The annual Art Expo Malaysia (AEM) returns, this year featuring some 60 galleries from 15 countries around the world. If you’re considering stopping by the MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre this weekend, here are some highlights worth checking out.
KAMWEI FONG'S FURRY WORKS
Kamwei Fong’s cat illustrations done in black micro pigment ink have captured the imagination and adoration of many through his social media for years. It was a pleasant and light hearted surprise to find his furry works on display.
In a section dedicated to Young Art Entrepreneurs, Dgku Norhidayah Pg Imran’s Sukka Project stood out for its animated and bright coloured silkscreen prints rendered on bandanas, tote bags and rolled-up pencil cases, some of them inspired – incidentally - by her cat, Hagu.
WU KUAN-TE'S OIL PAINTING
Take a moment in front of Taiwanese artist Wu Kuan-Te’s spinning oil painting, The Wholeness of an Eternal Breath, at the Art Porters Gallery booth. The rather mesmerising and detailed work – done using a subtractive technique of etching out paint using leaves, twigs and stones -invites a moment of quiet contemplation.
Spend some time walking through the Japan Pavilion of the fair and immerse in the aestheticism of Japanese contemporary art, from the traditional inspirations in Motoaki Higashizono’s beautiful motifs, to quirky sculptures of whimsy by Kunihiko Nohara (pic); Akihiro Fujimoto’s man and beast creations that pays tribute to Malaysia’s indigenous animals such as the orang utan; to the pop-culture “mineral pigment” drawings of Kazuki Hayashi; and the iconic pumpkins of Yayoi Kusama.
LUI CHENG THAK'S HERITAGE OIL PAINTINGS
Lui Cheng Thak’s heritage oil paintings at the Tiny Rose Gallery booth have found strong interest from visitors, his works of Jonker street and Jalan Tokong in Melaka, of picturesque windows of heritage buildings and old street scenes invoking a romantic sense of nostalgia.
QUENTIN GAREL'S ANIMAL WOOD CARVINGS
French sculptor Quentin Garel’s animal wood carvings are masterpieces, to say the least, enough to earn him the grandiose title of ‘The Wizard of Wood’. Presented by Singapore’s Mazel Galerie, the four large scale animal faces on display beckons a closer look that reveals an artist with intimate knowledge of his material.
A+ WORKS OF ART
After the animal sculptures, just head across to A+ Works of Art and visit its variety of Southeast Asian contemporary artworks. But what jumps out is its theme, “a different corner”, thanks to the visual walls created by Vincent Leong, based on a 2006 stencil work called Tropical Paradise. Have fun trying to pick out as many Malaysian cultural references as possible.
ARTWORK BY RICHARD KOH FINE ART
Also drop by Richard Koh Fine Art for a sampling of some of the most exciting local (and a couple of regional) artists to watch out for. Our favourites were Justin Lim’s Nothing Lasts Forever series and Hasanul Isyraf Idris’ Primal Beast from his latest series.
EMERGING LOCAL ARTISTS BY G13 GALLERY
Similarly, G13 Gallery offers a snapshot of Malaysia’s young, emerging and midcareer contemporary artists, from Shafiq Nordin’s pop-art inspired paintings rich with socio-political symbolisms, to young artist Wong Ming Hao’s haunting figurative series, This is Me, I Guess (pic); Calvin Chua’s colourful linen paintings of acrylic, oil and watercolour; Arikwibowo Amril’s large charcoal and paper cut portrait; Sabihis Pandi’s woodblock and woodcut works; and Chin Wan Kee’s bronze sculptures, to name but a few.
ZULKIFLI YUSOFF AND EDROGER ROSILI AT SEGARIS ART CENTER
At Segaris Art Center, an entire section dedicated to Zulkifli Yusoff’s Don’t Drop The Coin II (pic) draws attention, but our favourite are the intricate works by Edroger Rosili, each featuring skinless – and therefore raceless - figures in various scenarios.
SMALL SIZED WORKS BY CORE DESIGN GALLERY
Core Design Gallery took a deliberately different approach this year, with small sized works ala art in a market bazaar. One can find ball pen and acrylic mixed media works by Syafiq Hariz; Firdaus Nordin’s Diraja series of aluminium “playing cards”; miniature doll house-like installations by Jasmine Cheong; and the technically challenging Vicious pyrography series by Haafiz Shahimi.
LARGE SHOWPIECES AND SCULPTURES
Lastly, don’t forget to stop by the middle of the fair to view the large scale works of the mythical Makara by Tan Zi Hao, a timberwood sculpture by Anniketyni Madian, and Nor Tijan Firdaus’ interpretation of Picasso’s Guernica with e-waste materials.
MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre, Jalan Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, KL. Oct 11-12, 11.30am-9pm; Oct 13, 11.30am-7.30pm. RM12, RM15. Buy tickets here.