Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 1:54 AM

Malaysian Contemporary Art | Aliya and Farouk Khan Collection

LIYA AND FAROUK KHAN had recently shared with me their collections of Malaysian contemporary art. It is a magnificent piece of portfolio. Amazing really. They have made a book out of the collection called Malaysian Contemporary Art | Aliya and Farouk Khan Collection. What a shame that this book cannot be procured from the book stores nor is it available from any galleries. It is a limited edition. Only those very rare few managed to buy it when it was issued. In any case, I perused through the portfolio and felt compelled to at least share a few of my favourites.... just the top few that I admire from the whole collection (I choose not to name the title of those pieces but only the artists - I have my own reasons):

SHOOSHIE SULAIMAN has a magnificent flare for figures especially the face of human beings. Not realists, but distorted with brilliant mixture of colours to blend those faces into the ambiance of a room. It radiates emotion only each individual who is viewing it are entitled to interpret. A series of such work, if arranged on a wide wall will just roast the appreciation to perfection. Mind you, she is the only Malaysian, to have brought back award from the prestigious Documenta from Germany.

DAUD RAHIM toys around with abstract. Definitely not a realist. An impressionist random in thoughts but bold in presentation, sufficiently myopic to give chance for viewers to explore their own set of storytelling (in their minds). My personal view is that, his strokes and colour combinations just makes a lot of sense. It creates the mood for you to tell your own story of the piece regardless of what Daud himself was thinking when he was painting it.

ANUAR RASHID captures my attention in a different manner. It is as if he is enlightening me with certain cosmic aura. Unlike Daud who chooses to boldly present his statements, Anuar gives a mystical sense. The sort of work that makes you think with your eyes focused to the floor rather than on the painting. This piece here is my son's favourite. He (my son) said, "the rest of the art works are full of ghosts but this one, shows heaven".

AHMAD FUAD OSMAN simply gives me the creep. I am not sure whether this feeling will manifest for his other work but for this one here, definitely. I mean, a clown! in the river reflection. How scary is that? You can choose to start telling your own stories like what Daud's work can do; or you can struggle to find that divine meaning like what you get from Anuar's work...... but you cannot escape that first impression this piece gives to your psychological reaction. It simply by-passes neuron interpretations and hits the modulla oblongata straight concluding almost instantaneously that creepy feeling. I must say that out of those hundreds of paintings in the book Malaysian Contemporary Art, this is my favourite. Vibrant colours yet not depicting a circus-like impression. A realist in its visual but abstract in its concept. Manifesting the sarcastic and fearful factor. A masterpiece that can actually pull you away from other paintings gravitating you to itself; offering you a chance to interpret; but in the end, you lose the battle - because it had you at your first glimpse.

These four pieces are just the top four that caught my attention. There are loads of others in the collection worthy of being complimented. Quality wise, fantastic. The collection showcases the level of intelligence our Malaysian contemporary artists have - which is really why the book was published.

Thank you Aliya and Farouk. It has been a pleasure joining you on this short journey down the aesthetic valley. Definitely a heartfelt gratitude that must be voiced out. I salute.


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