Sunday, June 11, 2006



Friday, June 17, 2005

Pang Khee Teik does Hong Kong night markets

Besides being a photographer, Pang Khee Teik is also the editor of Malaysia's arts website, a writer of wanky monologues, a lazy graphic designer, a moderator of a mailing list for gay writers, a bad actor, a connoisseur of personal ads, a frequent changer of hairstyles, a teh tarik addict, a brownnoser, a sloweater and a fasttalker. Philosophy requires decadence. Monogamy is for the weak.

Past exhibitions:
1995: The Sustainable City, organised by Equator Club, at Isetan Art Gallery, Lot Ten
1998: Brickfields Now and Then, with Eric Peris and Victor Chin, in conjunction with Thor Khar Hoong’s Brickfields Now and Then
2004: Notthatbalai Arts Festival, at De Lost Generation Space
2004: Art ± 1000, at Valentine Willie Fine Art

Pang's artist statement:

Welcome to the Hong Kong night markets!

Thongs from Ladies Market at Tong Choi Street! Toys from Temple Street Night Market at Mongkok! Fortune Fish from Goldfish Market at Bute Street!

Welcome to the reified desirability, the intangible plasticity, the aesthetic evolution.

We are the cock teasers. We are the new gods. We are domestic creatures bringing good luck.

We are exotic. We are colourful. We are cheap.

Asians ‘R’ Us!

Hari Azizan and the Selling of Women

Hari Azizan works as a journalist for The Star, specializing in education issues. She describes her involvement in the arts as sporadic, the most notable of which is her participation in Five Arts Center’s Young Director’s Workshop IV, in which she attempted to stage the controversial play Vagina Monologues. She is also a trained teacher and has worked with children in theatre at TheActors Studio Academy, and community arts programmes with Five Arts Centre. She's currently is on a quest for the big story and the perfect collaboration with artists from various disciplines.

Her most recent theatrical presentation is SOS Times, part of Director's Workshop ,5 which consists of four workshop performances themed on the Communist Party of Malaya. SOS Times explores the private lives of two people who gave everything to fight for a free Malaya: Ong Boon Hua (the CPM secretary general more notoriously known as Chin Peng) and Shamsiah Fakeh (leader of Angkatan Wanita Sedar). Pictures of from the opening performance of SOS Times can be found here

Hari's artist statement:

When they say that everyone should make art, they forgot to mention what grueling work it is. You need dollops and dollops of discipline and commitment, something I, had to learn the hard way.

My pieces look at how women sell themselves within the social, cultural and religious frame. The tudung motif would not go away after the most recent moral hysteria (JAWIgate), and here my sisters ask to be counted.

1. Everyone says I love you
2. The little chick who could- a folktale
3. DIY morality

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Selling continues at The Photographer's Gallery

Well well.

Who woulda thunk. We're off on another exhibition run thanks very much to the people at The Photographer's Gallery. They invited us to have another chance in the hope of extending and circulating exhibitions, keeping access to our artworks publically available at least until June 30. The place is really nice, a big garden, old bungalows, KLCC looming overhead, just right behind the British High Commission.

This Saturday (June 18, 7pm) we're making another bash out of it - oooh, we do like our snazzy 'lil soirees - calling it Show & Tell. Last time we did something like this at our previous exhibition, we got rained out (or at least that's the excuse we're sticking with). So. Swing by, have a drink, watch whatever it is we're presenting (videos, readings, performances...) and of course, have a peek at our works.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Danny Lim's "Anwar", "Hisham", "Kit Siang" and "KJ"

Danny Lim is a journalist for The Edge business weekly, writing and photographing for The Edge's monthly magazine, Off The Edge. His photographic credits have included the first three covers of Off The Edge, and stills for various local indie films. He has also directed a documentary short, 18?.

About the works:

Blending the iconic with the iconoclastic, these vastly different portraits of politicians re-contextualise the sales pitch of politicians with the artist: me selling the politicians selling themselves.

As politics today is essentially about selling ideology, ideas and personalities to the electorate, I've attempted to recontextualise their sales pitch within the frame of my own "pitch", so to speak.

The choice of politicians portrayed within my work here was not so much 'selected' as they happen to be the four I incidentally have had access to photograph with a measure of proximity in the course of my work as a journalist.

'Kit Siang' was photographed at the DAP headquarters, using 35mm reversal, and cross-processed as a colour negative to draw out saturation and entice the unpredictable hues that is often a result of cross-processing.

'Anwar' was shot at Anwar Ibrahim's residence in Damansara Heights in January 2005, using digital and colour reversal film.

'Hisham' was shot in Kuala Berang, Terengganu during a by-election in August 2004, on digital and colour reversal film.

'KJ' was shot in Kuala Berang, Terengganu during a by-election in August 2004, using digital film

Monday, April 25, 2005

Jerome Kugan's Symmetry

Twenty-nine-year-old Jerome Kugan, originally from Sabah, graduated from the University of Canberra, Australia with a BA in Commnications (Professional Writing Specialisation). He is currently working as a freelance writer, based in Kuala Lumpur. He has written for New Straits Times, Options/The Edge, KLue,, and other publications. He recently won two awards at the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards 2004 - The Most Promising Artist and Best Music and Sound Design (in a theatre production). His other interests include poetry, music and art. He was involved in Reka Art Space’s second annual Open Show in 2004, in which he submitted four pencil drawings for exhibition. This is the first time Kugan has produced work expressly for an art exhibition.

About Symmetry:

“Symmetry” consists of seven digitally manipulated images of gay male pornography originally downloaded from the Internet. It is decontextualised, mystified and recontextualised, in indirect homage to the ‘found art’ and ‘collage’ work of early 20th century Dada and Surrealist artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst, by turning a “real” object with recognisable features into a “surreal” subject (in which the metaphor becomes the “real”).

The aim of this “surrealification” process is to interpret/explore some of the psychosexual workings of pornography, a medium that bridges human fantasy and reality. Using Windows Paint and Adobe Photoshop, parts of the original pornographic images are inverted/multiplied/cropped/relocated/filtered/remixed to create other parts of a new whole (or perhaps new defragmentations?), producing repetitively symmetrical images that are locked into rectangular grids.

This process of reordering of the visual components of the images into such tyrannical grids is meant to represent the interlocking gaze of the artist, spectator and the image in the production, definition and appreciation of pornography. Viewers are encouraged to look for the erotic, if and where it’s still intact. However, viewers can also look at the images as metaphors for other things, in which the subject of pornography is no longer relevant, and their “real” meaning(s) open to interpretation.

The images are given the names of heroic/tragic figures from the Old Testament. Perhaps a naïve attempt at restoring a false sense of innocence to figures that were once denuded? Or to situate the currently obscene within the nostalgically divine? Or a pathological desire in the artist for the pornographic subject to remain pure but still reveal the body? Who knows?

Amir Muhammad's The Umbrellas of Ramadhan

Amir Muhammad is an independent writer and filmmaker based in Kuala Lumpur. He has a law degree but does not use it. In 2000 he wrote and directed Malaysia's first DV feature, Lips to Lips, which travelled to over a dozen festivals around the world and which will be finally released on VCD in Malaysia this year. In 2002 he made six short videos (shown collectively as 6horts); two of these shorts have won awards at the Singapore International Film Festival. "The Big Durian" is his second feature. He has since almost simultaneously directed and produced his third and fourth feature Tokyo Magic Hour and The Year of Living Vicariously. He has been writing for the Malaysian print media since the age of 14, had his own column in the New Straits Times titled Perforated Sheets until 1999, had selected articles published in Generations (together with Kam Raslan and Sheryll Stothard), and over the years have contributed to Malaysiakini, The Edge and Kakiseni.

About The Umbrellas of Ramadhan:

These images were taken from a digital video camera at
a pasar Ramadhan last year. They were then
manipulated by superimposition with each other and
colour distortion.

Conspicuous consumption in the Malay-Muslim community
reaches a peak during these last hours of each fasting
day. Although Ramadhan is supposed to instill
restraint and moderation, it’s common to buy too much
food. Rather than moan about this, “The Umbrellas of
Ramadhan” chooses a celebration of sorts by turning
the spectacle into a series of vibrant colours and
dancing lights. The way the fasting month is
celebrated in this region helps make us unique. These
pasar Ramadhan are popular not only among Muslims (and
Muslims who fast, at that). It is a cheerful
life-affirming spectacle because Malaysians can always
be counted on to come together when food and bargains
are involved.

The resulting images deliberately invoke the abstract
type of art chosen by many Malaysian Muslim painters
in the last few decades in swerving away from
figurative (considered un-Islamic) art. But if you
look closely enough you can see figures buying and
selling food, as well as price-lists, words like ‘air
bandung’ and brand-names. These subtle but
recognizable reductive signifiers then make the works
not that abstract after all.

The numbers are part of the strategy. There are 30
panels in each of the three works, representing the 30
days of the fasting month. (Although in the third
part, one panel is left seemingly blank because the
fasting month sometimes lasts only 29 days, depending
on whether the new moon is sighted or not), Even the
price of RM1,000 is deliberately chosen because the
holiest night in Ramadhan (nobody knows when this
takes place) is described as one which is worth "a
thousand months". It is believed that this night takes
place during 'the last third' of the month – this
common way of breaking up the month into 3 is
responsible for the fact that there are 3 parts.

You're invited to our Reading in conjunction with the exhibition on Tuesday, April 26, 2005. More details, click here.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Reading

In a not-to-be-trifled-with effort to expand our artistic horizons, we'll be having a reading for our exhibition The Selling, on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 at 8pm at Reka Art Space.

Us five writers/journos/editors will venture into the art of the spoken word, reading text related to our art works.

In the run-up to this 'event', this blog will feature each of the artists every day.

Click here for more details about the exhibition & Reka Art Space.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Sex, Politics, Religion and Fish - an art exhibition

Five writers keep their precious words and try their hands at selling pictures about selling, tackling the many transactions that take place in modern society, from the sexual to the political.

Film reviewer and filmmaker Amir Muhammad explores the commercialisation of the holy month of Ramadhan with images of food stalls made to look like expensive abstract-expressionist masterpieces, targeted at rich middle class Malays, of course.

Singer-songwriter Jerome Kugan downloaded images from porn websites and manipulated them to form hypnotic kaleidoscopic patterns with Old Testament names.

The Star writer Hari Azizan questions how Muslim women sells themselves as pious beings by montaging images of tudungs over images of an exposed body part.

The Edge writer Danny Lim, who's a sometime photographer on indie film sets, sells Anwar Ibrahim, Hishamuddin Hussein, Khairy Jamaluddin and Lim Kit Siang selling themselves.

Kakiseni editor Pang Khee Teik presents crowd-pleasing photographs of Hong Kong night markets selling crowd-pleasing thongs, toys and goldfish discoloured for good luck.

GL29 Block C, Kelana Square
17 Jalan SS7/26
Kelana Jaya
47301 Petaling Jaya
tel: 603-7880 5982


open :
wednesday - saturday
11.00am - 5.00pm
other times by appointment only

closed :
sunday, monday, tuesday & public holidays

The exhibition will run until 30th April 2005.