Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang - No. 5

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ARTISTS

Phuan Thai Meng Roslisham Ismail, a.k.a. Ise

Nยบ 5


This catalogue is published in conjunction with exhibition, Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang No.5: Phuan Thai Meng & Roslisham Ismail, a.k.a. Ise. Held at A+ WORKS of ART, Kuala Lumpur, from the 11th April – 5th May 2019.

A+ WORKS of ART d6 - G - 8 d6 Trade Centre 801 Jalan Sentul 51000 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia +60 18 333 3399 info@aplusart.asia Writers & Editors Eric Goh Lienne Loy Project Management Nikki Ong Design Kenta.Works Photography Damien Khoo

Opening Hours 12 pm – 7 pm, Tuesday to Saturday Closed on Sunday, Monday and public holidays Copyright © A+ WORKS of ART 2019. All rights reserved. All articles and illustrations contained in this catalogue are subject to copyright law. Any use beyond the narrow limites defineded by copyright law, and without the express of the publisher, is forbidden and will be prosecuted.


A+ Works of Art is proud to present its 5th edition of Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang, an ongoing series of preview exhibitions by artists that the gallery collaborates with. This ongoing series showcases existing and/or ongoing artists’ works. The title of this series is a reference to a riddle in the famous P. Ramlee movie Nujum Pa’ Blalang (1959): Satu – Banyak-banyak Dua – Sikit-sikit Tiga – Jarang-jarang Empat – Kadang-kadang This edition will feature works by artists, Phuan Thai Meng and Roslisham Ismail, a.k.a. Ise, leading to upcoming exhibitions that they will be featured in.

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Intallation view, Phuan Thai Meng, Ex(change) Project – Neglected Voices, 2015

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Phuan Thai Meng Ex(change) Project – Neglected Voices (detail) 2015 Mixed media Variable dimensions

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Ex(change) Project — Neglected Voices ERIC GOH

Ex(change) Project – Neglected Voices is a continuation of Phuan Thai Meng’s endeavour to translate significant national events and also personal stories of people that he has spoken to into an installation comprising an intricate arrangement of photography, prints, postcards and paintings. The centre of the installation features a loosely hung canvas depicting the hand gesture of politicians in photo ops in the 1Malaysia campaign that was initiated by former prime minister Najib, to promote ethnic harmony and national unity. The other components that surround the centre, such as the prints of mind maps and monochromatic photographs, tap into his ongoing archive of personal narratives that he has collected from his dialogues with various individuals. In this case, he selected stories about the lived realities, concerns and hopes of individuals in their twenties.

the voiceless rakyat of the country trying to speak and make themselves visible against a solemn landscape. On the other hand, the painting on the top right corner is a recreation of the front page of the whistle-blowing Sarawak Report with all the images and content removed. It highlights the moment when the website was censored by the previous administration and speaks of the politics of censorship in the country. While postcards usually attempt to represent the best parts of a country, such as significant landmarks, cities, towns or scenes, Phuan deliberately leaves the content of his postcards blank. In doing so, he is alluding to the government’s practice of putting in place socioeconomic policies that have benefited certain groups over others. In this sense, the beneficiaries of some national policies have not been representative of the rakyat as a whole.

The arrangement of the different components captures the uneasy relationship and tension between the younger generation and the sociopolitical landscape of the country. The monochromatic painting on the left depicting sign language alphabets spelling the word “Malaysia” refers to A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Phuan Thai Meng Ex(change) Project – Neglected Voices (detail) 2015 Mixed media Variable dimensions

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Phuan Thai Meng Ex(change) Project – Neglected Voices (detail) 2015 Mixed media Variable dimensions

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Phuan Thai Meng Ex(change) Project – Neglected Voices (detail) 2015 Mixed media Variable dimensions

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Intallation view, Phuan Thai Meng, Ex(change) Project – Neglected Voices, 2015

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Intallation view, Roslisham Ismail (Ise), Till Kingdom Come, 2011

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For you I’d wait ’til kingdom come LIENNE LOY

Roslisham Ismail, also known as Ise to his “Superfriends”, produces work that delves into his curiosities of relationships, including those he creates when participating in exhibitions around the world. His works often explore connections between one’s living conditions, their environments and how they contrast in different areas, which often finds Ise inserting himself in social situations that subsequently incite his projects. What transpires are elaborate displays of his projects, of which have been presented at international exhibitions and biennales, including the Singapore Art Biennale, Asia Pacific Triennial and the 9th Istanbul Biennale. Ise’s installations often acquire a large space that consists of a combination of drawings, collage, found objects, video, publications and results in an immersive experience, engaging the viewer with intricacies of his research and findings. Through collaborations and conversations, his work depicts the diversity, with its discrepancies and disparities, of communities he encounters and offers alternative solutions to harmonise such, if any, separative issues. While Ise’s practice is predominantly outward looking and revolves around social exchanges, A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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interactions and observations, on show at the gallery are drawings created during Ise’s residency at Seoul Art Space Hongeun in Seoul, South Korea. Till Kingdom Come is a visual journal of the many trials and tribulations faced by the artist at an integral time of self-reflection, during which drawing became a means of catharsis. His works on paper allude to aesthetics of popular culture and underground art, using the directness of graphic illustrations as a tool to simplify and convey their underlying complexities. His drawing style takes on notes of urban street art and uses the accessibility of the genre to translate his projects in the most relatable way possible.

character of a boy in camping gear, faces monsters in the midst of an attack. While entangled in compromising positions, the boy remains expressionless, holding an unfaltering mask of indifference that ultimately shields him from the monsters that repeatedly assault him. The boy is Ise and the monsters, embodiments of his adversities. Despite every drawing having its own anecdote, the body of work, as seen as a whole, represents a world of Ise’s inner thoughts and emotions. One that the viewer is invited to reflect upon and piece together as a narrative of their own. In this way, Till Kingdom Come, maintains Ise’s practice of exploring social interactions and relationships as it attempts to Inspired by Cold Play’s ‘Til Kingdom Come’, create connections between his most vulnerable the story of Ise’s journey through the art world, self and those who interact with it. despite his many successes, reflect a struggling artist’s yearning and anticipation for support of Hung on the walls of A+ Works of Art is the first his home country of Malaysia, a shortcoming showing of Till Kingdom Come in its entirety, all he’s willing to wait ’til kingdom come. Ise’s 68 drawings offering observers an unwonted many achievements and the distance his work intimate experience of Ise’s adversities. has been able to travel are testaments to his persistent pursuit in continuously developing and sharing his practice. Each drawing depicts climatic scenes of an adventure, where its protagonist, a recurring A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Intallation view, Roslisham Ismail (Ise), Till Kingdom Come, 2011

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Intallation view, Roslisham Ismail (Ise), Till Kingdom Come, 2011

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Collection of Pakhruddin & Fatimah Sulaiman, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Pakhruddin & Fatimah Sulaiman, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Yeap Lam Yang, Singapore A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Yeap Lam Yang, Singapore A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Pakhruddin & Fatimah Sulaiman, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Pakhruddin & Fatimah Sulaiman, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Pakhruddin & Fatimah Sulaiman, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Datuk Lim Edin Nom & Datin Amara Chong, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Pakhruddin & Fatimah Sulaiman, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Datuk Lim Edin Nom & Datin Amara Chong, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Pakhruddin & Fatimah Sulaiman, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Datuk Lim Edin Nom & Datin Amara Chong, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Datuk Lim Edin Nom & Datin Amara Chong, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Pakhruddin & Fatimah Sulaiman, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Pakhruddin & Fatimah Sulaiman, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Bingley Sim & Ima Norbinsha, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Bingley Sim & Ima Norbinsha, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Bingley Sim & Ima Norbinsha, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Bingley Sim & Ima Norbinsha, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Pakhruddin & Fatimah Sulaiman, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Pakhruddin & Fatimah Sulaiman, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Bingley Sim & Ima Norbinsha, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Bingley Sim & Ima Norbinsha, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Collection of Pakhruddin & Fatimah Sulaiman, Malaysia A+ WORKS of ART — Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang Nº5

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Phuan Thai Meng (b. 1974, Batu Pahat, Johor; lives and works in Taipei) earned a Diploma in Fine Art from the Malaysian Institute of Art and is currently enrolled at the Graduate Institute of Trans-disciplinary Arts of Taipei National University of the Arts. His practice, encompassing paintings and installations, provides a running commentary on the state of the country and the absurdities of Malaysian politics. Phuan has exhibited locally in Malaysia (OUR ArtProjects, 2018; Ilham Gallery, 2016; National Art Gallery, 2007), as well as internationally in countries such as: Singapore (Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2018; Richard Koh Fine Art, 2015); Indonesia (Sangkring Art Space, 2016; Edwin’s Gallery, 2015); and Japan (Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, 2013; Yokohama Museum of Art, 2013). In addition, he has participated in the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial and won the Silver Award for 2018 UOB Painting of the Year’s Established Artist Category in Malaysia.

Roslisham Ismail, a.k.a. Ise (b. 1972, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia. Lives and works in Kota Bharu and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) is interested in social relationships, from interpersonal to cultural connections and parallels. His practice involves integrating himself into his projects, working in collaboration with his subject matter. He is the founder of Parking Project and co-founder of Sentap, a quarterly art publication in Malaysia. His most recent participation has been in Leaving the Echo Chamber- Journey Beyond the Arrow, curated by Zoe Butt for the 14th Sharjah Biennial, UAE, 2019. Ise’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at The Laundromat Project, New York (2016); Bangkok University Gallery (2014); Jalan Mesui, Kuala Lumpur (2010); Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur Gallery (2008); Australia High Commission, Gallery 4A, Sydney (2007); Kedai Kebun Forum, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2007) and Asia-Australia Art Centre, Sydney (2006). His work has also been presented in group exhibitions at the MAIIAM, Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand (2017); Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (2017); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2017); Goethe-Institut, Singapore International Festival of Arts (2016); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2015); Center Of Contemporary Art, Singapore (2015); Arter, Istanbul (2014); OPENHAUS, ZK/U, Berlin (2014) and Asian Art Biennale, Taiwan Museum of Fine Art, Taichung (2013), Asia Pacific Triennial, Australia (2012); Singapore Biennale, Singapore (2011) and the 9th Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul (2005) among others.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS A+ WORKS of ART would like to thank: RosIisham Ismail, a.k.a. Ise Phuan Thai Meng Zulkurnain Shaharudin Chekri Mansor And to those who contributed works from their private collections to the bringing together of all 68 pieces of Ise’s work,Till Kingdom Come, Datuk Lim Edin Nom & Datin Amara Chong Bingley Sim & Ima Norbinsha Pakhruddin & Fatimah Sulaiman Yeap Lam Yang

FRONT COVER Roslisham Ismail (Ise) Till Kingdom Come (1 of 68 drawings) 2011 BACK COVER Phuan Thai Meng Ex(change) Project – Neglected Voices (detail) 2015

A+ WORKS of ART is a contemporary art gallery based in Kuala Lumpur, with a geographic focus on Malaysia and Southeast Asia. Founded in 2017 by Joshua Lim, the gallery presents a wide range of contemporary practices, from painting to performance, drawing, sculpture, new media art, photography, video and installation. Its exhibitions have showcased diverse themes and approaches, including material experimentation and global conversations on social issues. Collaboration is key to the ethos of A+ WORKS of ART. Since its opening, the gallery has worked with artists, curators, writers, collectors, galleries and partners from within the region and beyond, and continues to look out for new collaborations. The gallery name is a play on striving for distinction but also on the idea that art is never without context and is always reaching to connect — it is always “plus” something else.