YimYen SumWe Are Strong, When We Stay TogetherTransfer colour photocopy on fabricVariety, 2011 ANALYSISThe artist made this in a few series. Theearly one is an installation presented in frames and hanging and the recent oneis the one she participated in Bakat Muda Sezaman or Young Contemporaries.After following her journey as an artist in Malaysian art scene, the researcherfound that the artist is fabric maniac which mean most of her artworks playwithin the manipulation of fabric.
For this exact piece, the artist compose afew framed pieces on the wall with different composition and hang a biggerpiece on the front of the others. The act of sewing INTERPRETATIONThe artist’s sensitivity towards theculture is felt in the choice of material used in an artwork. The artist constantlyfinds herself making use of soft and flexible materials in her works, becausethey can easily be shaped and managed. The artist have tried to draw out themain themes by using such materials with the characteristic property of beingable to contain. Based on the artist interpretation, this is the metaphor ofcare.
In the process of a using a needle and thread which shuttles back andforth, two things that were once individual become whole or form a union. Thisis not unlike individuals in a society who form relationships which give newmeaning to their lives, affecting the people around them. These materials are not just objects to me;they are a part of my life and experience, created from my imagination. I likerepeating small unit of artworks in a huge set, because whole structures suchas these allow us to feel the process of life, making us want to get close toit. JUDGEMENTAccordingly to the title itself, We AreStronger When We Stay Together, Yim Yen Sum really did visualize the characteristicof togetherness. The construction of the material itself were assign and align inform of supporting by combining with sewing.
The researcher thought thisartwork has spoken by itself through the composition and preposition of thefabric. The researcher believes that the random variety of fabric represent thevariety of culture and races. FIGURE 10Yee I-Lann, Orang Besar series: ‘Kain Panjang withParasitic Kepala’2010 Direct digital mimaki inkjet print withacid dye, batik canting Remazol Fast Salt dyes on 100% silk twill, edition of 3+ 2AP FIGURE 11Yee I-Lann Orang Besar series: ‘Kain Panjang withPetulant Kepala’ 2010 Direct digital mimaki inkjet print withacid dye, batik canting Remazol Fast Salt dyes on 100% silk twill, Edition of 3+ 2AP FIGURE 12Yee I-LannOrang Besar series: ‘KainPanjang with Carnivorous Kepala’2010Direct digital mimaki inkjetprint with acid dye, batik canting Remazol Fast Salt dyes on 100% silk twill,edition of 3 + 2AP ANALYSISCentral to The Orang Besar Series is the three-part Kain Panjang series in batik andphotomedia. Adopting the design of the traditional sarong, with its kepala(head) and badan (body), it explores natural and human metaphors of the bodypolitic, directly referring to the pyramidal societal structure around theOrang Besar, at turns parasitic, carnivorous and petulant. Anthony Milner, a historian of the Malay world, engages at length with theartist on the inference of these works in relation to modern-day Malaysianpolitics in their conversation towards the end of this book. Ostensibly, theimages in Kain Panjang warn of the pitfalls of a culture of politicaldependency, as a culture of stagnancy, breeding corruption, and yet they also underlinethe potential power of the human mass, the rakyat in its physical bodilymanifestation, and its potential for change.
As a somewhat humorous closing noteto The Orang Besar Series,Yee offers us YB — agathering of wilting corsages on the uniforms of officialdom—the safari jacket,the not-so-sharp suit, batik shirt, white-collar, in the style of the vanitasstill-life. The YB, or Yang Berhormat (“the Honorable”) are the Orang Besar ofmodern-day of dignitaries enjoying leverage in its political realm. Here wecome face to shirt with the sartorial sensibility of political aspiration, theoverweening physical presence of power, however begotten. The Orang BesarSeries places us, with the artist, at different distances to the politicalstructures that assume to rule and divide us.
It offers a range of approachesin which we can identify ourselves in relation to place and politicalhierarchy, an inroads into ways in which we might negotiate our politicallandscape. For Malaysians, the imperative should be clear, and yet Malaysia asa construct can also operate as an example of any nation or community in themaking, for all communities today, and at any point in time, can be seen assuch. Issues of hegemony, piracy and migration surely dog the personal-politicalconsciousness the world over to varying degrees. INTERPRETATIONCentral to Boogeyman is the Orang Besar series, which casts the modern democraticprocesses of country in light of its traditional power structure. The OrangBesar, translated as “the big man” (also interchangeable with the term OrangKaya or the rich man) stood as the mediating agent between the apex(represented by the Sultan) and the common man. The measure of his influence orpower was not an account of his worldly wealth, but rather the number ofpersons dependent on him. This control over a sizeable population gave him aprized labour force through which he could realise various undertakings andseek a political base or leverage against the competitive intrigues of thecourt.This traditional system of measuringpolitical power in terms of headcounts flavours democracy in the region today.
Looking at the unstable clusters of human pyramid that narrates Kain Panjang with Parasitic Kepala,one draws parallels between the huddled formation and the kind of volatile andshaky alliances that spill over into today’s politics of patronage. Thequestion of patronage is something that reverberates strongly in Malaysianculture today and I-Lann’s kitschy homage/satire of this culture plays out inthe YB series,tightly cropped photographs of flower brooches that are normally pinned ontothe shirt of important politicians who attend a particular event in thecapacity of a VIP. The florid and arabesque portraits of different plant livesseem to suggest an organic representation of excesses. There is an element ofostentation and camp in these photos when viewed in the context of howpatronage has continued to exist in Malaysian society.
JUDGEMENTWhat makes the Orang Besar seriesa remarkable leap from the vocabulary of Yee I-Lann’s previous exploration ofdigital photographs is her ability to combine the former with batik. As atextile tradition unique to the region, the batik medium carries a potentiallysubaltern agency. Because batik production is traditionally recognised as awomen’s craft, this inscription lends a female commentary that is able to throwinto relief the negotiation of power from an alternative vantage point.More importantly, this method ofstorytelling draws upon the narrativity of batik, which is seldom acknowledgedor recognised.
The popular assumption that visual patterns of the batik aresolely ornamental fails to acknowledge the coded vocabulary that batik carries.Traditionally, each motif symbolises specific events in Javanese courtly life –war, birth, marriage, death. Though we also find how in its modern usage, suchas in the badminton racket which became a motif to commemorate Malaysia’svictory in the Thomas Cup, how batik documents our modernity.
FIGURE 13Festive Mood 89-1Dr. Choong Kam Kow1989Mixed media FIGURE 14Festive Mood 88-2Dr Choong Kam Kow1988Mixed media FIGURE 15Image & Identity IIIDr. Choong Kam Kow1996Mixed media FIGURE 16Festive Mood 87Dr. Choong Kam Kow1987Mixed media ANALYSISThe artist uses twines or yarns to weaveor tie the three dimensional festive chung or kueh ketupat on the printed orembossed textural or tactile handmade paper background, with that, it creates asemi decorative low-relief collage composition. The artist also uses silkscreenmethod to print local wood carving pattern or auspicious symbols onto handmadepaper with embossed effect, thus, creating a kind of contour patterns.
He alsoexploits the festive cultural symbol of jubilee joys and expresses beautifullythe co-existence of Malaysian multi-culture, the festive spirit of mutualrespect, care and Muhibbah. The juxtaposition of frontal symbols is structuredin space and combines both figurative and abstract symbols. It illustrates the artist’sprofound understanding and appreciation of shapes, and also enhances both therural sense as well as the contemporary sense of such festive symbol.
INTERPRETATIONThe Festival Series expresses thefollowing notion: ‘The spirit of sharing festive joy, mutual respect andgoodwill is in the heart of every Malaysian”. The configuration of forms offestival related cakes, offerings, craft elements and artefacts is intended toconvey the spirit of sharing traditional values and goodwill in this series ofwork (the Malaysian way of life). During the festive seasons, the reception ofguests would not complete without the serving of local cakes. As without them,there will be lack of festive mood. The beauty and aesthetic of forms of thefestival related cakes and artefacts are fully explored, appreciated andenhanced.
JUDGEMENTIf we view the works of the artist in theview of the science of symbolism, we will agree that the world under hisbrushes is a symbolised world, and its distinctive characteristic from culturesymbol to art symbol. The artist was brought up in a multi-racial andmulti-cultural society of Malaysia. The abundant cultural symbols of Malaysiaare important in formulating his art experience and immensely transformed hiscreative process. His works is influential because he managed to transformdistinctive symbols of Malaysian culture into his own symbol.In Malaysia culture, the festival is animportant representation of cultural practice.
It contains the richness ofEastern cultural contents and traditional values. The artist has aptly graspedthe symbolized meaning of the festive culture. He uses symbols of Malaysianfestive culture such as, the local Malays cakes and Chinese dumpling and woodcarving pattern as creative elements.
And transforms these cultural symbol intohis own. The artist has expressed his own understanding and appreciation ofMalaysians culture and traditional cultural practice. ANURENDRA JEGADEVAMA-NA-VA-REH– Love and Loss in the Time of the Big Debate FIGURE 17 FIGURE 18 FIGURE 19 ANALYSISTheartist’s inspiration for this exhibition derives from his grandmother who was arenowned wedding planner for all Hindu weddings in the 50s and 60s, in a smalltown of Teluk Intan, in the town’s Immigrant road Ganesh temple. She designedinvitation cards, decorated venues and most significantly designed and builtthe Wedding Mana-va-reh or wedding dais/throne where the couple would sitthrough the wedding rituals and ceremonies.Inmany ways, his inclination for the visual arts was inspired by imaginings ofhow – in his mind’s eye – with saw and brush in hand, his grandmother wouldbuild and paint the wedding dais which traditionally resembled ancient templearchitecture of the gopuram, courtyards and central altar. In the past,Anurendra Jegadeva’s practice has always been concerned with the relevance ofpainting within a contemporary art context as well as the human portrait sincehalf a century of photography.
In the last five years, he has become interestedin extending the tradition of western painting to a myriad of influencesextending from American comic book framing devices to the rich painted templetraditions of South India. INTERPRETATIONMA-NA-VA-REHis a room installation comprising of a large painted wedding dais made out ofan intricate assemblage of painted panels, altar boxes, printed material,paintings on the walls and kolams on the floor, where visitors are encouragedto interweave through the installation to uncover the wonderful stories eachand every work tells.From old love letters to colonial ephemera and religiousartifacts – both found and made – the construction will combine the variousinfluences of the artist’s/our fragmented experience of being born in the East,being shaped by the West and the tensions of assimilation on the one hand andtraditional and cultural identities on the other. Starting with the fabled taleof the negotiation between Garuda and the Angel Gabriel that demarcated Muslimand Hindu South East Asia the narrative extends through our colonial historiesculminating in the post-colonial tensions within the modern histories of theIndependence generations of the region.Using the stories of Empire and migrantpeoples, the artist also wishes for this `painted object’ to address the issuesof belonging and community that has come to a head in the tense racial andreligious climate that currently inflicts most of the region.
Surrounding thedais is a series of paintings that question the idea of unions and theconditional love that is attached to them. JUDGEMENTInmaking MA-NA-VA-REH the artist’s intention is first and foremost to push theboundaries of his art practice through the reinvention of his painting medium,but as importantly to explore the times we live in and always – how he fitswithin that scheme of things. A Malaysian figurative artist and writer,Anurendra Jegadeva is regarded as one of Malaysia’s leading contemporaryartists for his socio-political commentary on both local and current issues,and for continuously forging effective and fresh narrative approaches tocontemporary and historical themes through his works.
TABLE FOR COMPARISON ARTWORK ANALYSIS INTERPRETATION JUDGEMENT Yim Yen Sum We Are Strong, When We Stay Together Transfer colour photocopy on fabric Variety, 2011 Yee I-Lann, Orang Besar series: ‘Kain Panjang with Parasitic Kepala’ 2010 Direct digital mimaki inkjet print with acid dye, batik canting Remazol Fast Salt dyes on 100% silk twill, edition of 3 + 2AP Festive Mood 89-1 Dr. Choong Kam Kow 1989 Mixed media ANURENDRA JEGADEVA MA-NA-VA-REH – Love and Loss in the Time of the Big Debate Chapter 4: Conclusion and RecommendationBy the end of this research, theresearcher did discover Symbolism in every artistSimilarity of content andcontextForm distribution and composition ReferencesHacker, S. D. 2009. Positive Interspecific Interactions. eLS.
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Retrieved January 03,2018, from https://www.star2.com/culture/arts/2017/08/10/j-anu-latest-art-exhibition/ Appendices