So Saturday arvo saw me revisiting old clan haunts and heading to where my historical homies used to hang out – in the wilds of Kampung Datuk Keramat. If you grew up here, you’d know Bukit Keramat where Taksu Gallery is located was the posh bit, where the rich folks stayed in big bungalows. The gallery’sÂ latest exhibition Boleh! however is far from elitist and non-inclusive. We got a sneak peak.
The weekend of 27 and 28 MarchÂ was designated open day for Boleh!, set to run here until Sunday April 11. Aiming to shineÂ a spotlight on some of Malaysia’s brightest contemporary artists, the first image to sucker punch me in the sockets as soon as I steped through the bungalow’s big wooden door was Justin Lim’s ‘We Want You’.
Now I know Justin is a musician, has dreads and isÂ often spotted hanging out at Palette Palate and Cloth & Clef, but I had no idea he was an artist capable of producing artwork of this caliber!Â 2 acrylic on canvas and mixed media on perspex pieces, the other, included what resembles a self portrait,Â and is entitled ‘The End Is Near’.Â According to Suherwan Abu, Founder and Director of the Gallerie Taksu Group, Justin is working on completingÂ the series for an upcoming exhibiton slated for end of the year here at Taksu. Something to look forward to. By the way thoseÂ 2 illuminated globes on the subject’s head in ‘We Want You’ is a reflection of the light fixtures.
I’m not gonna pretend to know art;Â I dont have an art degree, my only qualification is that I have eyes, but I know what I like and this is it. By Hoo Kiew Hang, ‘Bane Krakt BatmanÂ Series I’ and ‘II’Â look like they should be spun and meditated upon. Me? I’d meditate on how to increase my disposable income.Â A steal if you’re an art collector, which according to Suherwan is the profile of most Malaysian buyers, unlike in Singapore where buyers tend to be Interior Designers looking to snap up pieces for commercial buildings, rather than individuals.
Having said that there was a terrific camo style pieceby Wong Chee Meg called ‘A Meter Away’ which was the average monthly salary. Not too far out of reach, erm … a meter away perhaps. Anyway I’ve not shown it here cause I’ve got to leave you with something to go check out yourself. Below is Bane Krakt BatmanÂ Series I. I’m now meditating on what it would look like in my living room….
Staying relevant to the current art trend, adapting to changes in technology and society brings out visually compelling artworks that transcends, has no boundaries, or perceived conceptions, so goes the description for Boleh! And nothing encapsulates this ideaÂ more than this piece below by Daud Rahim. Which vaguely resembles a seriously messed up experimentÂ in DIY. ‘When Ikea plans don’t work this is what happens’. Except that’s not really it’s title. It’s ‘Metal Worm’.
While there were a few mixed media pieces upstairs on theÂ second levelÂ including a bizarre sketch of a lion-tiger hybrid, dominating the small space were various metalwork creations including pieces from Ali Bebit and Nizam Abdullah. Sadly I don’t have the artistic sense to appreciate metal sculptures; statues in squares tends to be my limit. Matt Armitage, who I went with saidÂ Pak Teddy by Aznan Omar reminded him of the Bearbrick series.Â Oh wait!Â Teddy is wearing a petai neck-tie!Â
Malaysian art’s time is now,Â explained Suherwan at the opening. Having seen art ofÂ Indonesian and theÂ Filipino originÂ enjoy acclaim,Â he isÂ thrilled to note that Malaysian art is at the brink of getting its due. Already instrumental in the increased presence of the work of Malaysian artists in the region,Â he wants the Gallerie Taksu group, which alsoÂ manages art spaces in Singapore, Jakarta and Langkawi (as well as Le Meridien Hotel KL’s “Unlock Art” programme) to be part of the process of pushing theÂ Malaysian art movement forward.
An image of Showhand 3 by Kelvin Chap opens this article. Other works I haven’t shown hereÂ include a rumination on durian balls, wooden flight cases as canvases, and what dad did with hammers. So go! You won’t regret it, and the grounds of Taksu Gallery are lovely!
Taksu Gallery is located at 17 Jalan Pawang, Keramat Hujung, 54000, Kuala Lumpur. To get there, take Jalan Ampang from KL towards Ampang, exit to the left on Jalan Jelatek before Great Eastern Mall. Take the 1st left and keep heading down this one way street until you come to the junction at the Keramat Market. Take the right which loops back towards Jalan Jelatek. The turning up to Bukit Keramat is on the left just before the park. Jalan Pawang is sign posted after this.Â Boleh! continues till Sunday 11 April. Selected works from the preview will be showcasedÂ at theÂ Boleh! show held at Taksu Singapore on Saturday April 24. Among the artists exhibiting are:
Hoo Kiew Hang