Idris Ali: Khazanah

March 18, 2017 - April 8, 2017

Maya Gallery is pleased to present Khazanah, a solo exhibition by Idris Ali. The exhibition will be on view from 18 March till 8 April 2017, at Maya Gallery. Khazanah, in Malay and Urdu languages, means Treasure, and in many folklores, Treasure narrates the concentration of riches, perceived as valuable in tangible calculations and intangible measurements, hidden or discovered fortunes which never fail to excite every audience to draw their own journeys to discover. This exhibition exudes that excitement as we embark on this pioneer artist’s 55-year artistic journey, which has witnessed many challenges.
“Challenges train us to be more patient so we continue to create and never give up. As long as you have the passion, that is important in the arts…,” Idris shares his inner thoughts.

In Khazanah, our imagination vibrates when we explore Idris’ new works, his new treasure map. This watercolour Master Artist reveals his hidden treasures through the interplay of his documentation of street scenes and landscapes, his artistic process, and the interpretation of that observation in his art.

Khazanah is the map to journey through Idris’ recent paintings. Each work is an invitation for us to allow our mind to observe and learn about the places that we once played in. The same work provokes us to reflect on our flickering memories of these playgrounds, which are disappearing.

“Completing a painting brings me so much joy. I consider my art work to be complete when my instinctive feelings and thoughts say so. If my heart whispers otherwise, I will continue to work on it…”,  Idris continues to reveal his artistic journey.

Whether anxious and lonely, or brave and hubristic, Idris has staked out for himself a privileged position, exploring the evolving nature of rapid modernisation and its impact on the erosion of heritage. Each encounter is documented through his collection of experiences and observations of the changing urban and human landscape.

Idris’ works serve as a visual documentation of the country’s national heritage, rapidly disappearing, through his painting of street scenes, portraits, still life, and landscapes of old Singapore. His strong understanding of colour, life and depth becomes adept narrative tools of the realism of his surroundings.  

“I will continue to create works until the end of my life. It is always my dream to see my art works included in the exhibitions or collections of the National Art Gallery or Singapore Art Museum. I have not yet seen watercolour works by a local Singapore Malay artist at National Art Gallery. I will be very proud if my works are exhibited there…”, confides Idris, charting a new treasure map of his next artistic journey.  

Khazanah does not frame the end of Idris’ journey, but indicates new legends and landmarks in this treasure map of his latest creations.

EXHIBITION: March 18 – April 18, 2017

Panel of Speakers: Prof Kwok Kian Woon, Kamal Dollah, Stephen Leong


Supported by National Arts Council

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Path to the Beach
100 x 70 cm
Back Lane
Watercolour on paper
41 x 30 cm

The Artist