7 July- 20 August 2016
URBAN IDENTITY explores the effects of urbanization on the identity of our living environment, culture, gender roles and individuality, where these are transformed into a complex of uncertainties that questions fate and ultimately existentialism, a subjectshared by each of the five leading contemporary artists featured.
The work of Ha Manh Thang and Tan Kent Keong demonstrates a shared sensitivity to the environmental alteration. By meticulously etching architectural outlines on impasto base, Thang uses historical associations to explore the disappearance of cultures and traditions in a rapidly modernising Vietnam. Tan, using ‘contained boxes’ as a metaphor for urban lifestyle, juxtaposes the exterior and interior to interplay between nature and the urban andaddressing his sense of alienation in a staged urban setting bound with limits yet yearning for nature and the contemplation on one’s destiny.
Works by Iskandar Fauzy and Nugroho Wijaytmo convey ideas of individuality, desires and thoughts in modern times set against a traditional or historical background. Wit, playfulness and a sense of drama are always present in Fauzy’s work. Known for his realistic acrylic paintings, Fauzy critically reflects on the social, political and historical concerns under present-day development. In contrast, Wijayatmo paints bold portraitures of contemporary Asian women to examine their self-identity and inner desires against deeply-rooted traditions, culture and societal expectations.
As a conclusion to the exhibition, Rudi Hendriatno’s interactive kinetic sculpture, Fate Machine #1, delivers a strong yet witty statement. Using a dice, he questions that fate can be controlled by humans, yet the outcome is always unpredictable.