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  1. concept write-up below
  2. exhibition write-up below
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  5. event dates view>
  6. on-site venue view>
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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).

dia-5-earth
The Earth shown as it might look through a telescope from Mars– drawings by Otto van Eersel. Planets, LIFE Science Library by Carl Sagan, Jonathan Norton Leonard, 1967 pg 44
dia-3-social-pattern
Changing social patterns in a specific area of Germany between 1939 and 1961. The dot near the bottom of the map is the town of Balingen, in Baden-Württemberg. In twenty-two years the area inhabited by small peasant communities (1) has noticeably shrunk, while worker–peasant communities (2) and, even more, industrial and dormitory settlement (3) have increased. illustration; Community types, Baden–Württemberg, 1939-61. After p. Hesse, “Der Strukturwandel der Siedlungskörper…’, in Jahrbucher für Statistik und Landeskunde von Baden Württemberg. Our forgotten past: seven centuries of life on the land, edited by Jerome Blum, 1982. pg 211

“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

dia-1el
Swettenham’s sketch map of 1875, the earliest we have, perhaps drawn from memory as he omits the kuala, from Sir Frank Swettenham’s Malayan Journals.Old Kuala Lumpur by J.M Gullick, 1994. pg 5

“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

dia-4-angkat
“CAPTION–Gambar yang sangat menarik ini memperlihatkan orang ramai (kira-kira 100 orang) sedang mengusung sebuah rumah yang hendak dipindahkan ke tapak baru, amalan begini sering berlaku pada zaman tradisi. Gambar ini dirakamkan oleh Encik Azim Mahmud di Alor Star, Kedah pada tahun 60-an./ Interesting photograph picturing a group (of around 100 people) carrying a house that needs to be transferred to a new site, practices like this often happen during this traditional period. This photograph was recorded by Azim Mahmud in Alor Star, Kedah during the 60s. Pengenalan Rumah Tradisional Melayu Semenanjung Malaysia (Introduction to traditional Malay houses of Peninsular Malaysia) by Abdul Halim Nasir, 1985. pg 78
dia-2-1-river-linear
19th-century topographic diagram, in parallel, linearly arranged. Joseph Hutchins Colton, Johnson’s New Illustrated Family Atlas with Physical Geography (New Yorw, 1864), pp.10-11. Envisioning Information by Edward R. Tufte 1990/ 8th edition, 2001. pg 77
sea-map-ab
Abstracted mapping routes separated on printing plates according to colour. Cycling Kuala Lumpur, Bicycle Map, 2014

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.

[CURATORIAL TEAM]
Yap Sau Bin (MY)
Hiroyuki Hattori (JP)

[CO-CURATORS]
Alice Sarmiento (PH)
Kurnia Yunita Rahayu (ID)
Souliya Phoumivong (LA)
Goh Sze Ying (MY)

[ARTISTS]
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)

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