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Friday, 29 October 2021

Rewang, APAD’s 50th Art Exhibition


In a time of perpetual 2-pax gatherings (unless of course you are a Bloomberg delegate), Maya Gallery’s latest exhibition, Rewang, remembers the festivities of yore with wistfulness. Organised by Angkatan Pelukis Aneka Daya (APAD, or Association of Artists of Various Resources), the exhibition features works by 18 Malay artists from an open call that invites artists to respond to theme “Rewang” – the act of coming together as a community to prepare for festivities such as a weddings and religious ceremonies. There’s a smorgasbord of work to see here, from veteran founding members of this 59-year-old institution, Pak Idris Ali, as well as promising young artists such as Rusydan Norr.

We were particularly taken with young artist Rusydan Norr’s curious explorations with chlorophyll printing to imprint images from his parents’ wedding onto betel leaves. Once commonly used for gift exchanges between bride and groom in traditional Malay wedding ceremonies, the betel leaf has faded in symbolic significance over time. Likewise, these imprints eventually fade with exposure to light, marking the artist’s commentary on historical traditions that evolve or disappear with time. Works in watercolour and acrylic that we found to be delightful in their technical accomplishment, providing moments of respite in their depictions of nature. On view are also sculptural works by Noor Rahman and Khairul Faizin, which while ambitious in construction, felt unnecessarily didactic in their presentation of moral messages. Check out this show in person before it closes on 5 November 2021!