The Malaysian International Diving Expo 2012, from 6 to 8 July 2012, brought together the crème de le crème of the diving scene; booths upon booths were busy pulling in diving junkies; introducing them to the latest diving apparels, gears, technologies and techniques, while convincing them into joining an underwater excursion, beyond any other. But near the back of the exhibition hall, stood a long, canvas laden booth which pulled customers for different reasons.
The Graffiti, Pop & Contemporary Art Show, put together by Canvas of Nature, proved to stand alone not just by the basis of what it was selling, but by the step forward that this company had taken in making it their first exhibition in which they were selling art rather than artists. Canvas of Nature is solely a company which provides artist to companies that require them to draw up a campaign and to design whatever the client needs.
But when it came to this exhibition, they decided that probably it was time to try something a little different. Following closely to the marine and diving theme, the booth didn’t just provide excellently created canvas works, but they also had live showings of the artists creating work and designing scuba gear for customers. Aside from that, the live shows also had art students from three selected schools – SMK La Salle, SMK Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Saito College – designing and selling t-shirts to raise funds for their art clubs, throughout the 3 day event.
Each piece that was on display sought to be executed through the genre of graffiti, cubic, pop and illustrative art. Combining unique techniques, each of these artists brought a different blend of creations to the walls of the booths. Canvas of Nature’s idea for allowing these artistic products was to make art more accessible to the general public, rather than a means to barricade and separate what many claim to be “high culture” or “privileged culture”.
Three main artists that did draw our attention were Ajeem Juxtart, Ano Kayer and Cloak. These three had irreplaceable styles; with their illustrations being nothing flat but intriguing. Juxtart’s art was very illustrative, putting together what we would imagine as children, while leaning closely to Shaun Tan’s (‘Red Tree’ and ‘The Arrival’) illustrations; Kayer’s mix medium of acrylic and spray paint brought to life his jelly fish subjects in whole new ways never thought possible; and the 19-year-old Cloak presented vivid, in-your-face illustrations of treasure chests, men and horses in scuba suits, who stands in front of you, placing you in a very awkward position.
All in all, Canvas of Nature did an amazing job in getting what they wanted out in the open and known. They provided amazing art, stupendously brilliant art shows and an opportunity to those who would, otherwise, not be given a second thought in society.
For more information on Canvas of Nature and the Marine Art show that took place on 6 to 8 July 2012, visit their facebook page.