Thursday, September 01, 2005

Narrative Strains

Decided to do something out of the blue yesterday and hubby dearest had initially suggested a visit to Aquaria@KLCC ....but the queue was loooOOOOoooOOOOooong!!!! I am sure it stretched a kilometer at least...from the entrance of the aquarium right around to the food court, winding round the exit to the underground carpark...through that, snaking right through the tunnel connecting Suria KLCC to the KLCC Convention Centre.....stopping short at the Suria KLCC shops!

Not quite keen to spend my afternoon mindlessly waiting for my turn to what I was sure would end up being a hurried look-see at the new aquarium, I suggested to hubby to lets pay a visit to
Galeri Petronas instead.

And what a gem of a decision that turned out to be!!

To be honest, I haven't much immersed in arty cultural stuff since I've been back from England/ last visit to the National Museum was about 4 years visit the much-touted Ghouls and Spirits Exhibition....which turned out to be an absolute joke!

As such, I was not expecting much of the venture, but boy! was I surprised. The exhibits on display were the 3rd installment of a series of exhibitions featuring artworks from the Petronas Art Collection....and I ended up spending about 2 hours browsing and admiring the works of art of LOCALS!!! read right!!!

The masterpieces were simply inspiring and awesome...and all this right in the heart of KL...totally accessible to the masses and you do not even need to fork out a single sen to visit it!!!

Some of my favourites were:

Tan Wei Kheng - she had some really great pastel, pencil and watercolour drawings of Sarawakian life-like that at a glance, you seriously would not realise you weren't actually looking at photographs

Lucy Liew - I really like her paintings from the Hornbill series....lovely colourful and cheerful motives of the hornbills' beaks...

Ismail Mat Hussin - his batik works are simply just amazing...the attention and care to details...the harmonious colours....and the planning and patience it must all have taken.....a true blooded artist who was even on hand to answer questions on the art of batik and the processes involved.... the picture of one of his masterpieces here does not do the real thing any justice at all!!!

Nadia Bamadhaj - her "anyamans" and her pencil drawings were laden with irony...i particularly liked this piece which was titled "Jakarta is rising" and another one, whose title I couldn't remember, but was cheeky in that from a certain angle, you could see the Bolshevic symbol indented against the weaving've gotta go see it for yourself before you can understand what I am rambling about

To inject humour in the exhibition were two pieces from Lat (a comic narration on a travelling Chinese operatic group) and Reggie Lee (a caricarture entitled "Masks") respectively

Some amazing ink maps from a Chinese chap (apologies, I cannot seem to recall his name to save my life) which creatively merged the streets and roads of England and Penang together

Another apology to a Malay chap whose name I also cannot remember but who drew lovely colourful and fun 2-dimensional pictures of the forests with the sea and horizon in the detailed till you could pin-point out the elephants, birds, insects, monkeys....amazing

so yes....we really do not need to fly over to Amsterdam to check out Van Gogh's collection ...or the Uffizi/ London's National Art Gallery to oogle at Michelangelo's and Leonardo Da Vinci's works....coz we can begin here...right in our own backyard - there is simply lots to appreciate!

So if you have the time...I strongly encourage you to just pop over for a visit. Narrative Strains is on display till 1 Janaury 2006.

A simply enriching and humbling experience.


At 8:10 am, Blogger Aurora said...

The trouble with us is, when something is "local", we tend to suffer from the "oh it's so near i'm sure it's available on demand"/ "local sure low quality one" mentality. At least I used to. Talk about reverse bigotry!

At 9:22 am, Blogger munsta said...

yeah, tell me about guilty as charged sometimes, hence why the above visit was humbling indeed... :)

At 6:29 pm, Blogger <^meow^> said...

Actually, when something is local, IT IS 80% of the time - low quality.

The problem is actually unearthing the 20%. Once unearthed, to nuture and promote the talent.

But Malaysia is just weird. Read in the papers today. Some film expert said that - Sepet lacked "cinematic artistry" when compared to PGL. The film expert also said that very few lay person can understand this point.

Wow...last I checked, movies ain't actually rocket science. Come on lar - PGL has as much cinematic artistry as a lullaby. Perhaps the "artistry" is in getting a politician to bank roll the disaster and cast his wife as the lead - no matter how unfit nad old she is for the role.

Now - that's Malaysian "art" at its best. Perhaps it is not easy to understand after all....tsk tsk tsk.


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