Southeast Asian artists showcase their works across a number of locations
By Dewi Woo
Yim Maline: The Shadow of Change
A survivor of the Cambodian-Vietnamese war, Cambodian artist Yim Maline’s first solo exhibition in Singapore features 12 mixed-media artworks from her ‘Decomposition’ series that reflect on the cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth. The biomorphic figures in Yim’s artworks, together with scorch burns and surface wounds, are her urgent reminders to viewers to record and remember what is left of the Cambodian environment after the war, and how this has left scars on those who bore witness to the conflicts.
Richard Koh Fine Art, Singapore, 7 to 22 June.
This exhibition was the result of a conversation between Belgian curator Philippe Pirotte and Indonesian artist and curator Ade Darmawan, reflecting on Indonesian author Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s 1995 book with the same name. It also showcases works from other artists; namely, Berlin-based artist Zac Langdon-Pole, Singaporean artist Shubigi Rao, New York-based artist Lucy Raven, and Indonesia-based artist Melati Suryodarmo who is well-known for her ‘Butter Dance’. ‘Arus Balik’ reflects on geopolitical, social, cultural, and religious issues. It is NTU CCA’s participative effort in this year’s bicentennial commemoration, which looks back on the history of Singapore.
NTU Centre for Contemporary Arts, Singapore, 22 March to 23 June.
C. N. Liew: Solo exhibition
Hong Kong-based Galerie du Monde, which focuses on modern and contemporary art by prominent Chinese artists, presents a solo exhibition by Malaysian-Chinese painter and calligrapher C. N. Liew. Visitors will get to witness Liew’s artistic development and growth in the last four years through paintings from his series, ‘The Great Form’ and ‘The Great Refinement’. Well-known for his artistic technique of ‘surrealigraphy’ – his fusion of Chinese calligraphy and surrealistic art techniques – Liew explores Zen philosophy and Taoism through his brush strokes.
Galerie Du Monde, Hong Kong, 23 May to 29 June.
Presented as a fictional and complicated megacity without restrictions, ‘City Prince/sses’ is a creative space for 50 participating artists hailing from different parts of the world, including Dhaka, Lagos, Manila, Mexico, and Tehran. Visitors will see a wide variety of artworks from visual artists, fashion designers and tattoo artists. These explore a number of topics concerning inequality, the advantages and disadvantages of technological advancements, as well as other cultural and political issues.
Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 21 June to 8 September.
Wedhar Riyadi: Slices
‘Slices’ is Indonesian artist Wedhar Riyadi’s first exhibition in five years, and his second solo with Yavuz Gallery. The artist presents nine paintings that looks into how mainstream media and pop culture have affected the way people see themselves. With pictures from fashion advertisements and magazines, Riyadi put together collages of outlandish arrangements that show and hide various parts of the human body. These abstract compositions are then remade with oil paints, further illustrating the potentially negative impact that media has on one’s self-esteem.
Yavuz Gallery, Singapore, 25 May to 16 June.
Young Contemporary Awards 2019 (BMS)
Bakat Muda Sezaman, or the Young Contemporary Awards 2019, sees its 45th edition in the National Art Gallery. It gives emerging young artists a platform to showcase their talent. Since its inauguration, the BMS has produced renowned Malaysian artists such as Samsudin Wahab, Lee Kian Seng, Yap Sau Bin, and Fauzan Omar. The BMS is also an initiative designed to measure the effectiveness of art institutions, arts education and its role in society, as well as how art is able to strengthen communities and eventually aid in improving the local arts scene.
The 2019 theme is ‘Freedom’, with a main prize of RM30,000. Five other “special jury” prizes – each at RM7000 – and a people’s choice award, a cash prize of RM2000, also stands to be won.
National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, 6 May to September.