TRANSIT 3x3


It has come to our realisation that managing an archive is a never ending story, and certainly requires a high level of passion, patience and dedication. We at MARS have also realised that operating with only one full-time staff and a few part-timers, and, furthermore, within a very tight budget, leaves us with not much choice but to constantly reach out to outside help to keep going. Therefore, our reliance on contributors and volunteers to assist us in various aspects, including financial backing, material acquisition and documentation work, has never ceased since day one. MARS would like to thank them all for their sincere commitment and solid support. 

After nearly six years since its inception in December 2012, MARS have collected more than 3500 pieces of archival materials. At present, our repository holds 515 audio and video documentations of art-related events, and 3,232 printed materials. It is partly thanks to the generous donations of numerous galleries, institutions and individuals that we have thus far been able to expand the number of printed materials in our archive and library. We greatly appreciate their understanding of our vision, and we look forward to receiving their continuous assistance in the future.  

We are particularly glad that within this year we have received some significant contributions to our collection. At least three are worth mentioning here. Firstly, Puan Wairah Marzuki donated some books, journals, and other personal items from the estate of the late Ismail Zain. Secondly, the artist Amir Zainorin handed over a copy of a set of video recordings of interviews that he conducted together with Pia Poulsen from 2004-2005 with three important personalities in Malaysian art, namely, Redza Piyadasa, Rahime Haron and Jeri Azhari. Thirdly, Shalini Ganendra Fine Art Advisory handed to us exactly 239 pieces of art related newspaper clippings that span from the year 1993 to 1998. . These specimens are highly precious as they can provide important information about and insights into Malaysian art during the period. We would like to take this opportunity to extend our earnest gratitude to Puan Wairah, Amir Zainorin and Shalini Ganendra for their very meaningful gesture.

About a month ago MARS have finally moved to its permanent space, just a few blocks away from its original venue. With this recent transfer, we are now ready to receive curators, researchers, writers, artists, scholars, collectors, art lovers as well as the general public who are interested in accessing and using the rich content in our collection for their research, reference and scholarship purposes. We also hope that by exploring and utilising our database, currently we believe very basic and limited, they can help us improve and develop it further.  

Apart from focusing on archival work, MARS have also initiated several other activities. One of them is the Planet Akal art talk series. Last year, we hosted two forums, respectively on curatorship and performance art. Earlier this year, we invited, on separate occasions, two Malaysian contemporary artists, Wong Hoy Cheong and Sharon Chin, to talk and discuss about their past and current projects and practices. Nazir Harith of Tintabudi gave an interesting presentation regarding the art of book covers of Malay literary publications from the 50s to the 70s. 

As part of our continuous drive to raise funds for MARS, we organised two exhibitions last year. The first, titled A1, was held in September and involved 34 artists. From this fourth edition of the Transit fund-raising showcase, we were able to raise a total of RM 67,691.25. The restaging of the Writer’s Portrait Series exhibition by Yee I-Lann was the second fund-raising event we arranged. It not only gave new audiences and collectors the chance to view this series of photographic work which was first and last shown in 2004, but also allowed us to raise RM 16,744.50 for MARS.

This year, 2018, we are pleased to organise yet again another edition of the Transit showcase. The theme is 3’ x 3’. Our greatest gratitude and respect goes to all the 28 invited artists, some of whom apparently have been participating since the first Transit edition. 

Artworks



Rebirth | Ramlan Abdullah
Stainless steel, chrome, aluminium, bolt and nut | 110 cm x 78 cm x 78 cm | 2018
RM 25,000


Hussein Enas | Ahmad Zakii Anwar
Charcoal, acrylic & pastel on paper | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 25,000


Break Through | Kow Leong Kiang
Oil on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 20,000 | Reserved


South Wind | Chong Siew Ying
Charcoal and acrylic on mounted canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 15,000


Untitled| Masnoor Ramli Mahmood
Mixed media photo print on 180gm photo paper | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 15,000


Miss Nature IV | Shia Yih Ying
Oil on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 8,000


River of Life | Bibi Chew
Acrylic on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 6,000 



GE14 series: Bagai Hempedu Lekat di Hati | Stephen Menon
Screenprint, acrylic on paper (monoprint) | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 6,000 


Untitled | Suddin Lappo
Ink on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 6,000 | Reserved


Verdant Rainbow Delisquesce | Tetriana Ahmed Fauzi 
Mixed media on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 3,000 | Reserved


Time Out New York City | Roslisham Ismail a.k.a Ise 
Collage on paper| 84 x 59 cm | 2018
RM 4,500 | Reserved


Korban-korban | Samsudin Wahab
Oil on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 5,000 | Reserved


Peneroka | Haslin Ismail
Acrylic and paper collage on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 4,500 | Reserved


Dalam Setandan Pisang, bukan Semuanya Buruk | Najib Ahmad Bamadhaj
Charcoal, acrylic and bitumen on linen | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 5,500 | Reserved


Pencakar Langit... | Faizal Suhif
Mix media on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 4,500


Chroma-Genesis | Edroger Rosili
Acrylic on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 3,500


Cerita dari Dapur | Anisa Abdullah
Collage on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 4,200


Equilibrium | Fendy Zakri
Acrylic on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 3,000 | Reserved
Escape From The City#3 | Syahrulniza Zaini
Digital photo print, epoxen resin on board |91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 3,500 | Reserved 


Vulture Couture | Arif Fauzan Othman
Encaustic on board | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 8,000



Personal Moment for Everyone of Us | Khairudin Zainudin
Spray can and scratch on aluminium | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 5,000


Pekan Ampang#1 | Fadhli Ariffin
Acrylic on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 4,000


Radiasi Benda Hitam | Nik Mohd Hazri
Charcoal and pastel on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 3,600 | Reserved 


Hujan di Taman Cendawan | Syed Fakaruddin
Oil on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 3,000 


Bisik dari alam(IBU) | Hisyamuddin Abdullah
Oil on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 3,500


Indulge | Yuki Tham
Oil on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 2,900 | Reserved


Penjaga | Amy Nazira
Oil on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 2,800


Pull Through | Raimi Sani
Oil on canvas | 91 x 91 cm | 2018
RM 2,500 | Reserved

Blossom A Solo Exhibition by Trixie Tan Lu Man



“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. […] I want to give that world to someone else.” Georgia O’Keeffe

From ‘I love you’ to ‘I am sorry’ human uses flowers as a medium to communicate an entire range of emotional expressions. In addition, flowers are also being used as a source of food, to be admired, and also as objects of ritual, religion, medicine and so on. For centuries artists have also been drawn to flowers for their evocative qualities for expressions. 

Rooted in ancient art and still prevalent today, depictions of botanical elements particularly flowers can be found in many of the most significant art pieces in Western arts. From Sandra Botticelli’s “Spring (1477-82)”, Edgar Degas’s “A Woman Seated beside a Vase of Flowers (1865)”, Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflower (1888),”Claude Monet’s “Water Lillies (1914-26)”, Henri Matisse’s “Odalisque à la culotte rouge (1924-25)”, Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Jimson Weed’s White Flower No. 1 (1932),” to Robert Mapplethorpe’s “X” portfolio, flowers have been having long term relationship with arts. Besides a vast range of flexible meanings and significances including affection, virtue, chastity, wantonness, religious steadfastness and transience, flowers have also been used by artists to portray both male and female forms in many different ways.

Lu Man’s 13 canvases in Blossom shuttle between human and nature, all her images involve a combination of female bodies with flowers and a few of them mixed with animals that leave rooms for interpretation. As the UOB (2013) silver award winner in the emerging category, Lu Man has since made impressive development, both in technical and in handling of her subject matter, and heading towards maturity. Her works embrace the nature and became more sensitive about life. 2016 was a turning point for Lu Man’s life as her mother was diagnosed with cancer that needed to go through a few chemotherapy sessions that perhaps in somewhere shifted her perspective about life and death. A sense of decay and impermanent, and an endeavour of preserving the unstoppable time is the undercurrent of a series of works she produced for this exhibition.

“My paintings express the beauty of female forms, sexy but not sexuality. It is about freezing the splendid in time, to symbolise and celebrate life,” said Lu Man, addresses her interest in flora and her desire to embrace the understanding of ephemerality. The focus of her paintings is the observation of beauty and decay, to suggest all things caught in the cycle of life and death in transition. By freezing moments in time, her paintworks captured and cherished the beautiful and natural objects that can be observed without the pressure of time. Her canvases demonstrated how painting able to freeze time and grant eternality to the reality.
“Olive signifies new life, it suggests a new day with flowers [roses and carnations] blossom,” suggested by Lu Man on one of her paintings entitled 
“Olives”. In Western floriography, many flowers have important symbolic meanings e.g. carnations and roses as showed in her “Olives” symbolises incarnation and love. Apart from love, red roses are also given as a symbol of beauty and passion, while olive branch is a symbol of peace in Greek’s culture and mythology stories.

In “My Friends”, Lu Man’s central figure surrounded by animals including an alpaca, a sheep, a bull, a deer and a couple of rabbits as if a scene from a Disney film. “We gathered in the evening and we chat and share,” said Lu Man. “They are a mixed of noble, cute and strong characters, they encouraged me.” In some of her paintings, Lu Man’s blended beautiful flowers, butterflies and birds together with dazzling human bodies. In contrast with Ruben’s infamous “Tiger Hunt (1615-16)” and “The Lion Hunt (1621)”, “My Friends” lives in harmony with animals. Consisting of two central figures with one tangled by a twining plant called Morning Glory and the other surrounded by different species of butterflies, “Morning Glory with Butterflies” suggests a sense of interconnectivity and interdependent between human and nature. It also suggests that “Me” and the “Self” constantly engaging in conversation and negotiation. “We are leaning to each other and we need each other, just as flowers need butterflies to facilitate its reproduction process, and butterflies need flowers to survive,” said the artist. 

Unlike Jan Brueghel the Elder's “The Entry of the Animals into Noah's Ark (1613)” that depicts different assorted animals fill the earth and the sky in flying, playing, fighting, climbing actions and so on, the quality of elegance and serenity can be found in Lu Man’s paintings. There is also a strange sensation of calm that generates a sense of dreamy beauty. Her canvases are a coalescence of love, beauty, innocence and peace captured in surreal fashion. The surreal quality disseminated in the “Red Meat” piece that echoing Rene Magritte’s “The Son of Man (1964)”. “Meat and flower contrasting each other, meat is bloody and yet flower is tender. Female can be a combination of strong and vulnerable in one,” suggested by Lu Man.

In other pieces, Lu Man escaped herself into “The Garden”, a wonderland where she can find beauty and serenity when surrounded by greenery and flowers blossom. The imagined garden is a space that enables her to keep herself in situations as found in her “Waiting” and “Starry Night” pieces, where she can look up the sky and star glazing at night by the stream water, contemplating and waiting to depart on another new journey or new chapter in life. 

All too often our everyday life fill with distractions and works, we rarely look up at the sky or down at the flowers around us. Life lives in hurry and we lose touch with our own beauty and joy that can be reflected to us through nature.  Lu Man’s works remind us of the connection between flowers, animals and our mind, body and spirit. Her paintings encourage the rethinking of the human body, life and decay, re-contextualizing them into the natural world of which we are a part. 

Yet the contemplation of nature has often been associated with spiritual practices particularly in Taoism and Zen Buddhism. Flowers have provided inspiration to spiritual practitioners, artists, poets and philosophers for centuries. They inspired us to the beauty that is part of our innermost being and our true nature. Eckhart Tolle’s highlights the role of flowers in the evolution of humanity in his book called “A New Earth”, he suggested that, “Without our fully realizing it, flowers become for us an expression in form of that which is most high, most sacred, and ultimately formless within ourselves, …[flowers are as if the] messengers from another realm.” Inspired by nature and depicting realistic human forms, animal portraits and flowers, Lu Man’s series of paintings presented in Blossom captured the rich symbolism of flowers, tracing the changing meanings of roses, carnations, morning glory, banana flower and more in her paintings.

Dr Pok Chong Boon (Andrew)

eCatalogue

Artworks


Olive
Oil on canvas
162 x 127 cm
2018

RM 5,200 | Sold

Red Meat
Oil on canvas
162 x 127 cm
2018

RM 5,200 | Reserved

Rainbow
Oil on canvas
162 x 127 cm
2018

RM 5,200

Starry Night
Oil on canvas
127 x 162 cm
2018

RM 5,200

Morning Glory
Oil on canvas
162 x 127 cm
2018

RM 5,200

Sun Flower
Oil on canvas
162 x 127 cm
2018

RM 5,200

Release
Oil on canvas
162 x 127 cm
2018

RM 5,200

The Garden
Oil on canvas
200 x 100 cm
2018

RM 5,200 | Sold

Roses
Oil on canvas
200 x 100 cm
2018

RM 5,200

Dress
Oil on canvas
177 x 101 cm
2018

RM 5,200

Waiting
Oil on canvas
121 x 91.5 cm
2017

RM 3,200 | Reserved

Banana Flower
Oil on canvas
120 x 91.5
2017

RM 3,200 | Sold

My Friend
Oil on canvas
199 x 169 cm
2017

RM 5,700

Opening