reality — the left for verbal and analytic, while the right, visual and perceptual. Instead of drawing say, a chair based on what we know of it, Edwards’s method advocates that by suppressing the logic of a chair in favour instead of what we perceive a chair to be visually (four legs, a seat, and a back), the brain would be able to dissect lines, spaces, relationships, lights and shadows individually, and would later combine all these into an exemplary whole drawing of the chair. In other words, to have a clearer perspective, at times we need to force logic aside and give up identifying with what we know (or what we think we do), and opt instead to simply soak in the visuals as they are.
Enters Ahmad Shukri Mohamed, Alicecia Tan, Annabelle Ng, Azam Aris, Azrin Mohd, Dhavinder Singh, Fauzin Mustafa, Haslin Ismail, Ilham Fadli, Low Chee Peng, Mohd Farizal Puadi, Najib Ahmad Bamadhaj, Nasir Che Din, Nizam Rahmat, Nurfadilah Abd Karim, Rofizano Zaino, Shafiee Ramli, Suhaimi Fadzir and Umibaizurah in Sonsang, where norm is a forgotten component. Perhaps with logic cast aside, we would be able to see “as is” and extend the appreciation that Van Gogh lacked in his lifetime.
Let’s get over ourselves, expand our possibilities to enjoy the melodramatic. After all, how can we fully grasp the sweetness of success without ever stumbling across bitter trials?
Ahmad Shukri Mohamed
Low Chee Peng
Mohd Farizal Puadi
Najib Ahmad Bamadhaj
Nasir Che Din
Nurfadilah Abd Karim