Tag Archives: Galeri Chandan

More is not less, less is more

(“Simplicity means the achievement of maximum effects using minimum means.” -Koichi Kawana)

Ferrari : Aerosol Paint on Canvas, 2010

We live in a world ruled by information. Much of our lives are involved with the consumption of information. We read the newspaper in the morning. We sit in meetings at work. We check our e-mails every hour. We read billboards on the highway while driving home. We watch the news on television. We surf the internet and check blogs. Our minds become so full of information that the words become noise. We feel tired from the constant demand on our attention; at work, at home, on weekends. More is not less. Less is more. Clarity is more.

Personally, when I am struck with a lot of information, my mind shuts off and I move on to the next thing. To be heard and understood, it is vital to keep things simple. In the field of visual arts, I attempt to absorb the visual information and reduce their complexity to produce a simpler image with feather information. I believe, in order to see something, it is enough to see their true essence to gain the true information.

Radin Erus.

Footnoting our being as humans …


I was asked to write something about the work of art present from several illustrious fine artists. The moment I take a look at the papers in which their works were printed on, my mouth coincidently mumbling, “…life-notes.”

Those notes are life documentary as suggested by Danny Gregory (2008) which ‘is an art form that must be experienced as it was created’. These are works that is actually not intended to be shared to everybody. What would we see in this kind works of art is:
“You see moment being recorded in sequence. You see ideas unfold and deepen. You see risk, mistakes, regrets, thoughts, lessons, dreams…” (Gregory, 2008, p. 1)

Artists who passed over their works here are sharing their secrecy and intimacy, and their works disclosed the world of being. The kind of work that preceded the work of art is considered as a work of art by its own being. Oliver Mongin (1993) in The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader said that ‘it is the gestation of humanity that will go on completing itself forever improvising opened a limitless field of discovery, set forth the world “to be painted” or “to be sketched,” calling for an indefinite future of painting’.

Exploration. Observation. Expression. Construction of lifes. Whenever one may think, he/she could made contemplative act in his/her everydayness through sketching or doodling on merely any surface spontaneously. It is a way of being creative, a primordial talent that God gave to us as human being. Visual thinking is a mode of being that was practiced daily. Being open, seeing, listening, elucidating and participating in the world is essential. Although these Paperworks were made individually by particularly artists involved here, their identities appeared as suggestive reading sequences. It is necessary to mention notes from Robyn McCallum (1999):

“Concepts of personal identity and selfhood are formed in dialogue with society, with language, and with other people, and while this dialogue is ongoing,…. Conceptions of subjectivity are intrinsic to narratives of personal growth or maturation, to stories about relationships between the self and others, and to explorations of relationships between individuals and the world, society or the past …”

The identity being appears through the Paperworks is socially constructed in a dialogical space-time. The identity is not calculative or summative but subjectively correlated each works to others upon its mysterious gaze. “… a view that the mysterious and unknown remains relevant to our everyday life, “said Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei, “as a potential halo surrounding the most ordinary things and experiences”. Nevertheless, in his seminal essay ‘The Origin of the Work of Art’ Martin Heidegger refused the accounts of the artwork as representation of actual objects, as the container of aesthetic feeling, or as self-expression of an artistic genius. Simply to put, art is the manifestation of truth itself for truth is Being’s self-disclosure in tension with its concealment and this Paperworks is consider as the happening of such truth. “All art, as the letting happen of the advent of the truth of being, is as such, in essence, poetry.” According to Gosseti-Frencei (2007) poetry for Heidegger means a projective saying, “…by naming beings, language makes them manifest as something; it draws them out, projects them as what they are, in their Being.”(p.186) Truth is not the adequate correlation between a thought or idea and external facts; rather it is unconcealment.

Creating. Writing. Footnoting. The role of a writer is to capture and construct the world manifest through language, whilst language is not merely an abstract system of signs perse. We experience and understand language as opening us onto a world, to such quasi-perceptual effects as mood, inflection and silence. Literary language has a ‘halo signification’ comparable to ‘the mute radiance of painting’. There is a tacit language, and painting speaks in this way says Maurice Merleau-Ponty. As a matter of fact, this Paperworks is a kind of writing, as aforementioned above that it is a ‘life-notes’. Footnoting is a bodily act that is an intertwining of vision and movement. The visual world is saturated with motor sense in virtue of our bodily continuity with the world we perceive which according to Merleau-Ponty that visibility is the intuitively felt reality of things disclosed to us as part of dense, opaque world, the milieu in which things show up, amid other things. This Paperworks explicate the world through its writing and it is footnoting our being as humans.

Karna Mustaqim

Gregory, D. (2008). An Illustrated Life: An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers. Cincinnati, Ohio: HOW Books.
Mongin, O. (1993). Since Lascaux, in Johnson, G.A., The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader. Illinois: Northwestern University Press, (pp.248-249).
McCalum, R. (1999). Ideologies of Identity in Adolescent Fiction: The Dialogical Construction of Identity. New York & London: Garland Publishing Inc., (p. 3).
Gosseti-Ferencei, J. A. (2007). The Ecstatic Quotidian: Phenomenological Sightings in Modern Art and Literature. Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, (p. 9).
Heidegger, M. (1977, 2008). Basic Writings: Martin Heidegger. New York: Harper Perrenial. (p.197).
Carman, T. (2008). Merlea
u-Ponty. London & New York: Routledge, (p. 198)
ibid., (p. 184-190).

the healing power of nature

Galeri Chandan and Raja Azhar Idris collaborated in this installation works called ‘the healing power of nature’ at the entrance lobby of a local hospital in Kuala Lumpur. According to the artist, this installation is the most comprehensive that he has done so far and is arguably the largest glass installation in Malaysia.


Portraits of Bidong : Impressionist works by Razak Abdullah

“There isn’t a single person or landscape or subject which doesn’t possess some interest, although it may not be immediately apparent. When a painter discovers this hidden treasure, other people are immediately struck by its beauty” (Pierre Auguste Renoir)  

Impressionist art as I understand it, is about the thrill and delight of the visual sensation. It took me awhile to understand that to appreciate an impressionist painting is to take a few steps back and enjoy the broken colors to fall into place to form the subject of beauty right before your eyes. 
I often wonder whether it is my eyesight that is taking its time in absorbing the colors or my brain in registering and digesting it. 
The power of concentration and observation is compelling in the impressionist artist. The understanding of colors and light and how this is recreated with paints and brushes on canvas is truly an innovative visual thought. 
Razak Abdullah paints directly from nature and celebrates this technique of expression to achieve the color blends and capture the energy behind the subject. In conversations with him on his work, you can feel the thrill of his intimacy with the subject matter. His animated descriptions and detailed understanding of the layers and relationship in nature, expresses his faithfulness to and enjoyment of the vibrancy of the subject, as tasted through his eyes.  
His impressionist art has now taken another dimension. He invites us to appreciate the symphonies of light and color under the sea in his Portraits of Bidong series. It is a pleasant departure from the normal impressionist landscapes as the colors and light are ‘tasted’ through underwater vision. 
Illumination under water depends on the thickness of the layer and the reflection and scatter of light rays in the water. Sunlight is reflected in by the surface of the water. The amount of refracted light not only depends on the angle between the rays and the surface of the water but also in the quantity of the air bubbles in the surface layer that have been formed by the motion of the water. 
Razak’s underwater panorama would have been an interplay of light and color dancing to the tunes of these refractions and the vibrancy of life under the sea.
He seeks to convey this impressions to us, communicating the delightful sensations and inviting us to delve, observe and celebrate the colors and energy of nature.
“It is on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly”, (Monet)  
Mohammad Nazli Abdul Aziz
Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur
Razak Abdullah’s Potraits of Bidong will be on show from August 12, 2008. The images of the artwork are the copyright of the artist. No part or image may be reproduced by any process without written permission of the copyright owners.

Peta Mimpi by Hasanul Isyraf Idris

“I employ my position as a spectator of global issues related to war, terrorism, super-power alliance, and regimented ruling for this series of artwork. I am interested in the images that typically related to war such as weaponry, aircraft and tanks, in combination with images of toys, flowers, birds, Bali offering and images that imply happiness, freedom and hope. These subject matters, derived from the bombardment of mass media, have become my main tools in expressing my concerns towards the turmoil of war and its casualties. I organised my composition by playfully selecting images that can make my painting appears like an interesting and almost decorative piece of art. I always try to create pleasing (but mocking) game-like and playful look by arranging overlapping and intersecting the silhouette and patterns of the images. The ambiguity of the purposes of the shapes and pattern suggests some hidden agendas”


Hasanul Isyraf Idris (b.1978) is a graduate of Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) who has been known for his pop-oriented artworks since he emerged into the local art scene in 1999. His works has been selected for the Malaysian Young Contemporaries in 2004,2006 and 2008. This work in currently on show at Galeri Chandan, Bukit Damansara www.galerichandan.com

A tribute to Jeri Azahari, Malaysian Pop Art Artist

 Galeri Chandan, Bukit Damansara pays tribute to Ahmad Azahari a.k.a Jeri Azahari, A Malaysian prominent Pop Art Artist.

A legitimate art form, Pop Art is one of the major art movements of the twentieth century. Characterised by themes and techniques drawn from popular mass culture such as advertising and comic books, pop art is widely interpreted as either a reaction to the then-dominant ideas of abstract expressionism or an expansion upon them. Pop art, like pop music, aimed to employ images of popular as opposed to elitist culture in art, emphasizing the banal or kitschy elements of any given culture. It has also been defined by the artists use of mechanical means of reproduction or rendering techniques that downplay the expressive hand of the artist. Pop art at times targeted a broad audience and often claimed to do so. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop_art)


Jeri’s tribute is featured in “SEMANGAT CHANDAN  : CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS FROM THE LAND OF GRACE” currently exhibiting in Galeri Chandan, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.

For more information log on to www.galerichandan.com 

Semangat Chandan : Contemporary Artists from The Land of Grace

click to enlarge exhibition leaflet

 click to enlarge curatorial summary