Art Expo Malaysia Big On The 3C’s

Contemporary, Cutting-Edge & Curated

Works of some of the finest artists in Southeast Asia (SEA) & beyond will be assembled @ the Art Expo Malaysia (AEM) in Oct 2019, with accents on the 3C’s ~ Contemporary, Cutting-Edge & Curated

The AEM is Malaysia’s most prestigious & SEA’s longest running international art fair. The 13th edition will be held @ the MATRADE Exhibition & Convention Centre (MECC), Kuala Lumpur starting from 11 to 13 Oct, 11.30am to 9pm. Admission fee is RM15/ pax

Recent years have seen the AEM gained in stature, potency, relevance & currency with structured curatorship & infusions of exciting new & established talents working in various media & covering a broad range of contemporary issues

Spurred by the hugely successful SEA curatorial highlights last year, the AEM will have a SEA triple header comprising rebranded components of Art Lab, Art Now & The Artist’s Wall

The Japan Pavilion, the vehicle of Japan’s art resurgence in the Super-Flat-And-Post Era, has expanded from 8 to 11 galleries. The pavilion is under the aegis of the Japan Association of Contemporary Art (JACA) with its mantra of ‘Happy Aura’. Galleries (from last year) taking part are Gallery UG (since 2016), Gallery Ishikawa, Gallery Hanakagesho, Smart Ship Gallery, Kinosho Kikaku & Hakkendo Gallery. Prominent among the newcomers is Sankeido Gallery, whose history dates back to 1871 & a gallery located in the Nihonbashi / Kyobashi arts zone. The others are Soei Gallery, Gallery Class, Shukado Gallery & The Gallery / Tanaka Art Gallery. Expected again will be notable artists e.g. Akihiro Fujimoto, Hiroki Yoshida, Kunihiko Nohara, Kohei Yamada & Izumi Ohwada

The Tribute Pavilion to Living Legend Artists will be revived, with the honours going to Singapore’s abstract & collage pioneer Goh Beng Kwan (born 1937). Started in 2007, the tribute pavilion was also held in 2008, 2009, 2012 & 2017

All the other established galleries, both local & foreign, will be spread out as Art Town from a United Nations of countries from the United States, France, China (Hong Kong, Taiwan), Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, The Philippines, Vietnam & Myanmar

SEA Art Lab, with some 100 square meters of prime space just after the entrance of the exhibition hall, is presented by A+ Works Of Art. It will present double installations, 1 by Malaysia’s exciting emerging artist Tan Zi Hao & the other Dutch-born Indonesian Mella Jaarsma. Multidisciplinary artist Zi Hao will reprise an exoskeletal installation made of fiberglass & metal of the mythical Hindu creature Makara with a hybrid head of an elephant & a crocodile & tail of a fish. The more internationally acclaimed Mella, who had been invited to biennials all over the world including Australia and Japan, is known for her cloth concoctions combining anthropology, fashion, culture & costumes with her presentation, DiCabut, commenting on declining ethos as revealed in the ‘clothings’. Mella, is a co-founder of the Cemeti Art House contemporary space (now known as the Cemeti Institute of Art & Society) which she founded in Yogyakarta in 1988

A+ Works Of Art will also feature in the SEA Art Now zone which will also have Segaris Art Center, Core Design Gallery, Richard Koh Fine Art, Singapore’s Linda Gallery & Gajah Gallery, Indonesia’s Kohesi Initiatives & Lawangwangi

Segaris Art Center has emerged as a behemoth boasting the best of UiTM alumni of various art disciplines & from several generations. Core Design Gallery will be bringing forth a new curated exhibition that looks into the idea of small detailed works in a whole new presentation. Besides painters-sculptors Yeoh Choo Kuan, Justin Lim, Faizal Yunus, Joshua Gomes, Hasanul Isyaf Idris & Haffendi Anuar, Richard Koh Fine Art will have 2 1991-born foreign artists, the Malaysia-based Taiwanese Liu Hsin-Ying & Cambodian Pen Robin

Linda Gallery will be showcasing Nyoman Nuarta’s masterpieces. Gajah Gallery with its 24-year provenance has a huge pool of mid-career artists from Indonesia & the SEA region. The confirmed from Kohesi Initiatives are the incomparable Heri Dono & the Swiss-based Eddie Hara, while new hotshot Suroso Isur (born 1983) comes with the credentials of the 2013 Grand UOB Prize & the Asian Award at the Beppu Biennale in Japan. Lawangwangi, a creative space built by ArtSociates in 2010 & an art prime-mover in Bandung, will parade Edwin Pradipta (video installation), Mujahidin Nurrahman (painting collage on lightboxes), Etza Meisyara (chemicals on copper-plate canvas), Restu Taufik (mixed paint on stainless steel), Patriot Mukmin (woven-based painting) & Rendy Raka (perspex)

The Artist’s Wall features selected artists by four participating galleries. It will involve Core Design Gallery (Anniketyni Madian and Nor Tijan Firdaus, both born in 1986), G13 Gallery (Khairudin Zainudin), Artemis Art (Choo Ai Xin), and Vietnam’s Vin Gallery (Tran Tuan). Anniketyni is famous for her intricate Sarawakian motifs & shapes in monumental wood, while Nor Tijan recycles electronic waste into mixed media matrix & her piece is a tribute to an iconic work by Pablo Picasso. Khairudin presents startling revelations in his hometown in a changed Kelantan. Choo, the Grand Prize winner in the 2018 Nando’s Art Initiative competition, will present an interactive installation of hanging pillows to project nuanced perceptions. Tran Tuan’s installation of textbooks show the fragility and vulnerability of institutions to self-inflicted & natural forces

The galleries spread out over Art Town are no less reputable. One, Mazel Galerie, will bring in a Quentin Garel’s work called Orang Utan, specially made for the AEM showcase. French artist Quentin’s (born 1975) works have been exhibited in Venice Biennale, Singapore, New York, Montreal & the Natural History Museum in Paris

Among the foreign galleries are LSD (Japan); Able Fine Art NY Gallery (United States); ATR Gallery (Spain); Galerie Bruno Massa (France); Artdoor Taipei, and Estyle Art Gallery (Taiwan); L Gallery, and Contemporary Art Gallery Atelier Aki (South Korea); Subashok The Arts Centre, Number 1 Gallery, and La Lanta Fine Art (Thailand); Art Serpong Gallery, and Art Xchange Gallery (Indonesia); J Studio (The Philippines); Gnani Arts, Art Porters, ArtBlue Studio, Asian Art Platform, REDSEA Gallery & White Space Art Asia (Singapore)

The local brigade is headed by the National Art Gallery, Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers, Taksu, The Art People Gallery, Tiny Rose Gallery, Art WeMe Contemporary Gallery, Gallery Des Artistes, Aureo Gallery (featuring Korean Kim Il Tae’s impressive Gold Art), City Art Gallery & Li Chi Mao Art Museum

This year’s AEM will also be featuring Lee Sinje, a Golden Horse Award award-winning actress, as the guest artist where 2 of her masterpieces will be exhibited. Visitors will have the opportunity to witness her artistic talent, besides acting &singing

Sim Pojinn, co-founder, fair director of Art Expo Malaysia commented, “Leading a team to work behind the scenes has provided me a deeper understanding on the details, processes & values that are important to the art communities. This has enabled me to continue to set the many 1sts in the industry, including bringing together 60 reputable galleries under 1 roof since the establishment of AEM, establishing a selection committee to bring good quality of artworks to the Malaysia market & transforming AEM into a market-oriented art fair which can be enjoyed by the mass audiences.”


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