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All posts in “Essays”

Thoughts on Darkness 06: Balance

Published on 26 April, 2009 by | 3 | Filed under: Essays | Tags:

by Yusuf Martin

It is inevitable that we should consider the two, lightness and darkness, inextricably entwined, latter born of the former, each linked, for eternity, in bonds of the other.

It is from mysterious obsidian shadows that Rembrandt’s philosopher becomes enlightened, a tangled helix staircase revealed in all its wooden glory; three translucent brides evolving from Jan Toorop’s symbolic gloom, which of the light and which the sinister.

Art for Some Bodies

Published on 24 April, 2009 by | 5 | Filed under: Essays | Tags:

by Daniel Chong

Folks, what you see above is a picture I took with a dinky camera that chose to die on me before I caught a clear shot. My apologies for its awful graininess, but if you will bare with me for a short while, I want to share with you some observations I made that was very personally enriching.

Graffiti Heroes: Part 2

Published on 20 April, 2009 by | 9 | Filed under: Essays | Tags: , , , ,

By Eva McGovern

With names such as They, The Kioue, Tha-B, The A80s, The Damis, Mile09, F-code, Jo Tribe, Phobia Klik and Vector Crew to name a few of the pyseudonyms, graffiti artists in KL are committed to their practice. The largest and longest and perhaps most well know ‘gallery’ of their work used to be the along the banks of the Klang River by Pasar Seni LRT. Beginning in 2006 it soon became an organised project with artists being invited to contribute which eventually led to 300 meters of artwork on display by over 30 artists.

Leaving Normal: JG Ballard 1930-2009

Published on 20 April, 2009 by | Comments closed | Filed under: Essays | Tags: , , , ,

by Joe Kidd

There was a time when a lot of the works (musical, lyrical and beyond) by “punks” were pretty much informed, influenced or even “rehashed” from literature or the ideas presented by books, poems, architecture, art movements etc

Graffiti Heroes: Part 1

Published on 19 April, 2009 by | 3 | Filed under: Essays | Tags: , , ,

By Eva McGovern

Graffiti. Is it art or is just vandalism? Perhaps by now, after numerous articles in the popular media have posed this question some answers need to be provided. Even better, a realisation that this is actually the wrong question to ask. A more interesting one could be to consider whether or not graffiti is strong enough as an art form to function within mainstream contemporary art. Or is its recognition and respect only to be found within its own alternative sub culture?

Artist The Meaning Purveyor

Published on 7 April, 2009 by | Comments closed | Filed under: Essays | Tags: ,

by Sau Bin

Art practitioners are purveyors of meanings, through their artwork providing a link to apprehend the self and the society, produced and consumed for both themselves and the society, nothing more nothing less.


Published on 6 April, 2009 by | Comments closed | Filed under: Essays | Tags: , ,

by Simon Soon

In our attempt at profiling some of the more unusual spaces around the region, and in the spirit of looking beyond the four walls of the gallery and museum (though not exactly beyond), I thought of bringing Thomas Kinkade’s Signature Gallery in Malaysia to our readers’ attention. I’m not entirely sure when the gallery opened in Malaysia, but I’m quite positive it has been around for more than a few years, having discovered it on one of my summer holidays back in Malaysia during my university days.

Missing critical mass

Published on 3 April, 2009 by | 16 | Filed under: Essays | Tags: , , ,

by Sharon Chin

I trickled in late, but still managed to catch the better part of Beverly Yong’s introductory talk on contemporary art in Malaysia at Galeri Petronas on Tuesday. The turn out was pretty good. I mean, all the seats were filled. This was 6.30pm on a weekday so… kudos to you fellow die-hards.

Why so ssseriouss? Artist as joker

Published on 2 April, 2009 by | 7 | Filed under: Essays | Tags: ,

by Sharon Chin

We have a new Prime Minister! If I had said that yesterday, I would have been able to wipe that glum, ponderous look off your face with ‘Haha! Just kidding! April Fool!’. Unfortunately, that wonderful day in the year when nothing can be taken seriously is no longer with us – slipped away completely unappreciated, as so many things do. Today, 2 April, Kampung Malaysia really does have a new Person-In-Charge. HRH the King announced his pwnage consent just hours ago.

Question Time

Published on 23 March, 2009 by | 12 | Filed under: Essays | Tags: , ,

By Eva McGovern

I would like to take the opportunity to use my inaugural contribution to contribute an editorial of sorts since I have very kindly been accepted as contributing editor for Arteri. This entry therefore is about a question. A question I have been trying to understand so I can posit it in a more sophisticated way.

The Kind of Musuem I Want to See: Ghibli Museum, Mitaka, Japan

Published on 20 March, 2009 by | 3 | Filed under: Essays | Tags:

Following our post on Penang Toy Museum, I thought I’d share with you legendary director Hayao Miyazaki’s (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) ‘manifesto’ for the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan.

His vision is so simple: ‘put together as if it were a film’, yet profound: ‘a museum that makes you feel more enriched when you leave than when you entered!’. If our museums were guided by such ideas, maybe they would seem more like places for the living than the dead. In fact, alot of the following would apply well to curating art exhibitions, IMHO.

Official Ghibli Museum site here.


Published on 12 March, 2009 by | Comments closed | Filed under: Essays | Tags: ,

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil by RANDY GLEDHILL

I have been back home for some time. When I first returned, I was in the throes of culture shock, sickness and delirium. After the holiday season, the dark wet cold Pacific Northwest winter lulled me a deep hibernation from which I am only now awakening. I have been sleeping as if hypnotized by a somnambulist.

Beyond Pressure: Part I

Published on 12 March, 2009 by | 5 | Filed under: Essays | Tags: ,


The first time I heard about Beyond Pressure was when I met Moe Satt in February 2007, during his short residency at Rimbun Dahan. Over dinner one night, our language barriers smoothed over by beer and friendship, he told me about his idea for an international performance festival to be held in Yangon. I remember thinking that ‘Beyond Pressure’ would make a great tattoo, as well as an excellent toast when drinking. In fact that night we clinked our glasses several times to cries of ‘Beyond Pressure’.

Talk is cheap, but all too rare

Published on 8 March, 2009 by | 12 | Filed under: Essays | Tags: , ,


Over drinks last night, a fellow wurator (writer/curator) asked me, in the context of the local art scene: “Whose work do you like?”

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