PEACE PREVAILS

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

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

PESANAN PADA DIRI SENDIRI DAN SEMUA DIRI DIRI YG MENDIRI.




Seni visual dan karier hanyalah jalan, bukan destinasi. Keduanya juga adalah 'bayangan' atau 'pembayang' kepada gelombang minda dan rasa yg lebih halus, dipanggil gelombang kuantum dlm bahasa canggih. Gelombang kuantum kita saling bertaut dlm lautan kosmik serba berkemungkinan. Gelombang kuantum kita (fikiran dan perasaan) pula adalah 'bayangan' atau 'pembayang' kepada kualiti lensa jiwa kita, bersih atau kotor. Lensa yg bersih memantulkan bayangan hidup yg bersih dan jelas, lensa yg kotor dan rosak memantulkan bayangan hidup yg kotor dan rosak. Di sebalik segala bayangan permainan mimpi benda (kehidupan material atau fizikal), kita carilah 'cahaya' yang mengizinkan segala rencah bayang ini di
SAKSIkan.

Mari kita bersyahadah.




PESANAN LAGI, JUGA BUKAN DARI PENAJA.

Daripada mengutuk di belakang, lebih afdal cakap berdepan. Kalau hati sakit, luahkan berdepan. Kalau tak setuju, komen berdepan. Jika cakap, luahan dan komen kita tak diterima, no problem. Mohon Allah beri petunjuk pd insan yg kita cakap, luah dan komen, dan juga beri petunjuk pd kita sendiri. Cakap, luahan dan komen atau pandangan kita pun tak semestinya betul setiap masa, tempat dan keadaan.

Friday, 22 March 2013

EXTINGUISHING KL-CENTRICISM

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.193645497345936.43836.100001014620306&type=3

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.193171374060015.43655.100001014620306&type=3

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.188982467812239.42107.100001014620306&type=3

Kl is not Malaysia, especially to those who claim themselves as experts and writers of emerging practices in Malaysia. The are also interesting explorations of creative practices that have taken place and are taking place outside KL, done by young people who are not KL-based wokay.

EXTINGUISHING THAT FIRE.


https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=366259976751153&id=100001014620306&set=a.356242084419609.80262.100001014620306&__user=100001014620306


Nature is essentially cyclical, not linear - birth, grow, mature, giving birth to new life, old and return back to the Source. What appears to be linear is merely physical manifestation. Every new emerging phenomena is a re-birth of previous phenomena, all fundamentally coming from One similar Source. So, let us estinguish any egoistic and self-centric paradigm based on a very linear, mechanical, sequential reading of time. Such reading can spread like a rapid fire. In addition, such reading only yields materialistic take on making and doing, instead of loving and living. It is rooted in a higly imbalance view that sees knowledge as only to be experienced objectively through empirical, tangible, quantitative, sequential and linear means. This view reads 'human progress', including the arts, artists or creative practices in a very linear way, thus the deployment of terms such as avant garde, pioneering, trend setting, emerging and so on so forth to imply 'progress'. It is a very modernist and mechanical construct of time, reducing humans and their living into separated compartments, with separate functions, fiercely competing for dominance and control. Such reading is 'anti-fitrrah' or againts the grain of nature. Such reading will only intoxicate us with snob and superficial claims like being the pioneer, the founder, the trailblazer, the father of this and that art movement (i know abou this toxic for sure, I was tagged as one!, and felt snobbishly high), emerging this and that. Instead, try to approach what we do as a form of recurring practices, with its fundamental nature or potentials already inherent within all of us humans since the beginning of time, only waiting to be manifested in new forms through any of us. Would be more humbling to utter phrases such as, rejuvenating, returning, reflowering, rebirth, revisiting. Such terms are much more closer to our own shared cross-cultural and rich heritage and philosophical legacies. They may return us back to our true nature, inter-connected, intertwinned interdependence in a vast infinite cosmic ocean of energy. 'Berhijrahlah sayang, demi masa mu'.

YANG TER'BUKU'


https://m.facebook.com/4oh4.php?id=100001014620306&_rdr

Yg lama terbuku dah tertunai. Kebun Rupa MGTF sedang diisi. Kalau sudi, nak berkebun minda dan rasa, silalah singgah. Kalau pemurah, silalah sedekah buku buku berfaedah. Kalau ada ilmu, dtglah bagi kuliah. Boleh saya dan anak anak buah dpt barakah. Bahan bacaan dan rujukan di Kebun Rupa adalah pelengkap khazanah Koleksi Seni Halus USM. Koleksi ini sudah dirangkai secara digital dan atas talian dgn laman web MGTF(Muzium & Galeri Tuanku Fauziah), pangkalan data dan sistem multi-pengurusan 'real-time' dipanggil reMMS. Ia memudah dan meningkatkan lagi kualiti pengurusan koleksi dan kerja kerja penyelidikan berkaitan Koleksi Seni Halus USM dan seni visual. Dua tahun mengusahakannya, kini dlm peringkat ujian, hasil ihsan dana penyelidikan jangka pendek yg takkpun mencecah ratusan ribuan RM. Juga dirangkai dgn penerbitan 'flip book' atas talian di ISSUU, sebagai strategi menjimatkan kos dan meluaskan akses ilmu. Kalau masih tak cerdik juga para pelajar seni visual di IPTA, tak tau la nak buat apa lagi. Masa utk saya 'offline', menyingkap 'cahaya' 'in between the lines'. Salam kasih utk bakal pekebun rupa yg harapnya dpt membenihkan taman ilmu yg lestari.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

PESANAN BUKAN DARI PENAJA

Adik-adik oi, seni visual adalah sebahagian dari budaya visual. Budaya visual adalah sebahagian dari sistem bahasa. Sistem bahasa mentadbir dan menstabilkan makna-makna sepunya, utk dikongsi oleh penggunanya. Sistem bahasa dan makna-makna sosial diamal, diguna, diwacana, diregulasi, dikawal, ditentu dan dikekalkan oleh struktur perhubungan kuasa ekonomi, politik dan teknologi. Ada pelbagai sistem bahasa dalam budaya visual, bergantung pd pelbagai jenis struktur perhubungan kuasa, dari yg mikro hinggalah makro, lokal-global, tempatan-antarabangsa. Yg dikatakan makna tu, termasuklah yg menentukan kriteria bagus tak bagus, bernilai tak bernilai, bukanlah berpusat 100% pd pengkarya seni visual atau karyanya, tapi terletak pd bagaimana para pemain utama dalam struktur perhubungan kuasa ini mewacana dan memaknakannya. Oleh itu duhai adik adik bakal penggerak seni visual, sesekali, cuba-cubalah intai sikit struktur perhubungan kuasa ni. Janganlah hanya terlalu terkepung dgn kerja kerja studio, proses, teknik atau penghasilan produk seni visual je, ok dik. All the best.

Monday, 11 March 2013

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU ENTER YOUNG CONTEMPORARY ART COMPETITION?

What you need to know before you enter Young Contemporary Art Competition?

1. Must have CONflict. No conflict, not CONtemporary la!.
2. Must got TEMPER, to be in tuned with conTEMPERory society.
3. Must be in CONTEMPT to any CONTEMPorary gomen people or  
   institution or establishment.
4. Must be this OR that OR here OR there, not really sure about 
   your contempORary reality at all.
5. Must be TEMPTING, so that you can attract collectors, hip 
   conTEMPorary audience, or better, judges.
6. Must be in TEMPO with the trend of today, if not, you will be 
   considered out of conTEMPOrary.
7. Make sure whatever electronic or new media gadget you use is  
   ON, if not, not cONtemporary ma!
8. Install something TEMPORARY, because most conTEMPORARY 
   installations are so big and impermanent they have to be 
   trashed away after the exhibition and competition(especially 
   the losing ones)
9. If u can CON a bit here and there, may be you can survive in 
   such CONtemporary challenges.
10.If not, contemPORAhhhh, !!!!!! Don't bother to take part.


TAKPA NANA.



Takpa Nana, memanfaatkan bakat, pengalaman dan ilmu utk dikongsi dgn semua manusia dari merata dunia, tak perlu ada gelaran dr., atau Prof., Prof.Madya mcm yg menulis ni. (Its ok Nana, making use of your talent, experience and knowledge to be shared with all people from all over the world, does not require a dr., Professor or Associate Professor taggings like the one who is writing this) As usual, u humbled my ego in your own special way. Wa caya lu Rozana.

WHAT'S YOUR MEDIUM OF EXPRESSION

Yes sir, as a matter of fact, facebook and blog have become my medium of expression. And ya, my expressions are not limited to gallery visitors only, wokay. 

IN CONVERSATION WITH HAMIDI HADI


Reflective hero, 2013.

Midi, if i may share. A guru-friend once told me that for a very very brief moment before thinking and feeling set in, we experience the light. After that, its ego doing the looking. Of course, then comes 'explanations' and namings, such as beautiful, nice, or for some, romanticism, exoticism, cliche, so on so forth...... Some would refer to it as a 'veil', that obscures us from seeing beyond forms. I would accept it as a part of our built-in package. As long as we are aware that we are essentially witnessing or experiencing the phenomena of light (energy) in which we r a part of, InsyaAllah our veils will be uplifted, and our mouth will utter 'masyaAllah' or 'subhanallah' without the filterings of ego as , similar to what u did with your fingers as u typed in your words or brush your canvas with paints. Salam my fren. 

Terima kasih,Guru. Peringatan dan nasihat. boleh share ke ?. "Cahaya" dan "hati". kerana Hatilah yang menyerap cahaya dan memantulkan cahaya. Dlm perkataan lain Qalbu. Apa yang terkesan dari luar itulah refleksi diri .Seperti yg en sebutkan Cahaya,process of doing and looking,"Veil" /hijab, experiences. Klu Menurut Imam alGhazali, Hati ibarat telaga mencermin . kalau ia nyatakan telaga dh tentu ada air dan permukaannya berolak/ ripple ,memantulkan pelbagai bentuk benda yang menuju padanya sehingga tampak bayangan bermacam bentuk itu silih berganti, tanpa henti. . Allahualam. saya baru berlajar.. tapi kadang kala Alpa,Lupa...Cermin kdg2 tak berapa bersih,kelabu disalut debu (Veil)...
(Thank you. Teacher. Reminder and advise. Can I share? "Light" and "Heart", because it is the heart that absorbs the light and reflects it. In other words, Qalbu. What we see outside, is a reflection of our inner self, like what you refer to as light. Process of doing and looking is a veil, including experiences. According to Imam alGhazali the heart is like a reflective well. If he referred to well, certainly there must be water with rippling surface, to reflect many forms of things until we see so many shadows in myriads of interchangeable forms, non-stop. Only God knows. I am just a beginner, but sometimes I forget to 'reflect', sometimes not very clean, grey with dust (veil).)

Midi, penerangan merujuk AlGhazali itu amat tepat dan selalu dikuliahkan pd saya oleh ayahanda saya menerusi kitab kitab kuning lusuh dia. Waktu tu saya remaja dan byk merapu bukan dengor sgt. Sekarang ia timbul kembali. Dari situlah lahirnya siri ' Hijab Nurbaya', 'Hijab Seorang Pelukis' dan 'Kocak di Fukuoka' yg semuanya dah jadi tinggalan dan tanda perjalanan.
(Midi, your reference to AlGhazali is right on the dot and was always lectured to me by my father through his old yellowish books. I was a nonsensical teenager then, I didn't really pay any attention to what he said. Now it came back. From there, "Veil of Nurbaya", "Veil of An Artist" and "Ripples of Fukuoka" were born, all of which have become signposts for my journey.)

Terima kasih, semoga semua meperolehi kabaikannya ,sama-sama. wokey.
(Thank you, hope we receive God's blessing together, ok.)

Saturday, 9 March 2013

THE RITUAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL MODERNISM AND THE SEEMINGLY INVISIBLE STRUCTURE BEHIND IT

Corporate hero, 2013.


The combination of vibrant studio, gallery and curatorial practices in Malaysia can create its own brand of language and discourse. It can become a form of generic 'cultural practice', thus observable as a subject for cultural studies and critical theories.

Here is one of the observations. Some might still be hypothetical, thus 'trashable'. 

The combination of 'languages and discourses' in studio, gallery and curatorial practices creates its own baggage of rituals, values and meanings to be routinely performed, regulated, propagated, sustained and preserved by its loyal subscribers, mostly centred around or anchored by rich patrons, 'stake-holders' and 'investor'. Therefore, beyond the veil of 'artworks', 'artists', 'art galleries' and 'art events' lies a structure of relationship as well as distribution of power and control. Some would refer to it as a structural trinity of power-knowledge-money. Certainly, it exists within the power structure of our national institutions and establishments (political, educational. economic, cultural etc). 

This observation, on the other hand, would like to look at the power relationship outside or beyond the apparent visibility of those national institutions or establishments.

It can be proposed that the 'structure of power-relationship' that forms an invisible controlling system or matrix for the 'local art scene' to operate, usually hides behind the posture of assisting artists in 'contributing towards a vibrant local art scene'. Such structure is usually made to appear 'natural' and always be taken as 'by default' in approaching 'the local art scene'. No questions asked, so that those who ride on it can keep on 'performing' their roles without any scrutiny and probing. Scrutiny and probing are normally reserved for the national institutions and establishments only. 

Such invisible structure of power relationship is nevertheless, another form of ideological construct too, not much different than those customarily identified through national  institutions and establishments. Like national ideological constructs, it can't claim to represent the 'absolute truth' nor 'the only' or the 'absolute way' of reading, approaching, practising and living the arts. Thus, despite its sometimes 'alternative' stance, it can be also be contested, without which it can be prone to abuse much like in the national institutions and establishments. 

If one is to unveil this structure behind the 'local art scene' and semiotically read it as a form of language in social practice, what is referred to as a 'studio, gallery and curatorial practices' can be pragmatically co-opted to serve as a very linear or developmental model of human progress. They can be elevated to a form of 'index' or 'sign' for  a 'highly developed' successful society. They can pragmatically serve as a marching and paraded product of modernism.  

Thus, it can be argued that those who  'perform' and loyally subscribe to the dominant language and discourse created by the structure, may become willing players who are not even 'aware' of such structure. They may be made to engulf in the discussion on artists and their practices, artworks, art exhibitions or events, creating multiple narratives, to a point that the structure that holds these together are obscured or made invisible. 

Young cultural heroes (artists) appear to emerge or mushroom, including what is taken, validated and acknowledged as new practices and good artworks. Most of the time, they are highlighted and endorsed without much questioning, probing and testing. All appear to occur naturally, even though they may be the conscious products of a deliberate investment, business, marketing and branding strategies to further sustain or 'float' the 'power' of the invisible structure behind it. Few 'players' may chose to be 'in denial' to this invisible structure of relationship like an ostrich placing its head in a hole to feel 'safe'. Some, as predicted, may keep on pointing at the existing political, religious, economic, educational and cultural establishments as the only 'structures' to be 'deconstructed'. 

The question is, beyond the apparent visibility of power relationship within the national institutions and establishment, who and what really constitute the structure of power relationship that propels the local art scene now? Can they be made visible for public scrutiny, questioning and probing? Can they be made available for academic studies and scholarly research? Can they be made responsible and accountable? Can they be evaluated?

Perhaps the most pressing question is that whether  such structure creates a veil of language, discourse, values and meanings that are incomprehensible and detached from the larger 'public domain' in which they like to claim to reflect, serve and comment upon. Larger public domain here refers to all Malaysians not just some small circle of friends and followers in Kuala Lumpur or urban centres only. 

(With special thanks to Rozana Mohamed, Nazli Aziz, Rahim Aziz, Sooshie Sulaiman, Tan Sei Hon, Ling Siew Woei, Aloysius Yap, Roopesh Sitharan, Yap Saubin and Mishko)

BEYOND HERITAGE BUILDINGS



Petisyen writer, available for consultation on Saturday and any good day. Actually, this is my port to make notes as I 'merayau-rayau' to observe 'street happenings' around George Town. Am doing it for my current research. 

Notice the mattress leaning on the wall (on the right side of the picture)? The mattress is a part of what I like to call Lebuh Acheh's improvised installation. It is one of many 'intervention' street arts that one can discover in the vibrant heritage city of George Town. Perhaps it is yet to be discovered, reviewed and highlighted in the yearly calender of George Town art scene (and tourist brochure). 

It is the work of Afro, a street dweller who has been doing his street sleep-over (also eat-over) performances around streets in George Town for many years. His brand of 'intervention installation and performance art' is known for its annoying presence that has pissed-off many people. 

His 'practice' can be 'discoursed' through the theoretical framework of cultural studies and critical theory. No, I'm not being cynical here, his 'performance' is an interesting case subject to discuss on 'emerging practices', visual culture, creative intervention (to survive and sustain), situational art, happening, spatial concept (how to hijack public spaces), public art, social commentary, political subversion, critical reflection, so on so forth... not much different than those discussed, written about, hyped, pitched and glossed in big art festivals, triennial, biennale,books etc. 

His 'performance' contributes to the street 'character' of George Town, perhaps more honestly than those that I normally and proudly, if not snobbishly take as 'ART'. 

Sometimes Afro can be seen at the Lebuh Acheh's flee market, doing one of his many repertoires - performing the art of selling 'found objects'. My kind of local 'Duchamp'. 

But don't mistaken him for another street 'afro' usually seen around Kapitan restaurant. He also does his own brand of street performance, when he is drunk....another obscured Duchamp, if not one of the post-modern ironies of a city trying to 'brand' itself. 

So, come to George Town, and try to see it beyond those heritage buildings.

Monday, 4 March 2013

PRESSING QUESTIONS AND PROBLEM STATEMENTS, WITH A BIT OF PROPOSITION.

School heroes, 2013.

Can a gallery-based, one dimensional, singular discipline, modernist, linear studio practice be pertinent, relevant and effective in engaging today's audience or the public at large with a particular contemporary issue of concern? 

In such an exclusive (if not elitist), passive, one directional and monologue gallery setting encounter with an artwork for example, how can the audience or public at large (meaning non-art-related audience) pro-actively participate in discoursing a particular theme or issue of concern claimed to be embodied by the work? 

Can a gallery space really become a participative, inclusive and discursive space that contributes in generating sustainable knowledge capital (or currency, to sound more hip) for the public at large? 

Or can it be argued that a modernist studio practice, curatorial exercise and gallery activities are increasingly becoming a  ritualistic space for economic exchange of desired commodity (or objects) meant for pleasure and identification (for the upper-class section of our population/community and its feeding open market), fast cash and short term economic gain? Even the so-called 'knowledge building' activities such as research, data collection, study, analysis, forum, discussion, lecture and talk can be flattened and co-opted into the market as a part of developing and elevating a brand profile. In some cases, the language and discourse between the common network of artist-curator-scholar-gallery owner-collector have become increasingly incomprehensible to the general public at large. So, can it be argued that a typical gallery space today has become a closed, exclusive, isolated, ritualistic space that engages in a discourse that does not reach the general public at large?

Still, it has to be acknowledged that such scenario contributes significantly to a thriving 'art market or industry' and our nation's economy! 

In such an 'open market' scenario then, how do we define a 'good art' or 'good artist'? How does such open market decide a good art and good artist? Who or what plays the determining role in identifying and acknowledging good art and good artist in such an open market? What are the criteria of evaluation? What kind of values can an open and thriving art market cultivates other than 'market value'? What happens then to other shared and core values, such as spirituality, morality, social, aesthetic, cultural and historical? 

Some would argue that an open market can flatten anything according to the whim and fancy of those who has the largest capital to invest. In such market, can capital power and dominance be used to control, dictate and influence what can be taken as good art and good artist? Can a collector or groups of collectors do this? 

If the answer is yes, are art students and young artists trained and geared up to enter such market? If so, can the present curriculum in art colleges (that I suspect is mostly not designed to be a feeder for the open market system alone) prepare them for that? Or does such curriculum exist? 

If art students and young artists are lined up like factory products to enter the modernist gallery matrix (instead of many other related fields), can a lofty claim that visual artists are critical reflectors and commentators of of our society be taken seriously without pertinent questionings and testing? 

Hmmmmmmmmm............

On the other hand, the claim may carry some weight if tested on activities done outside the existing modernist framework. Archival and participative curatorial methodologies for example, have the potential to de-construct passive gallery space into a multi-dimensional discursive space in which the visiting audience or public at large may become active contributors of an exhibition content, theme and issue of concern. 

Trans-disciplinary studio practice and the resulting artworks (especially those that employ electronic and new media technologies), plus diverse range of archival objects, can be reproached as discursive tools for the visiting audience or public to engage in a particular issue of concern in a more interactive, inclusive and effective manner. 

In this model, artists and curators (young and old) are not the centre of attention or concern, or the controlling producer of meaning. Instead, they act more like a facilitator and instigator. 

Many community art projects also employ similar multi-dimensional discursive model, often equating the audience or a particular community as an important and integral component of an exhibition content. Such model places emphasis on developing a sustainable ecology that encompasses many players within a community or society, not just the closed and guarded network of artist-curator-scholar-art gallery-collector. 

This new multi-dimensional discursive model provides an alternative and pragmatic counterpoints to the commercial role of most art galleries, whilst contributing significantly to the nurturing of the nation's knowledge and intellectual capital. It secures intangible and intrinsic cultural as well as historical values that are more valuable that any art object.  

Public galleries that are funded by public fund (local, state or federal government) should emulate this alternative model as its blue ocean operational and curatorial strategies, instead of merely following the framework of commercial galleries in a 'catching up' game. Such game will only left them as a mere follower (if not loser). 

On the hand, lofty claims (by artists, curators, art galleries, art collectors for example), especially those pitched as slogan or hidden within a brand proposition, should always be tested and questioned in a civilized and scholarly manner. 

Clearly, public art galleries and museums (and those 'commercial' fronts that actually use public fund) are at a critical junction or cross-road in deciding its direction for the future. They should focus on the interest of the larger 'public' or 'audience' and the overall knowledge ecology, not just performing as surrogate mothers for artists alone. That role has perhaps be taken effectively by commercial galleries. 

Along this line, it is pertinent also to note that even several commercial galleries have even invested in developing their own knowledge capital and intangible values as they enhance their brand profile through their active participation in the art market. Still, such role should have been taken pro-actively by public-funded galleries and museums due to its 'non-profit organisation' stance.  


(With thank you and lots of luv to my recent 'feeders' and 'mind openers', namely my sifu Dr. Sulaiman Esa, my ex-students Tan Hui Koon and Tan Sei Hon, my friend Yap Sau Bin and new friend Mishko, current acting Director General of the National Visual Art Gallery of Malaysia, Mr. Haneed, curators and staffs at the National Visual Art Gallery of Malaysia, and members of the Board of Trustee, National Visual Art Development especially Assoc. Prof. Ramlan Abdullah)

Sunday, 3 March 2013

THE LIGHT - UNVEILED



To Koon, Roopesh, Suzi and all who wish to tap into the quantum power of love, focused mind and enthusiasm in doing whatever you are doing. This is a beautiful example of how such power unveils itself, in this case, by bringing right people together without planning or appointment. We discussed extensively on the need to re-visit e-art and look at the cultural impacts of information technology in the visual art scene post 1st e-art show. We talked about how NVAG can contribute pro-actively towards a sustainable visual art 'ecology' through EDU@nvag, the outreach and educational wing of NVAG. Then, I mentioned Niranjan's name during my introduction of Fairuz Sulaiman's "Salam 1 Jepun", as a part of EDU@nvag's supporting initiatives this year. The morning after, his parents appeared, with Suzy. Its like that deeper or fundamental level of our interconnected consciousness decides to manifest itself at the right time or moment, right place, to give a blessing signal. Perhaps it implies that love brings the likewise people together, that all those disjointed dots have to come together to create a new picture. So much love I felt when Appa and Amma held my hand and hugged me repeatedly, with watery eyes, reminiscing the times when I used to worked with their son Niranjan at UNIMAS, when amma used to proofread our essays (ya, those who read our 1st. Electronic Art Show essays, should thank her for her proofreading). Appa looked at me like looking at his own son and said, "You introduced my son to electronic art", I reached out and kissed his hand. Couldn't ask for a better day.

Friday, 1 March 2013

FAIRUZ SULAIMAN


It gives me a great pleasure to introduce Fairuz Sulaiman. Fairuz is the son of Sulaiman Esa and Khatijah Sanusi, two iconic figures in the Malaysian modern art scene. Knowing their works and writings, I always wonder how they have shaped Fairuz, perhaps through their intellectual probings and philosophical rantings on Islamic cosmology, formalistic interplay of structure, colors and so on so forth. Naturally, one would assume that Fairuz will turn out to be an artist churning out paintings like them. But no, he did not turn out to be that kind of artist, even though he looks like a clone of Pak Leman's younger days look. He is nevertheless an artist, not in a conventional sense, but in a deconstructed, re-defined, up-graded, value driven form. Still, I have this lingering suspicion that his brain, that so called neural path or his quantum field, has been greatly shaped by his parents. For that I offer my salutation to them. Fairuz's repertoire of creative practice, is of course different than his parents, but more in tuned with the imperatives of the 21st. century. He represents a new breed of artists who creatively respond to the cultural impact of the tools of his time, electronic, digital and new media technology. There are many of them, other than Fairuz, perhaps not as visible as those normally highlighted by commercial galleries. Fairuz, throug his multi-dimensional and trans-disciplinary approach to creative  practice, is one of the latest re-flowerings of a dalang or puppeteer who mesmerizes us from behind the veil, the computer or tv screen, the projection screen, the speakers. He is the epitome of a changing Malaysian contemporary art scene, a kind of artist that I and my friend Niranjan Rajah used to envision back in the 90s when we were at UNIMAS. Therefore, I cant help but to glow with pride when I witness his works, including his awesome projection mapping projects he did in Penang. He is comfortable with the tools of his age, both analog and digital, flirting across many fields of creative practice, collaborating with experts from diverse backgrounds both local and international, never shy to entertain, to have fun, unpretentious yet not without a pinch or two on certain pressing issues related to our contemporary reality. I congratulate Fairuz for his creative spirit, his parents and family, his team, Japan Foundation for sniffing his talent and for supporting his residency in Japan, to the National Visual Art Gallery for giving him a space to showcase his unique talent, and to all of you for coming. Ladies and getlement, friends, brothers and sisters, I present to you, Fairuz Sulaiman.