An Art Excursion

Today’s gallery hopping brought us to Ilham Gallery, me for the first time.

We get to visit Latif Mohidin’s Pago Pago exhibition and view the famous Pago Pago series as well as learn more about Pak Latif. I had only met the artist once at a Khazanag event where I got him to sign my Mekong River copy. I don’t have the best eye for art but I adore an artist’s life struggle (if any) and how they achieve their mileages. The Pago-Pago exhibition is until 30th December 2018.

We also get to visit the Two Mountains Photography Project 3.0 Exhibition at Level 3, Ilham Gallery as well. Great visual narratives with heartfelt anecdotes, notes from travel as well as sounds that emote the experience; featuring 3 Malaysian photographers who went to document Mount Fuji and 3 Japanese photographers who went to document Mount Kinabalu through their eyes and personal stories. Glad to see a familiar name, Nadirah Zakariya there. The Two Mountains Photography Project 3.0 Exhibition is until 27th January 2019.

Ilham Gallery is actually a compact space, I have imagined it to be bigger. But the gift shop has lovely stuff and I like the exhibition hall spaces. If you plan to go there, it is just a walk away from the Ampang Park LRT/MRT.

After that we went to the National Art Gallery, one of my favourite areas in Kuala Lumpur.

We get to visit Chang Yoong Chia’s Second Life Exhibition at Level 2. What an amazing application to different mediums and tools. I remember walking through Alami Belas exhibition and liking his shell stories the most. He applied narratives to different mediums – art is just one of the tools for storytelling but to Yoong Chia, it was as if a challenge to present these stories by using as many tools as possible. I wish I can share photos but hey, go and see it for yourself!

Chang Yoong Chia: Second Life is a survey solo exhibition showcasing the practice of a mid-career artist, whose work has quietly captivated audiences both in Malaysia and in the many places around the world that he has exhibited. Always working intuitively, Chang Yoong Chia (b. 1975, Kuala Lumpur) has used personal narrative and memory as a subjective space to explore the imaginative possibilities of painting and object-making. This exhibition comprises around 130 works, including those made in connection with artist residencies in different countries around Asia. The Chang Yoong Chia: Second Life exhibition is on until 31st January 2019.

We also get to visit The Wall: Dinding Bandar Exhibition at the Ground Floor. It’s great to see and know that there are so many people doing graffiti art right now in Malaysia. I remember back when I was 21-22, my brother Muid Latif will go out to bomb walls with Orkibal, Mica (now more known as Sona One), Ahmed Iwaz and many others and I would join them hangout after (or before) at Bestari Sri Hartamas. Love that the current graffiti artists uses mixed media in their presentation as well. The Wall: Dinding Bandar Exhibition is on until 17th March 2019.

I am not well verse in the arts world, I really don’t know who’s who and I feel pretty uncultured because I can’t tell which artwork belongs to who. But there are a few masters that I know and have grown to like – such as Redza Piyadasa, Latif Mohidin, Ibrahim Hussein, Syed Ahmad Jamal and Hasnul Saidon. And today I get to marvel again and again at their magical works of art.

The National Art Gallery is one of the earliest spaces for visual artists to display, present, exhibit and share their works. Located off Jalan Tun Razak, it is surrounded by the National Library, the Cultural Palace and the National Blood Centre. However to get there you may need to drive or take a Taxi/Grab.

I’m really really lucky to have someone so well informed, culturally exposed and artistically experienced within the creative industry to guide me around for today, even better when he is my brother.

The one thing that I learned from Muid is that he has always been so well rounded in making sure that he has exposure in many types of art. With a degree in fine art majoring in sculpture, he mastered the art of graphic design, becoming one of the first and well known web designers in Malaysia, one of the pioneers using Flash and Dreamweaver back in the days, he ventured into graffiti art and even poetry and dancing. He even performed a live photoshop design with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra playing on the stage with him.

He started Digital Malaya and has put on its platforms many many creative geniuses who have spread their wings soaring high in their careers such as Shieko Reto, Fariz Hanapiah, Nadirah Zakariya, Prakash Daniel, Faiz Akhbar and many more. He never get to exhibit as much as his peers but he made sure that he shared enough knowledge by giving talks to design and art colleges. Although now he is part of Bank Negara Museum and Art Gallery, he is indeed to me one of the most prominent artists in the 2000s.

Thank you for today. Adik really appreciate it. Love you.

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