Jumaat, 14 Oktober 2016

Kuasa dan Penterjemahan: Analisis terhadap teks 'Revolution in Malaysian Art, Sociocultural and Political Experiences Through Young Contemporaries from the 1970s until Today'.


Oleh: Faizal Sidik

Pengenalan


Teks yang telah dipilih untuk dibincangkan mengenai kuasa dan penterjemahan adalah tulisan penulis sendiri yang dihimpunkan dengan penulis-penulis lain di dalam sebuah buku yang bertajuk ‘Sezaman’ yang diterbitkan pada tahun 2010 oleh Balai Seni Lukis Negara (kini Balai Seni Visual Negara, BSVN), di bawah Kementerian Penerangan, Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan (kini Kementerian Pelancongan dan Kebudayaan). Buku yang berkulit tebal ini mempunyai bilangan 243 muka surat ini diterbitkan sempena pertandingan dan pameran Bakat Muda Sezaman (BMS) pada tahun 2010.

Penerbit BSVN ada sebuah badan penerbitan seni lukis yang utama di negara ini. Sebagai sebuah agensi kerajaan yang bertujuan untuk membangunkan dan mengembangkan seni visual dinegara dalam pelbagai genre seperti lukisan, catan, arca, cetakan, fotografi, media baru, seramik dan lain-lain. Hampir lima puluh peratus penerbitan seni visual sejak negara mencapai kemerdekaan adalah diterbitkan oleh Penerbit BSVN secara dwibahasa iaitu bahasa Melayu dan bahasa Inggeris.
  

BMS
Bakat Muda Sezaman atau BMS adalah sebuah pertandingan dan anugerah seni peringkat nasional yang telah dianjurkan oleh BSVN sejak tahun 1974 lagi. Setelah 30 tahun penganjurannya boleh dikatakan anugerah menerusi pertandingan dan pameran seni ini merupakan anugerah seni yang tertua di Asia Tenggara dan Asia yang pernah dianjurkan. Tujuan penganjuran acara ini diadakan adalah untuk memberi peluang kepada pelukis-pelukis muda dalam mencungkil bakat-bakat baru dalam penghasilan karya seni  menerusi pertandingan. BMS merupakan sebuah anugerah yang prestij bagi pelukis muda kerana penyertaan atau kemenangan anugerah ini akan menentukan hala tuju pelukis-pelukis ini untuk mengalas peranan pelukis-pelukis mapan yang ada dalam bidang kesenian di negara ini.

Bagi edisi penganjuran 2010, sebanyak 4 orang juri tempatan termasuk penulis dan seorang daripada negara  India telah dilantik oleh pihak penganjur. Sebanyak hampir  200 permohonan yang diterima untuk menyertai pertanding ini melalui cadangan kertas kerja, namun hanya 30 cadangan karya sahaja yang telah diterima. Selain menjadi juri, diakhir penjurian setiap juri dikehendaki membuat laporan juri berkenaan isu dan pandangan juri berkenaan tahap pertandingan. Penulis mengambil keputusan untuk tidak membuat laporan untuk mengelakkan pertindanan maklumat dengan juri-juri yang lain tetapi mengambil keputusan untuk menulis sebuah esei yang meneroka secara kronologi tiga puluhan tahun penganjuran BMS yang dirasakan cukup signifikan dalam melihat garis masa sosio-budaya dan politik Malaysia dalam BMS ini menerusi penghasilan karya seni visual.


Anailisis Teks dan Pendekatan Penterjemahan

Oleh yang demikian buku ‘Sezaman’ ini atau penerbitan-penerbitan BMS sebelum ini adalah adalah merupakan dokumentasi yang bukan sahaja merakamkan  semula karya yang menyertai pertandingan atau memenangi anugerah tetapi turut diselitkan laporan, saranan, nasihat dan pengharapan juri dalam melihat perkembangan seni yang telah dicapai dan arah tujunya ke arah peningkatan dimasa akan datang. Terdapat enam buah tajuk penulisan termasuk tulisan teks sumber oleh penulis seperti dalam rajah 1 beserta terjemahan.


No
Tajuk Teks Sumber
Tajuk Teks Sasaran
1
Revolusi Pengalaman Seni,
Sosio-Budaya dan Politik Malaysia Menerusi Bakat Muda Sezaman 1970 an hingga Kini

Revolution in Malaysia Art, Sociocultural and Political Experiences Through Young Contemporaries from the 1970s until Today


Rajah 1. Tajuk teks

Di dalam  rajah 2 penulisan teks ini, penulis telah membahagikan tajuk-tajuk kecil seperti ‘Konseptual Babak Baru + Penuh Bernafsu’ dalam melihat perkembangan awal BMS pada tahun 1970 an. Sekitar perkembangann kebudyaan tanahair pada tahun 1980 an pula diperbincangkan dengan tajuk ‘Revivalisme Rupa Mencari Semangat Yang Hilang!’, Kepelbagaian idea yang muncul selepas sedekad pada tahun 1990 an melalui ‘Pluralisme Bentukan Pelbagai Berbaur Idealistik’ , manakala pada tahun 2000 an penulis mengungkapkan tajuk kecil  ‘Paradigma Baru>Elektronik Merentasi Disiplin Kreatif Bernada Serantau’.


No
Isi Kandungan Teks Sumber
Isi Kandungan Teks Sasaran
1
BMS ?
YC?
2
Konseptualisme Babak Baru + Penuh Bernafsu
New Scene + Obscene Conceptualism
3
Revivalisme Rupa Mencari Semangat Yang Hilang !
Formal Revivalism In Search of Lost Soul!
4
Pluralisme Bentukan Pelbagai Berbaur Idealistik
Idealistic and Multiformat Pluralism
5
Paradigma Baru > Elektronik Merentasi Disiplin Kreatif Bernada Serantau
New Paradigm > Regional Inter-disciplinary Electronic Practice
6
.............BMS = Sumbangan Identiti Lokal Asia Tenggara kepada Interaksi Global
…..YC = Contributions of Southeast Asian Local Identities to Global Interaction.


Rajah 2.  Tajuk kecil



Sungguhpun begitu, penulis menghadapi kekangan pada perenggan yang terakhir pada tajuk ‘Pluralisme Bentukan Pelbagai Berbaur Idealistik’ yang diterjemahkan ‘Idealistik and Multiformat Pluralism’ . Penulis telah dipanggil oleh penguasa atau penerbit untuk memberi penjelasan berkenaan dengan perenggan teks sumber dan terjemahan;


“Krisis ekonomi Asia yang berlaku pada tahun 1997 telah memberi tempias dan kepanikan kepada negara. Penyingkiran Anwar Ibrahim dalam kerajaan Mahathir Mohamed ekoran daripada sokongan Anwar terhadap pelan pemulihan daripada Tabung Kewangan Antarabangsa atau International Monetry Fund (IMF) semasa menjawat Menteri Kewangan dan Timbalan Perdana Menteri pada 1998 sungguh mengejutkan dan memberi impak yang besar terhadap masa depan politik Malaysia kerana pengaruh kewibawaan dan kepimpinan Anwar yang begitu besar dalam kerajaan Mahathir. Ketidakpuashatian rakyat dan golongan seniman bagaimana isu itu diselesaikan telah membangkitkan reformasi kepimpinan bukan sahaja datangnya daripada golongan marhain malah golongan seniman dan juga sasterawan. Terjemahan resah dan gelisah daripada itu maka keluarlah novel politik satira ‘Shit’ (1999) oleh Shahnon Ahmad yang mengegarkan dunia kesusasteraan negara kerana menggunakan metafora usus dan bahagian perkumuhan manusia sebagai naratif kritikan beliau permasalahan ini yang kemudiannya diharamkan.”

“The 1997 Asian economic crisis brought chaos to the country. When Anwar Ibrahim, then the Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, supported the restructuring plan proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mahathir Mohamed decided to sack him in 1998. Due to Anwar immense influence and credibility not only within Mahathir’s administration but also among the populace, this incident astounded the whole nation and enormously affected the future development of Malaysian politics. Dissatisfied with the seemingly conspiratorial treatment of Anwar, many people, including artists and writers, criticised the government. So furious was Shahnon Ahmad with the situation that he wrote a political satire ‘Shit’ in 1999, making allegorical reference to the ruling establishment. The controversial novel, which stunned Malaysian literature world owing to Shahnon’s rabid used of large intestine and lumps excrement as lead characters, was later banned by the government.”


Penerbit mendakwa teks berkenaan dikatakan boleh mencemar nama negara dan berbaur tabu. Sebagai sebuah agensi kerajaan penerbit merasakan teks sumber dan teks terjemahan dikatakan tidak selari dengan aspirasi pemerintah. Penerbit berura-ura untuk mengugurkan sebahagian dan menghilangkan keseluruhan teks perenggan berkenaan daripada disiarkan.

Bagi mendapatkan gambaran dengan lebih dekat mengenai teks sumber dibahagikan kepada 3 ayat seperti di dalam rajah 3 . Dalam teks No. 2, pihak penerbit mengatakan teks sumber dan teks sasaran tidak sesuai dipakai kerana teks berkenaan seolah-oleh menyalahkan dan memburukkan kerajaan kerana memecat Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pada ketika itu sebagai Timbalan Perdana Menteri kepada Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir. Selepas pemecatan nama Anwar Ibrahim cukup sinonim dengan parti pembangkang dan merupakan musuh kuat kepada parti kerajaan. Kerajaan dilihat seolah-olah ingin menghilangkan segala legasi yang ditinggalkan oleh Anwar Ibrahim termasuk namanya sendiri daripada mana-mana yang bersangkut paut dengan kerajaan. Penulis mengatakan teks No.2 adalah fakta sejarah dan masyarakat umum telah telah mengetahuinya di dalam massa dan ianya tiada perlu diperselindungakan berkenaan penyingkiran itu serta kaitnya dengan pemerintah.

Dalam teks No.3, penerbit mengatakannya bersifat tabu kerana menggunakan perkataan liar ‘shit’ atau najis di dalam teks bagi mengambarkan perasaan ketidakpuashati. Penulis mempertahankan novel politik sinikal yang dikarang oleh Shahnon Ahmad iaitu ‘Shit’ adalah kata nama khas bagi tajuk novel berkenaan. Sekiranya padanan ‘Shit’ diberikan istilah lain misalnya ‘Najis’, sebenarnya tidak mengambarkan kerasnya kritikan penulis novel terhadap pergolakan politik pada masa itu. Setelah mendengar penjelasan dan perlunya teks ini dikekalkan, pihak penerit telah bersetuju untuk melepaskannya diterbitkan.

No.
Teks Sumber
Teks Sasaran



1

Pluralisme Bentukan Pelbagai Berbaur Idealistik

Krisis ekonomi Asia yang berlaku pada tahun 1997 telah memberi tempias dan kepanikan kepada negara.

Idealistic and Multiformat Pluralism


The 1997 Asian economic crisis brought chaos to the country.


2

Penyingkiran Anwar Ibrahim dalam kerajaan Mahathir Mohamed ekoran daripada sokongan Anwar terhadap pelan pemulihan daripada Tabung Kewangan Antarabangsa atau International Monetry Fund (IMF) semasa menjawat Menteri Kewangan dan Timbalan Perdana Menteri pada 1998 sungguh mengejutkan dan memberi impak yang besar terhadap masa depan politik Malaysia kerana pengaruh kewibawaan dan kepimpinan Anwar yang begitu besar dalam kerajaan Mahathir.

When Anwar Ibrahim, then the Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, supported the restructuring plan proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mahathir Mohamed decided to sack him in 1998. Due to Anwar immense influence and credibility not only within Mahathir’s administration but also among the populace, this incident astounded the whole nation and enormously affected the future development of Malaysian politics.

3

Ketidakpuashatian rakyat dan golongan seniman bagaimana isu itu diselesaikan telah membangkitkan reformasi kepimpinan bukan sahaja datangnya daripada golongan marhain malah golongan seniman dan juga sasterawan. Terjemahan resah dan gelisah daripada itu maka keluarlah novel politik satira ‘Shit’ (1999) oleh Shahnon Ahmad yang mengegarkan dunia kesusasteraan negara kerana menggunakan metafora usus dan bahagian perkumuhan manusia sebagai naratif kritikan beliau permasalahan ini yang kemudiannya diharamkan.

Dissatisfied with the seemingly conspiratorial treatment of Anwar, many people, including artists and writers, criticised the government. So furious was Shahnon Ahmad with the situation that he wrote a political satire ‘Shit’ in 1999, making allegorical reference to the ruling establishment. The controversial novel, which stunned Malaysian literature world owing to Shahnon’s rabid used of large intestine and lumps excrement as lead characters, was later banned by the government.

Rajah 3.


Kesimpulan


Berdasarkan analisis teks yang dinyatakan, jelaslah apa yang dikatakan oleh Munday (2007) dimana isu kuasa dan penterjemahan memainkan peranan yang penting terhadap sesuatu budaya terutamanya dari segi pemilihan teks sumber dan pengaruh serta manipulasi teks asal terhadap budaya pembaca sasaran. Misalnya dalam teks yang diperbincangkan tidak ada ruang untuk teks asal atau teks terjemahan untuk bersikap neutral atau tidak menyebelahi sesiapa terutamanya yang berkaitan dengan kuasa politik seseorang dan institusi pemerintahan. Sekiranya  ianya berlaku sudah tentu akan hilang kredibiliti teks asal dan terjemahannya dimata pembaca sasaran.



Rujukan:

Munday, J., (2007) Style and Ideology in Translation: Latin American Writing in English, New York: Routledge.


Faizal Sidik,(2015) ’40 Tahun Anugerah Bakat Muda Sezaman’, Dewan Budaya, Februari, Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.


Faizal Sidik,(2010) ‘‘Revolusi Pengalaman Seni, Sosio Budaya dan Politik Malaysia Menerusi Bakat Muda Sezaman 1970 an hingga Kini’, dalam ‘Sezaman’, Kuala Lumpur: Balai Seni Lukis Negara.



Selasa, 27 September 2016

Perihal Mencari Imej?

Oleh: Faizal Sidik


Didalam esei ‘Mencari imej Seni Lukis Malaysia’ oleh Nasir Baharuddin keluaran bulan Jun beliau ada menjelaskan tentang jalan buntu pelukis yang masih terpinga-pinga memikirkan imej apa yang sewajarnya di hasilkan dalam ertikata ditempelkan dalam pengkaryaan mereka. Dalam perenggan pertama beliau ada menyebut bagaimana pelukis masih mencari bentukan apakah yang sesuai dalam mengesahkan agar karya yang mereka hasilkan diberi penghormatan dalam acuan seni lukis disini.

            Perihal ini adalah menjadi satu tanda tanya kepada kita imej yang bagaimana yang mereka rasakan mampu untuk mengambarlkan seni lukis itu sendiri. Hal ini kerana seni lukis wujud dalam zaman kontemporari ini bukan lagi seperti seni lukis di abad pertengahan dimana pengkaryaan berpusat kepada imej-imej dogma dibawah pengaruh gereja ketika itu dimana seniman melukiskan semula imej-imej yang terdapat di dalam Injil. Adakah pengkaryaan seni halus kini mahu kembali ke zaman itu. Dari sini dilihat pernyataan ide yang dapat dilihat cerminan daripadanya sejak berlakunya era seni lukis moden masih lagi dengan imijan-imijan yang lokaliti dan bersifat setempat , permasalahan yang akan timbul apabila imej setempat ini diperlihatkan , ianya hanya akan difahami para pengamat oleh persekitaran yang telah biasa ataupun dalam lingkungan sahaja. Namun tiadak pula bagi para pengamat yang datangnya dari budaya yang laian dengan pengkarya tersebut. Jadi sift mencari imej lokal amat terbatas ruang perbincangan terhadapnya dimana menuntut imej yang universal agar pelbagai kemungkinan-kemungkinan daripadanya dapat dijelaskan.


            Didalam perenggan kedua Nasir ada mempersoalkan tentang ralevensinya dari sudut kebernilaian yang perlunya dipraktikan oleh imej-imej setempat itu , saya berpendapat ya, semestinya pengkarya-pengkarya sedar tentang hal ini ada kerana mereka tidak dapat melarikan diri daripada ; Pertama pengaruh awalan didikan seni lukis mereka dimana setiap tertubuhnya instistusi pengkajian dalam seni luks sudah tentu mempunyai aliran mahupun  arah yangtertentu mempunyai aliran mahupunn arah yang tertentu kemanakah objektif yang hendak dibawa.

Cetusan Rasa II


0leh: M. Aminuddin Osman

M.Aminuddin Osman, esei ‘Cetusan Rasa II’ , Diterbitkan oleh  Angkatan Pelukis Darul Ridzuan, 9-24 Oct. 1999 (pdf)


Ruang dan Konteks
Dalam mencari-cari ruang yang sesuai untuk berpameran, terlintas difikiran lalu menyedari bahawa tempat yang paling penting dimana sebuah karya seni visual harus diletakkan bukanlah di dalam sebuah galeri,  di dinding-dinding hotel dan sebagainya, tetapi di dalam mata hati khalayak yang menghayatinya . Hanya disitulah ia wujud dan diapresiasikan dalam erti kata sebenar.

Cuma, penumpuan dan penghayatan yang lebih ke atas sesebuah karya seni akan berlaku sekiranya diletakkan di dalam sebuah ruang yang dikhususkan untuk tujuan aktiviti tersebut. Dalam kata lain, konteks memainkan peranan. Seperti mana filem, ia memerlukan ruang gelap dan skrin  besar untuk melingkungi kawasan pandangan mata, semata-mata bagi peningkatan kosentrasi dan penglibatan penonton dalam penyaluran mesejnya.

Bahasa Visual
Bahasa adalah satu sistem dimana jika dikawal dengan sebaik mungkin dapat menghasilkan mesej . Karya seni visual adalah ektensi daripada intuisi penulisnya. Jika tulisan bersandar kuat ke atas huruf yang mempunyai bahasanya sendiri, karya seni visual juga mengandungi satu bahasa yang dipanggil bahasa visual untuk berkomunikasi. Bahasa  visual dalam masyarakat kita telah lama wujud dan dipraktikkan.  Bahasa itu lahir dari perilaku mereka yang halus dan diolah lapis demi lapis. Mereka tidak terlalu bergantung ke atas ruang yang khusus untuk melakukan aktiviti kesenian mereka. Ia dipraktikan dalam kehidupan seharian, ia lahir dalam realiti.

Dalam majlis “ Menyunting Sekuntum Bunga” sahaja contohnya, ia berlaku dalam tatacara yang begitu halus. Pihak lelaki datang bertandang ke rumah perempuan yang hendak dipinang dengan membawa sebuah tepak sirih sebagai medium yang menyampaikan hasrat kedatangan mereka. Tanpa sepatah dialog yang membicarakan tentang peminangan, medium yang dibawa (tepak sireh) diolah bagi menyampaikan mesej . Hanya yang tahu bahasa visual dalam “Performing Art’ itu sahaja yang dapat memahaminya. Mereka yang alpa hanya melihat majlis itu berlalu dengan menyongsong gigi dan mengemut hidung di kemudian harinya.

"Seni telah menjadi sebahagian daripada kehidupan harian seseorang, jika tidak ia tidak jujur"  
- Bill Viola

Kekuatan dan kelemahan suatu bahasa dihasilkan oleh realiti subjektif daripada budaya asal dan ia juga menghasilkan realiti budaya tersebut. Setiap bahasa mencerminkan pengaruh budaya dalam mentafsir kehidupan. Sebarang bahasa baru yang biasanya terhasil melalui inovasi media baru akan mengubah kaedah persepsi dalam masyarakat dimana ia berkembang.

Bentukkan dalam karya seni melahirkan bahasa dimana melaluinya isi dikomunikasikan.Untuk sentiasa tetap menyakinkan, ia harus berubah setiap kali isi yang hendak diutarkan berubah. Peniadaan isi dalam sesebuah karya seni menjadikan sebuah abstraksi kaku yang ditakdirkan untuk membusuk .

Seni dan Keilmuan
“Alam menjadi guru kepada manusia, kemanusiaan bukunya dan kehidupan sekolahnya". 
- Kahlil Gibran

Seni adalah satu cabang ilmu dan bukan dihasilkan untuk tujuan santai. Untuk mengutarkan karya seni yang mengandungi artis yang menghasilkannya perlu ada ilmu. Seseorang yang bersandar kuat ke atas bakat melukisnya semata-mata tidak akan dapat menyalurkan bakatnya jika tidak mempunyai ilmu. Ilmu itu berkembang seiring dengan pengalaman hidup. Dua orang pelukis yang melukis objek yang sama akan menghasilkan dua lukisan yang berbeza. Ini kerana pengaruh keilmuan dan pengalaman mereka yang berbeza. Apa yang dipanggil kandungan atau 'content' dalam sebuah karya seni adalah terangkum didalam keilmuan pengkaryanya.

Dalam melakukan persepsi, seniman melakukan pendakian ilmu. Tanggapan yang tajam adalah satu cara seniman berkaitan dengan alam. Ia melahirkan bahasa mengenai kewujudan dan menjadi sumber imaginasi.

Seniman mengatur bentukkan bagi menghasilkan bahasa untuk membawa mesej sebagai pernyataannya. Untuk menjadikannya bermakna, aturan bahasa perlu menepati pernyataan seniman (aturan bentukan perlu digunakan sebaik mungkin bagi membayangkan maksud).Penghayat juga perlu melalui landasan ini  dalam mengapresiasi sesebuah karya seni. Apabila bayangan jalur  landasan ini dapat dikenalpasti, penghayat akan dapat menanggap maknanya.   

Pengolahan yang menolak tradisi catan easel seperti karya “Studies of men without face” oleh Mohd Hairi Yaakub, “Voice Without  A Voice”  oleh Muhd Faizal Sidik mengutarkan konsep, idea, pemikiran dan pertimbangan ke atas aturan bentukannya. Karya-karya ini menitik beratkan fungsi karya seni dalam penyaluran mesej.

Lanskap dan Imaginasi
Lanskap sebenar dan imaginasi berada didalam dua situasi yang berbeza. Lanskap yang digambarkan adalah terbatas manakala imaginasi adalah infiniti.

Imajan-imajan dalam catan lanskap disini tidak mengambarkan realiti yang dapat dialami secara nyata.  Ia tidak memperlihatkan keseluruhaan sisi objek sepertimana yang diketahui dari pengalaman melihat bahawa sisi yang tidak kelihatan itu wujud. Namun begitu, kaedah ini masih berjaya digunakan dan bertahan kerana ia bersandar kuat ke atas pengalaman melihat dan pengetahuan asas penghayat keatas imajan tersebut. Malahan menerusi saranan-saranan bentuk dan bayangan atmosfera, penghayat berjaya di ajak untuk mengembara di dalam catan. Pelukis ingin berkongsi pengalaman. Kembara mereka ke tempat-tempat yang digambar bersama penghayat agar keindahan turut dirasai bersama.

penutup
Dalam mengekspresi dan mendedahkan pelbagai aspek tentang kebenaran, seniman sebenar melihat karyanya sebagai manifestasi daripada dirinya. Seperti kata Allahyarham Ismail Zain.”Apabila seniman mempamerkan karyanya , dia telah membogelkan dirinya”

  

Exploring Limit in Art

"Voice Without a Sound - Superpower 1' by Muhd Faizal Sidik

By Victor Chin


Victor Chin , "Exploring Limit in Art", article of Young Contemporary 2003, Published by The Star , 26 January 2003

The visual art scene in KualaLumpur starting this year with the National Art Gallery, until Feb 16 . This biannual event is for Malaysian artista under 35 years old. Since 1974, this has been one og NAG's ways of grooming nurturing younger artists. This year's winners will receive their prizes tomorrow.But why is it still necessary to give this gathering a ranking order and make it  an awards show? Is it not time we downplay the supremacy game?

There are 26 artists in this selection. These work were conceived after discussions between the finalist and the five judges. The young talents were compelled to use their artistic energies "to voice issues, to record idiosyncrasies, to tease ambition and to shape revelation". How do these contestants meet such a high calling for art and artists, especially as they have only just started their art career?

Walking into the exhibition, the dim and focused lighting creates a pseudo-religious setting, like you are entering some sacred sanctuary. What do you see? In today's expanded field of the arts, where anything can be art, what you see in these theatre like set-ups depends on the "light" you yourself throw on them.

Let us look at Yap Sau Bin's presentation entitled...who give birth to the Great White One... Red carpet material is fixed to the floor and runs up the wall. On the wall is ablank white canvas . A stand on castors holds up an empty white frame. Labels on both sides are deliberately illegible and, like most conceptual art, asks playful questions such as, :Who, exactly, is the Great White One? The art,the canvas, the frame, the walls?...those who judgehold it to ransom..."There are many practitioners in the show who ,like Yap, intend to replace passion in art with reason . I feel their works area often dry and remote, as in this piece.
  
Muhd  Faizal Sidik's piece, entitled Voice Without A Sound:  Superpower I, is a metal skeleton "vehicle" that has three "passengers"with small caged TV monitors for heads. The three screens show a silent looped video of close-ups of mouth opening and shutting. The word "IRAQ" is printed in the middle of a target sign on the driver's seat. A colour mask sits on the driver's seat. Of course , the caged heads and the word "IRAQ" may suggest the currentsituation at one of the world's many hot spots. But the tragicomedic events of this planet are usually beyond the capacity of this type of art objects to adequately address, aren't they?.

Perhaps artists ought to place their skill more within their own limits as well as that of arts' potential. This is what Abdul Multhalib Musa has done with his laser-cut mild steel hanging entitled By Default. This design is made up of thousands of piece of kris-shaped symbols. The largest kris is at the centre of this  weave and is clearly made up of the smallest knives. This piece tome represent what is artistically vital, in term of design and production , in this exhibition . I do, however wonder what he means by his title.

   










Ahad, 17 Julai 2016

Singapore Biennale

With its biennale under way, Gareth Harris tours the art scene in Singapore, a vibrant city-state still carving out its niche in southeast Asia’s cultural landscape



by: 

Gareth Harris, “Singapore Biennale”, Financial Times, 25 January 2014.(Online) 








Curator Louis Ho and artist Sarah Choo, 23-year-old winner of Singapore’s ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu photography prize at Art Stage Singapore 2014

Singaporeans, young and old, are giggling to themselves in a darkened room. They are watching a karaoke video at the Singapore Biennale made by Boo Junfeng, which presents a fictional but historically loaded scenario. The local artist imagines a Singapore that is still part of Malaysia, showing contented, doe-eyed citizens singing along to “Happy and Free”, a song commissioned in 1963 by Singapore’s Ministry of Culture to mark the union of Singapore with the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia.
But the pithy wall text outlines what really happened, bluntly stating that “for Singapore, the period of political merger with Malaysia … turned out to be a tumultuous union, marked by ideological differences”. Older Singaporeans may well wince at this rupture that led to the formation in 1965 of the independent city-state known for its high standard of living and for its draconian social controls. The teenagers laugh and ponder, probably because the comic video mirrors propaganda (or “nation-building”) films produced by the ruling authorities.
The curatorial framework for the fourth edition of the biennale, which features works by 82 artists across nine sites, is a departure from the 21st-century model. In place of the usual illustrious artistic director, this biennale boasts 27 curators, eight from the Singapore Art Museum (SAM). Other southeast Asian scholars, such as Faizal Sidik of the National Visual Arts Gallery of Malaysia, helped mould the exhibition, subtitled If the World Changed.
Tan Siuli, SAM’s assistant director of programmes, said: “Many of the 27 curators are practising artists, and they often offered quite different perspectives on what they considered vital art and art practices coming out of southeast Asia. This really gave the biennale a unique texture.” Casting the net across the region has paid off with some exceptional off-the-radar works on view.
“Cosmology of Life” (2013), by Indonesian artist Toni Kanwa, is a staggering feat of craftsmanship, encompassing 1,000 minuscule sculpted wooden figures. Vietnamese artist Nguyen Trinh Thi’s intense video projection on wooden cut-outs, “Unsubtitled” (2010), shows artists quietly rising above a government clampdown simply by eating their favourite foods. And Urich Lau’s multi-channel video installation “The End of Art Report” (2013) comprises three fictional news broadcasts signalling the demise of culture, with news of the impending closure of three Singapore galleries.
The works by Junfeng and Lau reflect an unexpected and surprising degree of introspection and self-reflection at odds with western preconceptions about Singapore as a secluded and autocratic state. These impressions have been shaped by infrequent, but heavy-handed, examples of state censorship that have unsettled the developing artistic community. In 2011, for instance, an installation by British artist Simon Fujiwara featuring gay pornographic images was withdrawn from the biennale.
But Singapore seems to be slowly inching towards self-awareness. Tan, a candid and clever curator, suggests I read Article, a journal published by the International Association of Art Critics Singapore, which is distributed at biennale sites. The punchy, heavily critical content is an eye-opener.
Ong Puay Khim, a local independent curator, writes, for instance, that the biennale is a “piecemeal showcase of contemporary art from various southeast Asian cities … there was no curatorial direction.” But, crucially, Ong observes that the government has, in recent years, become actively engaged with the international art world.
The publication in 2000 by the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts of a key strategy document, “Renaissance City Report: Culture and the Arts in Renaissance Singapore”, sparked an ambitious internationalisation programme. Singapore looked outwards, inaugurating its own pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2001 and launching, with breakneck Singaporean efficiency, the city-state’s first biennale in 2006.
“Governments in the region have begun to recognise the benefits that arts and culture can bring, both in terms of direct economic gain as well as branding, which is seen as enhancing the wider economy. Singapore has embraced this type of branding in a significant way,” writes Eugene Tan in Art Cities of the Future: 21st-century Avant-Gardes (2013).
Eugene Tan is the director of the $419m, 60,000 sq metre National Art Gallery due to open next year in the city hall and former supreme court buildings. With ambitions, says Tan, for it to become the main authority on southeast Asian art through its exhibition programme and art holdings, from the 19th century to today, its potential significance as a powerhouse institution cannot be overstated.

‘100 Surnames in Tofu’ by Chen Qiulin at Art Stage Singapore 2014

In a significant move, the National Art Gallery now comes under a new umbrella of organisations granted more autonomy by the government. This new grouping also includes the Singapore Art Museum. “We’ve yet to discover how the different VAC [Visual Arts Cluster] entities will come together and the [third member], Singapore Tyler Print Institute, has a commercial arm, so we’ll need to see how that works out,” Tan Siuli said.
The fact, meanwhile, that non-profit organisations, such as the Grey Projects workspace in the hipster suburb of Tiong Bahru, are coming through says a lot about the health of the cultural climate. But the best barometer of any art scene is the presence of art colleges, and Singapore has three reputable establishments, including the Lasalle College of the Arts, and the School of Art, Design and Media (SADM). It is telling that a taxi driver beamed with pride on mentioning his son’s undergraduate status at SADM, something that would have been unthinkable 20 years ago.
There is one cultural experiment raising eyebrows, though: the government’s plans to open an offshoot of the Parisian private museum Pinacothèque at the historic Fort Canning Centre site next year. The for-profit museum is run by academic Marc Restellini, who has spent several years working on a catalogue raisonné of works by Amedeo Modigliani.
The Pinacothèque de Paris will bring Old Masters and modern art exhibitions to Singapore, with government officials hoping that Restellini can repeat the success of his Paris gallery (The Dutch Golden Age exhibition there in 2009 drew 700,000 visitors).
Drawing influential, headline-hitting art world figures from overseas is a canny government strategy designed to boost the commercial and critical standing of Singapore as an art centre. The ebullient Hong Kong-based dealer Pearl Lam opened a new gallery in the Gillman Barracks arts district last week. She is the latest of about 10 foreign gallerists to have opened venues at the elegant 1930s colonial base.
Governments in the region have begun to recognise the benefits that arts and culture can bring

Eugene Tan, director of the National Art Gallery
“[The government’s] Economic Development Board has encouraged me to put on one design show annually,” said Lam, whose inaugural show explores contemporary abstract art in Asia and the west. Other gallerists based here are evangelical about this burgeoning southeast Asian hub. “Collectors, curators and artists from Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand come regularly to exhibit and buy,” said Matthias Arndt, a Berlin-based dealer who opened a space in Gillman Barracks last year.
But at Art Stage Singapore last week, opinion on the floor at the 158-dealer art fair was divided about the scale of the local market, and whether its growth was sustainable, especially when compared with Hong Kong, a rival market hub and auction house mecca.
Numerous Malaysian and Filipino collectors, as well as leading Chinese art world figures such as Wang Wei, the founder of the private Long Museum in Shanghai, browsed the aisles, taking in 35 local galleries. Even film-maker George Lucas popped in (the Star Wars supremo was in town to unveil Lucasfilm’s new regional headquarters).
But the question of who is scrutinising both the art produced, and local commercial and public cultural bodies, always pops up in developing art centres. “During the art fair and the biennale in combination, Singapore gives the appearance of a regional hub for the arts but the fact is there’s a critical vacuum,” said Bharti Lalwani, an independent art critic. “However, there is so much potential here.”
“The government’s top-down approach can be an advantage for artists, and the seeds have long been sown in the form of the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore and the [new] Centre for Contemporary Art – not for an emerging art market hub but for Singapore to become an intersecting point for critical discourse in southeast Asia.”
Singapore, with its robust infrastructure, is already flexing its muscles; one day, it could be the real heavyweight of the southeast Asian art world.
Gareth Harris travelled courtesy of the Singapore Tourism Board
The Singapore Biennale runs until February 16, singaporebiennale.org

Malaysia on show at Singapore Biennale 2013

A unique curatorial model allows the Singapore Biennale 2013 to feature more Malaysian artists this year than ever before.

By Sharmila Ganesan
17 November 2013

Sharmila Ganesan, “Malaysia on show in Singapore Biennale”, The Star, Sunday, 17 November 2013. (Online)


Originally commissioned for a non-halal food hall in Kuala Lumpur, Poodien’s 'Long Live Food!' digital print has found a new home at the Singapore Art Museum cafe. The artist’s work points to the nostalgia and blatant commercialisation that attend to these propaganda images today.
Originally commissioned for a non-halal food hall in Kuala Lumpur, Poodien’s 'Long Live Food!' digital print has found a new home at the Singapore Art Museum cafe. The artist’s work points to the nostalgia and blatant commercialisation that attend to these propaganda images today.
THE works of the Malaysian artists showing at the Singapore Biennale 2013 (SB2013) share very few similarities, except perhaps for a common geographical point of origin. Yet, this is exactly what makes their presence at the biennial contemporary art event so exciting: the multiple Malaysias being shown – whether overtly or subtly – through these pieces.
Organised by the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) with the theme If The World Changed, the fourth edition of the Biennale features works by 82 artists and art collectives from 13 different countries.
With nine Malaysians displaying the works at the SB2013, it is the biggest representation of our country at the event thus far, and certainly the first time artists from East Malaysia are specifically highlighted. The Malaysian artists showing currently showing at SB2013 are: Adrian Ho, Chi Too, Chris Chong Chan Fui, Jainal Amambing, Poodien, Sharon Chin, Shieko Reto, Tan Wei Kheng and Zulkifli Yusoff.
"Voices Of Hope" by Tan Wei Kheng is showing at the Singapore Biennale 2013.
Ethnic identity: In Voices of Hope, the Marudi, Sarawak-born Tan Wei Kheng expresses the modern-day perils faced by tribal communities in his home state. The piece is showing at the Singapore Art Museum during the Singapore Biennale 2013.
This large presence was made possible by a collaborative curatorial effort where 27 curators from South-East Asia were brought together to allow a focused look at each country in the region – as such, 93% of the works on display are from South-East Asia. This panel of curators included Malaysians Faizal Sidik and Yee I-Lann.
Yee says she saw her postion as a curator as an opportunity to include as many “worlds” from Malaysia as possible, and was particularly excited about introducing artists from Sabah and Sarawak.
“Personally, I wanted our selection to be as wide and inclusive as it could. I was brought on board because the SB2013 organising committee didn’t know anything about art from Borneo, it was a black hole in their research. So I got very excited. This is the first time a Biennale has visited East Malaysia ever,” says the Sabah-born artist.
"Longing" by Chi Too is an installation and video work that is currently showing at the SIngapore Biennale.
Longing by Chi Too is an installation/video work. At the Biennale, Chi Too extends the work by inviting
visitors to enter a small, empty room and attempt the spirit level balancing act.
“In the previous Biennales, we didn’t have a Malaysian specifically looking out for Malaysian artists, so it is very exciting to see so many Malaysians showing their works this year,” she ädds.
What she looked for when selecting artists to be showcased, she shares, were works that had resonance, were current and dealt with real and contemporary issues. This has resulted in a diverse range of works, from those that scream avant garde to those that people may even question is contemporary art.
“The word contemporary is contextual,” adds Yee. “I think it’s contemporary to include works that may not appear contemporary. We must always have space for work that doesn’t fit neatly into categories.”
Jainal Amambing’s works, for instance, which are naive art paintings of his memories of growing up in a longhouse in Kudat, Sabah, are those don’t readily fit into these categories.
Paintings from the
“However, within a larger context, Jainal’s My Longhouse Story (pic) recognises South-East Asia’s tribal component, and is so very contemporary in terms of the experiences it speaks about,” says Yee.
For Jainal, showing at SB2013 was an opportunity to share and reflect on his own culture and lifestyle.
“I don’t think about what style I paint in; instead, I look at the theme. And the SB2013 theme, If The World Changed, inspired in me thoughts of how the world of my childhood has changed,” he says, adding that he is immensely happy to be able to show his works at such a prestigious event.
Artist Chris Chong Chan Fu working on his
Working with professionals from Institut Sains Teknologi in Malaysia, Sabah-raised Chris Chong Chan Fu has made detailed, cartographical illustrations of various ‘species’ of artificial flowers available today in his Botanicseries.
In contrast, Chris Chong Chan Fui, who hails from Kota Kinabalu, merges art and science in Botanic. a series of botanical illustrations that are in fact of artificial flowers. They appear deceptively simple yet provoke thought on the increasing presence of the artificial in our lives.
“Having so many artists from Malaysia showing here is great, because it allows us to show so many different aspects. There’s still much more art in Malaysia that needs to be highlighted, and this is a step in that direction,” says Chong.
For Shieko Reto, showing at SB2013 was a platform to highlight an issue close to her heart: the plight of the transgender community. Her mixed media installation,Waiting Room (pic), is a recreation of a clinic waiting room, and is a tongue-in-cheek yet poignant reflection on the many episodes of “waiting” a transgender person faces.
"Waiting Room" by Shieko Reto is a mixed media installation at the Singapore Biennale 2013 that evokes the feeling of "waiting" that many transgender people go through.
“My work is a voice from a minority group, to shine a light on the situation in Malaysia, and being able to raise these issues in an international platform is very important,” says Shieko.
The wide array of works by Malaysians, she points out, speak of a variety of experiences and concerns.
“Sharon Chin’s Mandi Bunga (Flower Bath), for example, is a very important work. (Chin organised a mass flower bath where participants wore yellow costumes they had designed themselves). While it is about the colour yellow and how it has become politicised in the last few years, she also doesn’t want to impose her politics on anyone; it’s almost like a group hug,” she adds.
Other perspectives include Adrian Ho’s paintings, Fruits Of Life and Full Production,which ruminate on the nature and progress by contrasting the benefits of oil palm plantations with the potential damage, while Tan Wei Kheng’s Voices Of Hopeexpresses the threats faced by tribal communities in Sarawak through a large composition of paintings that are both visually-striking and symbolic.
Poodien’s digital collage mural Long Live Food! has also been given a new lease of life as it features prominently at the Singapore Art Museum cafe. For reasons unknown, the piece was taken down from the feature wall of the E.A.T. Food Village hall in Publika, Kuala Lumpur last year.
To conclude, Yee says the best thing Malaysians can do for our artists is to engage with these works, and visit the SB2013.
“The exhibits are so South-East Asia. It’s all about what’s happening in the region, and how Malaysian art joins or doesn’t join in that dialogue. For our art to grow, we have to participate, and that includes the audience.”
> The Singapore Biennale 2013 is being held until Feb 16, 2014, in a number of arts spaces in the Bras Basah, Bugis precinct, including the Singapore Art Museum and National Museum Of Singapore. Tickets, priced at S$10 (RM25.40) for adults and S$5 (RM12.70) for students and senior citizens, are available at the exhibition venues and online at SISTIC (www.sistic.com.sg). For more info, visitwww.singaporebiennale.org.

http://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/entertainment/arts/frame-up/2013/11/17/malaysia-on-show-at-singapore-biennale-2013