Basamo: Jeffrey Wandly & Masturah Sha'ari
October 12, 2017 - October 15, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — Visual artists and founders of Maya Gallery – Jeffrey Wandly and Masturah Shaari, married for 18 years, show their work together for the first time in "Basamo", their debut in Malaysia.

Basamo (‘bersama’ in Malay) means ‘together’ in the language of the Minangkabau, an ethnic group, from which Masturah and Jeffrey’s families come from.
Jeffrey Wandly transmutes achitectural forms, using a unique style of fluid paint strokes created with ink and acrylic on canvas, into intimate dialogues. Masturah Shaari carves out contrasting hues, in acrylic on canvas, into abstract expressions. Both artists explore landscapes, physical and emotional, in different styles and techniques, showing two very distinct bodies of work.

Jeffrey started his first solo exhibition in 2014 at ArtBusan, Korea, showing spiritual monuments of various faiths. This was followed by other solo shows at Singapore Contemporary and at Art Expo Malaysia, both in 2016, where he explored places and buildings of heritage. He has also exhibited in Hong Kong, Bali, Penang and Hanoi.
He began painting with charcoal in 2008, before gradually moving into ink and acrylic on canvas in 2014. Painting on the floor, this connection with the ground is the feeling of rootedness and being one with Mother Nature. “When I work, it’s a spontaneity where I let gravity and a natural order flow.” As he paints, he is one with the medium, structure and canvas. He does not merely recollect a past memory; he travels back and continues the conversation with the building or place as if he was actually physically present again. 

Fondly called “Building Whisperer” by his collectors who felt a connection to his works, Jeffrey’s intimate portraits of the energy and vitality of the places we have inhabited mark the sense of place, time and heritage in the collective memory of a city, be it Singapore, Kathmandu or Hanoi, where he has lived and worked.

Masturah began exploring themes of beauty in discarded and simple things in her meticulous drawings in pencil, pen or graphite from way back in the late 90s. As recent as 2015, she became fascinated with capturing the transience of moments and emotions, affecting the colours, texture and character of her works. She has exhibited in Singapore and Penang, Malaysia.

Her process starts with an acrylic base colour with a broad brush on the canvas, before applying a palette of colours, with palette knife and sometimes by hand, which take on unexpected strokes and movements, almost Impressionistic in style. “Art allows me to let go, letting the brush, knife and paints do the talking.” Her works show an element of spontaneity yet understated and contemplative.

Jeffrey Wandly (b. 1944, 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. He is fondly called “Building Whisperer” by his collectors.

Masturah Shaari (b. 1969, Singapore) has been drawing ever since she could hold a pencil. Art has always been her favourite subject where she excelled in, even winning a few children’s art competitions. Holding a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Economics from the National University of Singapore, as well as a Diploma in Design Communication from LASALLE College of the Arts, with a distinction in Art History, she took on a career as a graphic designer specialising in identity and branding for close to 20 years. She received a Certificate of Commendation at the Conquerer Horseman Design & Print Awards in 2000. Yet she never stopped doodling. She illustrated for children’s books, created meticulous drawings and eventually started her abstract paintings in acrylic on canvas in 2015. Mas has exhibited in Singapore and Malaysia. Art is an expression of her zest for life. She sees the beauty in old places and discarded objects, and is fascinated by textures of materials and raw energy in her surroundings. 

The Artist