- concept write-up below
- exhibition write-up below
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Attachment– Jeffrey Lim walks from APW Bangsar to the National Art Gallery, alternating courses in three separate occasions as acts of linking, retracing, and unlinking the distance between two venues. Not unlike the situationist approach of dérive (or ‘drift’), he initiates a psychogeographic mapping of the city – and parts of the Klang River – marking his 11-kilometre trail with spools of threads docked at the two venues. As he invites the audience to unspool the threads, drift along and map the city in their own way, his work affirms the transitory nature of self and the urban.
Artist’s concept interpretation, bibliography & pictorial references—
Attachment explores the relation between origin & destiny, the parallax of space and time, and the transit between places through the exhibition sites, each representing ‘creation’ and ‘being’, a port of entry and exit for local authenticity. Attachment is both the place of origin (creation) in transit and a connection to place of debarkation (being).
“predicament ethnographic modernity: ethnographic… off center among scattered tradition; modernity since the condition of rootlessness and mobility… is an increasingly common fate.” The predicament of culture: twentieth-century ethnography, literature, and art / James Clifford. 1988. pg 3
“Being Tribal… the active agency of individuals… do not follow the dictates of some collective inborn drive, they engage severally in a culturally mediated social strategy, whether out of choice or under geographical or political constraint.”,“socio-political circumstances of life”. Tribal communities in the Malay World: historical, cultural and social perspectives / edited by Geoffrey Benjamin and Cynthia Chou. 2002. pg 7-8
“Java Street > Mountbatten Road > Jalan Mountbatten > Jalan Tun Perak. Java Street marked the boundary between the Malay and Chinese quarters in the 1800s. The street had a large number of native shops and the name implies a concentration of Javanese traders or settlers.” Kuala Lumpur Street Names / Mariana Isa & Maganjeet Kaur. 2105. pg 127
“The boundary between the Malay quarter and the Chinese settlement around the square was a rough track, later to be called Java Street… The whole village stood on the east side of Klang River, for convenient access to mines by tracks leading to Ampang, Batu, and Pudu.” Old Kuala Lumpur / J. M. Gullick. 1994. pg 5
map route/ river/ exploration
ESCAPE from the SEA [Kuala Lumpur 2017] is a contemporary art exhibition featuring artists from Japan, Malaysia and the South East Asia region. Exhibition period starts from 24 February till 23 April 2017.
The exhibition concept is to explore the complex layers of politics of the imagined community and the poetics and possibility of “drowning on dry land”. It frames the sea as both real and fictional, representative of geo-political boundaries as well as a state of boundlessness.
Contemporary art, in this instance, becomes a visual cue for the parallel narratives, inviting the audience to imagine ways of questioning the idea of the real sea and imagined community of the SEA as fluid and flexible notions of politics and poetics.
Escape in this case is akin to identifying a gap, not in the manner of direct confrontation with the sea as an object, but to look out for a break. By “escape”, we refer to contemporary practices of hacking and creating possibility of alternative. It is to differ and defer when escape becomes a line of flight, signifying a process rather than a definitive and singular act.
Escape from the SEA is our attitude for the present world. Most of Southeast Asian countries and Japanese provinces are surrounded by the sea. The sea is sometimes used as the protection wall from the outside world, but on the other hand we sometimes feel agonized due to the sea. It is not necessary to consider the sea as an adversary, but neither do we affirm the sea as a blessing. We should keep certain distance from the sea as the creative attitude of ESCAPE.
ESCAPE not only means getting away, but also means becoming wild (wilderization). In the civilized and continuing disembodied society, can wilderization (making wild) make alternative routes? We would like to start this project from reading ESCAPE” as “Wilderization.” It is not about getting away, but getting wild in the city. Let’s hack the system and find alternative (detour) routes with our own body. And survive by our creativity. This act must become the poetic political action.
Let’s ESCAPE (Wilderizing!) with the physical/political and imaginary/poetic action. And survive in the dualistic world of conceptual and physical intertwinements.
[EXHBITION VENUES] The exhibition is to be held concurrently in two contrasting art spaces, the National Visual Arts Gallery (NVAG) and Arts Printing Workshop (APW) in Kuala Lumpur.
The two sites present the aforementioned binaries of politics and poetics, boundlessness and boundaries, negotiated through art practice prompted by playing with idea of the Real and the Fictional/Imaginary SEA, i.e. Southeast Asia (SEA) as a geo-political region and the implication of real political and social conditions; and the notion of sea as metaphor and imaginary sea-scape, body, space where subjective and individual politics of imagination of differences and differing from the others.
To curate across two seemingly disparate spaces is not an attempt to draw parallels between contemporary art and the present geo-political, cultural, and economic conjecture. The exhibition aims to offer the reverse, with each space offering an escape from the weight of historicity, material conditioning, and moral codes. We invite audiences to engage such disparity between the institutional and the alternative.
[ORGANISED BY] Japan Foundation Asia Center, as an extension of Condition Report, a curatorial development programme initiated by the Japan Foundation Asia Centre. Currently in its sophomore edition, the programme in 2017 takes place in two parts: the first opens with four major collaborative exhibitions in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Bangkok. The second features fourteen local exhibitions, each curated by fourteen shortlisted curatorial participants from the programme.
Yap Sau Bin (MY)
Hiroyuki Hattori (JP)
Alice Sarmiento (PH)
Kurnia Yunita Rahayu (ID)
Souliya Phoumivong (LA)
Goh Sze Ying (MY)
1. Adam David (PH)
2. Aoyama Satoru (JP)
3. Au Sow-Yee (MY)
4. Catalina Africa Espinosa (PH)
5. Han Ishu (CN/JP)
6. Ismal Muntaha (ID)
7. Jeffrey Lim (MY)
8. Ali Alasri, Faiq Syazwan Kuhiri, Mark Teh, and Wong Tay Sy (MY)
9. Pangrok Sulap (MY)
10. Roslisham Ismail aka ISE (MY)
11. Shitamichi Motoyuki (JP)
12. Tita Salina (ID)
13. Yang02 + Kenta Ishige (JP)
14. Zai Kuning (SG)