The art exhibition features more than 300 artworks from 128 artists of different ages, backgrounds, skill levels and expertise
by AZALEA AZUAR / pic MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
MANY artists were badly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, but the art market is now observing a strong rebound in the endemic period.
According to Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, a total of 1,130 artworks worth more than RM3.7 million have been sold so far this year, with the help of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture’s (MOTAC) “Buy Art Malaysia” initiative.
Under the initiative, a total of RM1.06 million of vouchers worth RM500 to RM1,000 were given out, depending on the value of the artwork.
Looking to capitalise on the initiative is the ongoing Telur Pecah 2.022 art exhibition at GMBB Mall in Kuala Lumpur. Taking place from Oct 12 to Nov 13, the second edition of art exhibition features more than 300 artworks from 128 artists of different ages, backgrounds, skill levels and expertise. Its debut last year featured only 50 participating artists.
This time around, Telur Pecah 2.022 took extra efforts to include artists from all over Malaysia, including Sabah and Sarawak, as well as artists with special needs.
Reviving the Art Market
“Telur Pecah 2.022 is not (just) an ‘art-art’ kind of show, but we also aim to help the economy because we need to let the economy and art industry be healthy,” said Phillip Wong, the exhibition’s curator.
The former the National Visual Development Board member said people need to get used to buying art instead of thinking that the prices are too expensive.
As such, Wong strived to showcase some artworks that are more affordable at Telur Pecah 2.022 to encourage more locals to buy art. Thus, the exhibition comprises artworks that are both expensive for elite collectors and affordable for first-time buyers.
Wong shared that he founded the exhibition to help artists sell their artworks. “It was our first time (last year) and then for this time round, we wanted to keep promoting this kind of creative and also cultural, economic (event).
“So, the thing is…there’s something for everyone. This art is accessible to everyone. It is for everybody.”
The first edition did quite well as they managed to sell about 30 artworks. This year, 14 artworks have already been sold during Telur Pecah 2.022’s soft launch.
Wong said they will keep trying to reach out to more people.
“We have people who walk in and they just explore the exhibition, and then they see art that they liked.
“And we had collectors as well last year, who came in looking for art to buy.”
Telur Pecah 2.022 features 10 categories, namely Muse, Both, Solo, Inside Out, Emerge, Indigenous, Generation, Media, Gifted and Future.
“Muse’’ consists of senior and veteran artists who are given the largest exhibition room, while the “Both” category features established male and female artists who come from different backgrounds, yet share the same passion for art.
The “Solo” category includes 11 individual artists who have developed their own unique styles. They are also committed to creating a signature and style working in a specific medium such as clay, vines, toys and even soot.
The “Inside Out” category even shows graffiti art, which is well-known worldwide as a medium to express socio-political issues.
The works of young artists are displayed in the “Emerge” category, showcasing those active in making their debut in the industry in recent years. The themes presented are hope, expectations, fears and trauma.
The “Indigenous” category is a platform for Orang Asli to express their relationships with the world around them, their lifestyle and psyche.
“Generation” includes the works of university students, who are not necessarily from an art background, to help them start their journey in the art market. These students come from different universities such as Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA), Universiti Teknologi Mara, Aswara Malaysia and UCSI University.
The “Media” category dives into the world of digital and high-technology art. These artists craft their artworks using augmented reality (AR) and other softwares.
“Future” involves works from promising teenagers and adolescents. This category aims to celebrate the vigour of youth and the promise of tomorrow, expressing how the world around them is slowly shaping them and their future.
And last but not least. Nobody should be left behind. Telur Pecah 2.022 has included artworks from special needs people under “Gifted”.
Wong also wanted to bring over artists from East Malaysia and their artworks to the country’s capital for the exhibition, but thought it was too expensive to cover their transport and accommodation costs. Fortunately, the artists were willing to fork up their own money to participate.
Wong also enjoys the idea of having an exhibition where the youngest can even be a toddler and the oldest artist would be in his 70s or 80s. When they come together, they are able to interact and share their experiences.
“We try to provide this kind of platform for all of them to interact, to be inspired by each other, to learn from each other, to improve together.”
Artists of Different Worlds
Raja Azhar Raja Lop Idris is the artists participating in Telur Pecah 2.022. He has been in the art scene for a long time, starting out as a roadside painter in 1976, and is now known for his paintings on impressionism with movement.
Raja Azhar has a total of four artworks on show in the exhibition, but what stood out the most to me was his latest installation “Seperti Anjing Menyalak Bukit, Bukit Tak Runtuh” (a dog barking into a hill that does not collapse). It definitely caught the attention of Nancy, who toured the exhibition during its launch last week.
The installation features two rocks that Raja Azhar found in Langkawi and a broken black plastic which resembles the shape of a dog. The artwork is meant to represent society’s current issues such as people who keep making empty threats to people who don’t care about their opinions.
Azhar explained that it only took two to three days to polish the artwork. “I would like to introduce to the public my new medium. The last two months, it was a marble with glass that sold out really easily.
“So, this is (what) I’m experimenting myself, but I never give up. We keep on going,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).
The artist hails from Perak, but he mostly spends his time in Kuala Lumpur. However, he plans to move to Langkawi to start an art gallery there.
Meanwhile, 25-year-old Alicia Lee was diagnosed with a learning disability when she was young and has difficulties expressing herself.
However, she has learnt to do so through art and she wants to be an artist. Her piece displayed at Telur Pecah 2.022 consists of a large doodle using marker pens.
Lee told TMR she wanted to create “something magical” for this exhibition. She basically drew characters that look familiar in her world, including her friends, but in ambiguous and abstract shapes.
Lee hopes that her artworks would make people feel optimistic and pleased.
So, do check out Telur Pecah 2.022 at GMBB Mall. You may find yourself inspired by the artworks there.
- This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition