Maya Gallery and The Fullerton Hotel present Soul Vistas: An Introspective Journey through our City. It is a duo exhibition by prominent Singaporean Malay artists Idris Ali and Jeffrey Wandly.
Soul Vistas will comprise paintings exploring old landmarks, streets and landscapes with a focus on capturing the essence and soul of our city. While Idris Ali paints fluently in watercolour, a medium that requires patience and understanding of the composition and colour; Jeffrey Wandly has a distinctive style of fluid paint strokes created by pouring and swirling ink directly from the bottle.
Idris was briefly taught by the late S. Mahdar and Mas Ali Sabran in the 1960s. Though he started learning to paint with various mediums, it was watercolour that challenged him as well as seduced him. It then became a 55 year journey for him and his brushes. To look through Idris’ watercolours over the past five decades is to chart Singapore’s changing landscape. Many of his scenes are off the beaten track and would not usually appeal to the average water-colourist painting outdoors. However, these visual documents are crucial in narrating alternative views of Singapore’s changing landscape.
Jeffrey’s started painting seriously in 2008. Beginning with charcoal, he gradually moved into ink and acrylic on canvas. By that time he was already an accomplished architect and project management and development professional with a deep level of involvement and familiarity with the built environment. For him, there is more than just a reverence, it is a vital, irresistable connection between him and buildings, “I love everything about a building, from conception to construction, each nut and bolt; how every part is made, I have touched every single piece of material and smelt the dirt at construction sites.” Few of his collectors had named him “Building Whisperer” because they connect to the conversations he has with buildings, and they recognise the soul of the buildings through his works. Like Idris, Jeffrey is capturing a visual diary of the past filled with intimate portraits of the energy and vitality of the places we have inhabited. The buildings he paints mark the sense of place, time and heritage in Singapore’s collective memory and physical experience.
According to Maya Gallery co-founder and director, Ms. Masturah Sha’ari, “This documentation of our visual heritage is crucial, even so as a younger generation of Singaporeans bury their heads in technology and race towards modernisation. We hope that through this exhibition, we are able to encourage all of us to develop a better understand of our past, and renew an appreciation for what is relevant and meaningful in today’s world.”
This duo exhibition at Fullerton aims to not only educate the public regarding the forgotten heritage scenes of Singapore, but also to bring them on a journey of exploring the colourful and exciting world of watercolour, ink and acrylic. This series of heritage-related paintings by the two artists is timely during this period where our visual history is slowly disappearing. Idris Ali and Jeffrey Wandly’s works invite you to look, stop and reflect on your surroundings and philosophies of life because to move ahead, one must know where one came from.
Maya Gallery is grateful for the venue sponsorhip by The Fullerton Singapore, and the support by National Arts Council (NAC).
Idris Ali (b. 1944, Singapore) is a self-taught artist who started drawing since the age of 10. He showed his first works at the Lembaga Tetap Kongress exhibition at Victoria Memorial Hall (1962). He received the Pingat APAD Award (1974) and Cipta Mekar Award for outstanding work at the Action \'90\' Art Exhibition in 1990. Painting for more than 50 years, Idris has exhibited in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. He has had 3 solo exhibitions. His works can be found in the collections of the National Heritage Board, Singapore National Museum, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, several dignitaries in Singapore and Malaysia, and private individuals. He has also been commissioned for a portrait of former Singapore president, Mr Wee Kim Wee and Mrs Wee.
Jeffrey Wandly (b. 1964, Singapore) grew up with a love for drawing, learning, music and the outdoors. His childhood years were spent at his family home at Kampong Eunos, Singapore. At the age of 16, he became the school band conductor and leader, and Merit recipient at the Singapore Tourism Board’s Saces Sculptor Competition in 1980. He was Third (Seniors) in the Takashimaya National Student Painting Competition in 1992. As the top Malay student at tertiary level, Jeffrey received the MENDAKI Excellence Award (1993) and the Architecture Angullia Scholarship (1987-89, 91-92). He graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) from the National University of Singapore, and holds a Masters of Project Management from Queensland University of Technology. Jeffrey has had 3 solo exhibitions, and has exhibited in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Korea and Vietnam. Known as “Building Whisperer”, a term given by his collectors, he is also co-founder of Maya Gallery.
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