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Saturday, 3 August 2013


Honesty can hurt, but only to those who are in denial. Another Tan Sei Hon's classic:

"I derive great satisfaction knowing that those who with their doctorates and masters degree hiding in the ivory towers of the academe, those in the institutions who wear the tag of 'curator' but are afraid to curate, those in art business who meekly recommends safe works to their clients, art writers with their hip jargon but parochial agenda, and collectors with the philistine tastes couldn't make heads or tails of what's going on. Their befuddled, flabbergasted and embarrassed faces when confronted with the works by some of the artists in this exhibition amuses me no end. At the risk of being seen as 'sentimental and naive by weary ironists' I leave you again with a passage taken from Herbert Read's 'Symptoms of Decadence'.

"Art as I have defined it is so intimately linked to the vital force of that it carries society towards ever new manifestations of that life. Art, in its full and free subjective action, is the one essentially revolutionary force with which man is endowed. Art is revolution, and art can best serve revolution by being true to itself" (p 90)

(Tan Sei Hon, "Disjointed notes on contemporary art KL, in Young Malaysian Artists : New Object(ion), Petronas Gallery, KL, 2010, p025)

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