PEACE PREVAILS

May peace prevails upon all beings on the earth and beyond. You may scroll down to browse the contents of this blog.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

REVISITING CREANOVA


I have been running camps, workshops and lectures on 'creativity' so many times. But I never get tired of doing it. It always refreshes me and gives me more energy. Perhaps it was due to the fact that creativity is fundamentally a healthy quantum state. I've met many different people from various walks of life, from small kids to senior citizens; sparking and receiving their creative vibes, and enjoying every moment.

One workshop that seems to stand out amongst many is the one that I did for this thing called "Creanova" (maybe a combination of creativity and supernova), jointly organised by the National Art Gallery (now, National Visual Art Gallery) and the Malaysia Productivity Center (MPC). 


It was a brainchild of Zanita Anuar, then the Director of something? (sorry, don't remember) at the National Art Gallery (NAG). If I could recall, it had to do with initiating or driving creativity and innovation amongst key movers in the creative industry, including merging both the arts and sciences. Several 'clever-clever' people were invited to speak, including Tan Sri Dato' Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, then the Vice-Chancellor of USM. Sheikh Muzaffar, our 'poster-boy' astronaut was also invited, plus Ike (filmmaker), Izu (designer), and few others. My friend Yap Sau Bin plus few of the NAG's and MPC's staffs also took part. 

Always good for my quantum field to be surrounded by creative people
Azrul, Faridah and the rest having fun with Zip-Zap-Boing
Ai Woei figuring out who she is.
Izu, lost.
Ike(right) and Saubin(middle)

I was given the task of running a short lecture and workshop on creativity, and giving a 'night at the musuem' kinda tour to all the participants. It went very well. I had a good time with the participants. 

Tour of the contemporary art gallery
Looking at MGTF's modern art collection
Tour of the traditional heritage gallery

I was wondering about the follow-ups, which of course, didn't really materialize (at least in a way it was intended originally). Creativity and innovation may not be a very good match with government institutions. One can make a novel chronicling such marriage. Based on my practical experience, I can lament forever on this. It can bleed into a boring and depressing lecture on the fate of creativity (or independent 'thinking') in public institutions. But some other grumpy people can perhaps blog about it (or they had already!).

I'm attaching a response from Zanita on the workshop that I ran. Ya, she is my friend, so her testimonial may not be taken seriously. That's ok. But, I put it here as a way of saying thank you for inviting me to be a part of this project. Words of praises and motivations can sometimes be a very rare commodity when one is working for a government institution.

Even though the workshop may not lead towards it's intended KPIs, I hope it has contributed towards many more intangible vibes that one can't quantify easily into numbers or graphs or charts. 

Pictures tell more words in representing one of many meaningful episodes in my own personal chronicle of creativity (in government institutions), including in converging both the arts and sciences to create a sustainable learning and teaching experience for all. So, I'm attaching as many pictures here. 

My doa to all the participants and thank you again.

"Creanova as an experience was embodied by MGTF. The program presented itself through like-minded individuals in MGTF who (although had not been given a detailed brief by NAG) were instinctively motivated to aspire towards excellence of body and mind. The physicality of the museum space, objects and structures had provided the impetus of a potential energy which the Director of MGTF harnessed and embodied so as to alleviate such energy both the rational and emotional intellect of all participants. I observed great satisfaction even from the greatest. The great Malaysian astronaut, Datuk Sheikh Muzaffar who has scaled such heights of national aspiration and success, actually came down to earth to interact and embrace the simple truths of astronomy again with Assoc. Prof. Chong Hon Yew. It was an experience only a visit to MGTF could have made happen."
(Zanita Anuar)

Visit by Sheikh Muzaffar with my science sifu, Dr. Chong welcoming him.
Malaysian astronaut at MGTF's space station
"That's the cockpit, totally different than the one you were in"
Sheikh Muzaffar signing his picture
Group photo with MGTF's staffs.
Dr. Chong brings Sheikh Muzaffar back down-to-earth. "Wa caya lu Dr. Chong!"
"Thank u brader!"
"Feel the force, and dance with it."
"Everything starts from within"
Zanita having a big laugh
Time for the left brain...tour of the space station by Creanova participants

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

IRRESISTABLE WEAR

October - November 2011, "Irresistible Wear", Petronas Gallery, KL. 


The show is mainly a showcase of works by fashion/textile/costume/shoe designers, and looking at their works as a form of creative and artistic expression, other than wearable form of art.

I was invited, together with Hamid Hassan, to add visual artists' perspectives. I obliged mainly out of honoring my theater, fashion and set design guru, Najib Nor who is the curator. He specifically requested me to join the show to have a visual artist's touch. Thank you Najib.


"Wearing History and Independence", was initiated in 2009 and considered as an ongoing work. It was actualized in collaboration with M.Haniff and Shamsul Ikhmar Mansori. Thank you Haniff and Sham. Initially, I wanted to come up with a new work (based on old ideas in the nineties), "Fashion Parade", but I was too busy preparing for Fine Art Asia in Hong Kong. Had to drop the idea.


The "art we-ar" materials are supposed to be suspended or hanged, but then Najib had a different idea. He used to be my guru, so don't want to argue too much la!
Anyhow, I like the show. Well, I'm all for convergence, in this case, fashion, textile and visual art. The show has a 'different' feel than other typical visual art show. It doesn't shy away from being 'beautiful' and nice to look at. After all, I respect most of the designers involved in the show. At some points, they do work and function like a visual artist.

From a cultural study point of view, fashion and textile products can be read as cultural 'texts' and integral parts of cultural phenomena. Inter-textual approach and trans-discipline projects have always always been parts of Najib's repertoires. I was blessed to be able to work with him way back in the late 80s and early 90s during our 'Centrestage' years with Kak Normah Nordin, aruah Mustafa Nor, Fauziah Nawi, Ladin Nuawi, even Pak Mail (Ismail Zain) used to drop by few times.


For description of the work, can read my blog entry. Or better, get the catalog at Petronas Gallery. 
Would be nice to lit up the cut-out figures above with small LED white light.
Cut out figure of David Brown character with M. Hanif interpretation plus projected pictures of visitors 'wearing history' (from MGTF stock photos of its visitors).
A cut out figure of Tok Janatun character with projected picture of it's ultraman cousin (actually, that was Zam posing).
Japanese soldier in the middle. Do not be mistaken with Mat Sabu's communist.
Also added in, projected image of 'Red Guard' character - perhaps an 'alien', in response to so many 'aliens' invading Malaysia today.
Wearing 'colonialism'. Visitors can pick them up and wear them.

Too bad, Petronas Gallery sometimes feel like a heavily guarded bank, with policemen (security officers) staring at you as if you are a suspected terrorist. Had to discreetly use my daughters' hand phones to snap the pictures.
Wearing nationalism. 
  
Colonial and post-colonialism. 
History up for grab and wear.

 

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

TERBUKA JOHOR DAN KEMENANGAN ABADI



Saya, Sahrizal (Penolong Kurator di Galeri Seni Johor), Prof. Ponirin Amin dan Tan Sei Hon sedang melihat karya-karya seni arca.
Semalam dan hari ini saya di Galeri Seni Johor. Saya dijemput untuk menjadi hakim untuk Pertandingan Seni Visual 'Ritma Johor' anjuran galeri tersebut. Setakat ini sudah tiga kali rasanya saya dipanggil oleh Galeri Seni Johor untuk jadi hakim. Terima kasihlah jemput saya datang dari jauh, terutama puan kurator kecil molek cili padi, Nur Alisa dan pasukannya, Sahrizal (Pen. Kurator), Fauza, Suhaili, Nurul dan lain-lain. Kali pertama dulu saya dijemput oleh Noraini (kurator waktu tu), dia belanja saya beriyani gam.

Datang JB, saya paksa Sahrizal bawa saya makan mee rebus tulang dekat JKR. Ini acara wajib, sama juga macam acara wajib makan ikan dan sotong bakar di Pasar Filipina di Kota Kinabalu.

JB kampung isteri saya, malah Galeri Seni Johor pun tak jauh dari rumah mertua saya di Jalan Che' Besar Zubaidah, Mahmoodiah. Balik JB macam balik kampung jugalah, walaupun ia bertaraf kotaraya. Namun, Mahmoodiah dah semakin hilang bau kampungnya dirobek dan ditembusi lebuhraya yang lalu di pinggir kawasan kubur tempat arwah ayahanda mertua saya bersemayam.

Malah, bangunan Galeri Seni Johor ni pun bangunan bersejarah dan kawasan sekitarnya sangat dekat dengan jiwa Seniman Negara arwah Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal. Sewaktu meneru-ramah di rumahnya dulu, Datuk Syed sendiri, bila disebut nama arwah ayahanda mertua (Kepol) dan bondanya (Tok Ambak), terus bercerita panjang dalam loghat Johor yang pekat. Datuk Syed, ninda dan ayahanda (isteri saya) kesemuanya berjiran dalam satu komuniti kampung yang akrab. Kini mereka sudah tiada, meninggalkan tinggalan sejarah dan kenangan untuk isteri dan saya bermelankoli.

Selain dari kampung isteri, JB dan Johor adalah istimewa di hati saya kerana saya anggap ia sebagai 'the last frontier' (yang ni saya tak perlu ulas la, kalau nak ulas, kena belanja salmon teriyaki dulu). Galeri Seni Johor pun dekat di hati kerana yang menggerakkannya adalah tenaga muda (yang perlu bimbingan dan motivasi) - penuh potensi untuk melakar cerita yang lebih cemerlang dan afdal dunia akhirat.

Bekas Tok Guru dan bekas anak murid, mengapit saya.
Hal penghakiman ni tak boleh lah saya cerita sekarang. Kenalah tunggu keputusan rasmi dari penganjurnya. Lagipun bukan saya sorang je hakim. Ada Prof. Ponirin Amin (bekas Tok Guru seni cetak atau Sifu saya di UiTM dulu) dan Tan Sei Hon (kurator BSVN, bekas anak murid saya di UNIMAS dulu). Phuh....diapit Tok Guru dan Anak Murid, inilah namanya rezeki, selain dari mewakili sentimen, selera dan pemikiran tiga generasi.

Proses penghakiman juga adalah proses pembelajaran, perundingan, perdebatan dan pencarian ilmu. Malah, ia juga boleh dibaca sebagai suatu bentuk pengumpulan data yang boleh membantu saya merenung tentang beberapa perkara berkaitan seni visual, dalam hal ini, di Johor. Dengan Prof. Ponirin dan Tan Sei Hon, tak semestinya saya perlu sekepala dalam segala hal. Namun saya hormat kedua-dua manusia ni.

"Yang tu bagus"
Saya dah jenuh jadi hakim (dan jenuh juga dikomen, dikritik dan dikutuk atas keputusan jemaah hakim yang bukan saya sorang). Kekadang tak larat juga nak layan hasrat sarat padat sendat mereka yang terlalu taksub pekat nak tunjuk kuat, atau mengejar untuk dinobat (sebagai Pemenang). Adakalanya, hasrat 'nak menang' ni lebih tajam gelombangnya dari hasrat 'nak berkarya' atau menyampaikan sesuatu yang amat penting dan bermakna. Sampai adakalanya saya kena telan panadol untuk hilangkan badinya.

Jadi hakim mengingatkan bahawa saya yang sering defisit dalam mencapai KPI akhirat ini akan dihakimi oleh Hakim hakiki yang Maha Bijaksana. Itulah 'bottom line' saya. Saya mendepani kerja penghakiman dalam konteks 'rezeki' yang perlu dibaca dari sudut kuantum (ni pun kena belanja dulu baru boleh ulas). Saya pernah tempiaskan dalam beberapa laporan dan ulasan hakim yang pernah ditulis dulu. Tak payah lah nak khutbah panjang lagi di sini.

Jangan 'tak' pandang belakang
Sebagai 'teaser' izinkan saya berikan sedikit pandangan umum.

Mutu penyertaan kali ini secara umumnya agak menurun jika dibandingkan dengan yang lepas. Penyertaan lepas lebih meriah, lebih berani, lebih berkualiti, lebih inovatif dan kreatif, lebih kritikal, lebih menggamit rasa dan menjentik minda. 

Mungkin ini ada kaitan dengan pengurangan jumlah hadiah utama (dari RM10,000.00 ke RM6,000.00). Mungkin juga ada kaitan dengan pemecahan kategori kepada tiga (catan/cetakan, arca dan batik).

Kalau buat pertandingan dengan hadiah utamanya lebih RM10,000.00, mungkin ulat dalam batu pun keluar dari pertapaan untuk masuk bertanding. Mungkin la. Mungkin boleh dikaitkan kenaikan kualiti penyertaan dengan kenaikan nilai hadiah wang-ringgit. Adakah ini bermakna pengkarya seni visual kita 'mata duitan' atau ia bermakna bahawa realiti berkaitan dengan kos untuk menjana kehidupan berkarya (termasuk menyertai pameran dan pertandingan) bukan lagi murah dan mudah.

Semua benda dah naik, termasuk naik angin, naik darah, naik minyak. Jangan naik mual sudah la. Namun, perkara ini juga boleh dibaca sebagai fenomena budaya yang menarik untuk direnung, selain dari menjadi satu 'hipotesis' yang bagus untuk buat kajian lanjut. Sesiapa yang takda modal bertesis, boleh jadikan ini sebagai topik kajian. Silakan.

Kalau boleh, tulis serupa bikin.
Tak payahlah saya bagi ulasan tentang penyertaan di sini. Lebih baik saya kongsi beberapa pesanan (yang dikutip dari guru-buru saya dulu juga) pada adik-adik bakal seniman atau yang dah prasantan mereka seniman:

Tanamkanlah sifat berani meneroka ide, berani memberi pentafsiran yang baru dan segar terhadap sesuatu tema, perkara, topik, subjek atau isu. Tapi kalau boleh, pastikan bahawa ianya sangat dekat serta berbekas di fikir dan rasa, bukannya yang dikutip dari internet ke, dari blog ke, dari orang mengumpat di kedai kopi ke atau apa saja sumber yang tak boleh dipercayai.

Tak payahlah paksa (atau bohong) diri buat karya-karya bersifat kritikan sosial ke, politik ke, ekonomi ke, agama ke, budaya ke, pendidikan ke, kalau diri sendiri pun tak pernah terlibat secara langsung dengan sebarang gerakan atau aktiviti sosial, politik, ekonomi, budaya, pendidikan dll. Bercakap dan berkaryalah serupa bikin, jangan hanya pandai komen ikut sedap nafsu tanpa ilmu, main balun je.  Nyatakanlah tentang sesuatu yang sangat dekat dan berbekas dalam minda dan rasa, bukannya yang jauh dan cetek. Lagipun saya dah tak larat nak layan hasrat berkarat (mabuk nak dinobat dan berduit lebat) pengkarya hipokrit yang berpenyakit macam ni. 

Tanamkan sifat berani meneroka bahan, teknik/teknologi, kaedah, metodologi, proses yang baru, kreatif, inovatif dan lebih mencabar (yang belum atau jarang dibuat oleh orang lain). Kalau dah mahir dengan sesuatu teknik, bahan, proses dsb, cabar diri untuk pergi lebih jauh dengan kemahiran yang sedia ada.

Bentangkan ide yang mencabar dan kritikal, yang datang terus dari hati dan perasaan yang amat dalam agar dapat menjentik fikir atau menyentuh kalbu orang yang melihat.

Pujuklah fikir untuk beri komitmen yang lebih mendalam. Perhalusi lah sesuatu pemikiran sehingga betul-betul masak ranum (agar enak dan tak datangkan sembelit bila dimakan).

Ajaklah fikir tu menyoal diri sendiri, atau menyoal cara berfikir yang rasanya dah basi, atau dah tak relevan lagi, atau dah mandul atau dah tak membawa manfaat dunia akhirat untuk umat.

Ajaklah fikir dan rasa itu membuat kontemplasi, merenung dan membuat refleksi, mengusulkan tafsiran, bermuhasabah sedalam-dalamnya, menyelam jauh ke dasar rasa dan fikir agar tempiasnya dapat diserap oleh rasa dan fikir penonton juga. 

Ada beza antara 'kenyataan pelukis' dan 'kenyataannya pelukis...'
Elaklah fikir dan rasa yang jumud, cetek, malas dan tergesa-gesa. Janganlah berkarya atas pemerhatian santai atau bersasarkan gosip, tohmahan, lalutan, salakan dan merapuan yang tidak tentu sahihnya.

Bawaklah diri menuntut dari orang-orang berilmu selain dari sumber sekunder (baca buku dll, yang akhirnya perlu dirujuk pada guru juga). Baca buku je nanti bergurukan setan pulak.

Latih dan asahlah fikir tu agar sentiasa tajam (bukan asah suara, pedang atau keris je) terutama untuk mendepani cabaran serta isu yang lebih bersifat sezaman, masa kini dan masa depan. Fikiran bila dah tajam, bila berkarya, boleh bantu asah fikiran orang lain pula. Seperkara lagi, kalau dah tajam, janganlah dibazirkan untuk menikam kawan dari belakang, melukakan orang lain terutama sekali orang yang dah berbudi dengan kita. Janganlah guna fikiran yang tajam untuk jahanamkan segala keindahan, kehebatan dan kebaikan yang Allah dah bentangkan depan mata.

Cabarlah sebarang paradigma yang lesu, juga persepsi yang dangkal atau tanggapan yang tidak mendatangkan faedah pada bangsa dan negara.

Ajaklah fikir dan rasa mengolah karya yang menimbulkan perbincangan agar dapat menjemput ilmu.

Usiklah emosi sendiri agar lebih teruja dan terlibat dengan persoalan yang ingin diungkap. Libatkan jiwa dan raga dengan apa yang diusahakan. Hadirkanlah cinta.

Elaklah buat kerja pakai balun (balunisma), pakai bedal (bedalisma), tak berkiblat, tak bersauh pada fikir dan rasa yang lestari. Padamkanlah sikap berkerja tergesa-gesa saat akhir bila dah nak tercirit, baru nak gali lubang tahi.

Elakkanlah kerja fikir yang cetek, menyalin-semula, atau mengulang-kata (mengajuk) secara visual persis burung kakak tua. Tak perlulah menyalak benda sama yang dah disalak saban hari dalam arus perdana hingga naik mual dan jemu dibuatnya kerana terlalu klise dan stereotaip (dah terlampau banyak diulang).

'Pantomin visual' atau replikasi ini, walau setepat mana pun sebarang penyalinan-semula dan pengajukannya (terutama yang pandai atau terlatih untuk 'menggambar-semula' bukan memberi tafsiran), tidak membawa apa-apa makna kerana tidak hadir dari fikir dan rasa halus pengucapnya.

Elaklah dari terlalu nak meng'ilustrasi'. Lebihkan membuat interpretasi.

Berdepan dengan karya
Kalahkanlah nafsu dan damaikanlah gerak fikir otak kiri dan kanan dalam kesatuan cinta dan talian Tauhid yang mengEsakan segalanya.

Elakkanlah niat nak bertanding dengan 'orang lain', tapi kuatkan niat nak bertanding dengan 'kelemahan, kejahatan dan kelemahan' diri sendiri.

Tanamkan niat nak membuka hijab, mengenal diri dan menambah ilmu agar naik makam batin dan semakin hampir dengan hakikat keTunggalan.

Hayatilah pesan di atas yang boleh memberikan kemenangan yang jauh lebih hebat dari segala bentuk kemenangan yang dikejar setengah mati tak sudah-sudah, termasuklah sebarang pertandingan untuk dinobatkan sebagai seniman agung mahupun seniman paling komersial.

Amalikanlah segala pesan yang dipanjangkan dari guru-guru kita di atas agar kita dapat sama-sama mengecapi KEMENANGAN ABADI, insyaAllah.

Akhirnya....tinggal nama. Balik JB terkenangkan arwah Datuk Syed. AlFatihah dan KEMENANGAN ABADI
buat mu.




Monday, 24 October 2011

WHAT IS OUR BOTTOM LINE?

In business, our bottom line is always money, or how much money we generate, in competition with and comparison to (usually) what we refer to as our 'competitors' or 'the others'.

Last Friday till Sunday, for two nights, I slept at room 317 in the Damansara Specialist Center to be with my mother (she was admitted a day before). As I was looking at my mother laying on the hospital bed, I was reminded of my own priorities in life and the most important question, what is my bottom line? 

When all the things that I have accumulated are reduced into, well.....mere 'things'; when all the 'values' that I have taken as 'me' are reduced into insignificant fragments of thoughts and residues of feelings, what will be the thing that matters most in my life? Will it be money, fame, position and all forms of material possessions that I can claim as 'mine'? Will these matter most when I'm laying on a hospital bed waiting for my time to return to my Maker?

Looking at a series of pictures of Libyan Gaddafi, beaten, humiliated and then laying dead (after being shot) by bunch of people who were probably as bad (or worse than) him, I began to ask the same question.
What is the bottom line of us, of humanity at large, and where are those clashing bottom lines leading us to?

To be at peace, or to be at war (within our own mind or self especially)?

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

PAK LEMAN

SULAIMAN ESA - RAJA'AH
National Visual Art Gallery
Kuala Lumpur

No,this has nothing to do with Raja, my old friend and the long-serving staff of the National Visual Art Gallery or NVAG (used to be National Art Gallery), Kuala Lumpur. Ya I know, a picture of him can be seen right in front of the NVAG's entrance. Too many 'chairs' all over the gallery also added to the confusion. Then there was this 'Kon...sep.....' whatever going on, to again, add to the 'con...fuse...ion' in getting to "Raja'ah."


Ok, now the real "Raja'ah". 

This is a show (long overdue) by one of the best brains in the Malaysian visual art scene. He is a rare (perhaps endangered) species in Malaysia, a visual artist with a sharp mind (that can sharpen others who are willing to poke his mind). He likes to poke others as well, with his intriguing intellectual propositions, never short of paradox, never devoid of healthy debates and possible arguments. He is an icon, a legend, an important character in the narratives of Malaysian modern and contemporary art (at least for me). In him, I sense lingering presence of very special few (Redza Piyadasa, Syed Ahmad Jamal, Ismail Zain), that had sadly left us forever.

He is a true 'guru', a walking encyclopedia, living book, an embodiment of a garden of knowledge (that sadly I suspect, not many want to enter, or endangered, like the titles of his recent works). 

He is Sulaiman Esa (fondly called Pak Leman), established visual artist, academician, scholar, educator, writer.

I was not fortunate enough to be learning under him in UiTM. He was already doing his Phd somewhere in the USA then (Temple University if I'm not mistaken). I came back in 1994 to teach at UiTM after my Masters (for only one year, because I 'tak cukup daulat' - sorry no translation here). Pak Leman was also back teaching at UiTM then. 

I was fortunate to see him in action during a series of assessment for students' projects. I enjoyed his energy and mental dexterity. His energy was infectious (except for lazy and brain dead people). The energy and excitement even bled after the assessment was over, with few students and I hanged out to continue listening to him ranting over many topics. Few students even pondered the possibility of bringing a tape recorder to tape him talking (and secretly used his sermons to defend their works). I enjoyed poking his mind.

Most of all, I liked to problematize his 'Islamic art' premise by asking him where he would want to hang his 'master piece' and how much he would price his work. My mind was naughty (if not cynical), my feeling full with angst and my behavior not short(occasionally la!) of kurang ajar by typical Malay standard then. Unfortunately, it was meant to be a short period. I threw myself to UNIMAS Sarawak after about a year at UiTM. I left Pak Leman and only heard about him from a distance. We only met few times here and there (including during the ALAMI project at the foot of Mount Kinabalu, Sabah). 

Last time I met him was during the DA-C Festival organized by his daughter Suzy, and his 'whiz-kid' son Fairuz. These two fella are really interesting and always make me swell with pride but they need another blog entry. Now is the time for big daddy to reclaim his place and humble us all with his legacy.  
 
Last Tuesday, I drove and traveled more than 800km return trip Penang-KL-Penang to have a quite and quality time with Pak Leman and his "Raja'ah". 

The show needs a bigger space (and better or appropriate budget). It should be 'the only' show happenings at the NVAG, with more time given to dig out and present older works, plus more spaces for new works. He deserves a special time-space, honored to him by the national body, at least as a way to say thank you for his contribution.   

Ana, with her favorite Pak Leman's recent work.


When I was watching the video interview of Pak Leman (with a bad sound quality), I saw a true scholar and intellectual and began to miss hearing his ranting. I would love to poke his mind again (and again....). Somehow, I prefer listening to him rather than looking at his works. His works could be at times, too literal for me to swallow, especially when it comes to blaming the decadent 'west' or bashing the USA. But that's me, and my bias.



Regardless of his Islamic posturing, Pak Leman is still a master colorist, an adept visual composer, a good 'painter', a fluent 'formalist', and....very, very, very....modernist. After all, by default, Pak Leman has been 'mythified' by the white wall of an 'art gallery' ok. A gallery culture (from a cultural study point of view) can be read as a signification of modernist paradigm. It's 'being' has been originated, established, constructed, erected, propagated and sustained by 'western' and 'modernist' paradigm (like it or not, despise it or not, refute it or not, dispute it or not, challenge it or not....I can go on!). 

Sedekah al-fatihah buat aruah Redza Piyadasa dan Usman Awang.
When I went into the seminal "Mystical Reality" re-construction section, I saw myself 'mengarut'(no translation for this too) on video and I wished I could just switched off the projection and just enjoy the reconstruction. The video of those talking heads (including yours truly) was a bit intrusive and imposing. Perhaps a smaller touch screen, and that also only if people want to see and listen (individually with ear phone). Too many clever-clever monologues can spoil the food.


Anyway, I had a good time playing with the paradox. I played with my shadows, post "Mystical Reality".  That empty canvas has now become iconic, and ironic too, since it was supposed to be transient and zen, remember!


I toyed with the empty bird cage, as if I was 'caged' by too many 'official' state definitions and theoretical mumbo-jumbo. I tried to re-enact Salleh Junid's pissing, but my daughters were there. Not good to show confusing example to my kids on how to react to 'a situation' ok. 


The video installation work (in collaboration with his son, Fairuz) needs a bigger (and rounded) enclosed space for itself. The finishing of the carpentry work for the base of the projection screens is bad (like doing it in a hurry). The flooring for the installation also needs better finishing. 
As I was walking out from the top floor space, I could hear Pak Leman's voice (on video). Pak Leman seems to stay young forever. My prayer for you Pak Leman (and your wife Kat, and your family).

Anyway, I have to stop nagging about the show. After all, I was already interviewed by Nur Hanim the curator.
  
I look forward to reading and enjoying the catalog or accompanying book. Of course, it won't be Pak Leman if his writings, his works and whatever he says didn't spark arguments, debates, discourses and discussions. I look forward to that also.

To summarize, it was a long travel, visit and time well spent.
 
Thank you and congrats to Pak Leman (and wife Kat), Nur Hanim the curator and all the team members from NVAG. You guys did a good job considering the time and space given.