Pearl and I headed over to the Vallette Gallery in Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur on 9 February 2015 for the launch of “Four Fantastic” – the first in a series of art exhibitions. The Four Fantastic are Ahmad Fauzan bin Fuad, Azar Osman, Donald Abraham and Mohd Anuar bin Mustap.
Now I’m no art person but this is a little description of their work:
Stylistically, it could be said that the works presented defeat all normal interpretations of Malaysian Fine Art. The foursome’s artworks have distinct tokens of Western visual counter-cultures, stemming from previous decades, as well as a unique unconventionality, distinct and apart from all contemporaries.
There are hints, impressions of “Underground” comic books, skateboard designs and striking street art. Their works are reminiscent of the American artists Keith Haring and Jean-Michael Basquiat with hints of Charles Burn’s iconic comic book art, but there is also a dazzling Malaysian freshness to the world of Fine Art.
Among the four, the works of Donald Abraham are perhaps the best known. Donald Abraham’s work has been auctioned at Henry Butcher, and displayed in galleries both at home and abroad, including at Balai Seni Visual Kuala Lumpur; mapKL Publika; the KLCC tunnel, and most recently in the Vallette Gallery, having been featured at the launch of Absolut Warhol. Absolut Warhol is a limited edition bottle design which was the result of a collaboration between Absolut and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Ahmad Fauzan bin Fuad’s painterly artistry has more in common with the British artist David Hockney’s work (c. 1960) than with his contemporaries. In both the British artist and Malaysian’s works, painterly abstractions blend with skillfully laid text in very mature Postmodern dialogues. Mohd Anuar bin Mustap and Azar Osman by contrast, experiment with a mystical, intuitive line work, frequently investing scenes with a complex ‘otherness’ which delights and disturbs in equal measure. Arms spring from houses and turrets spring from arms in a Haringesque world which also evokes Heinz Edelmann and his work on Yellow Submarine (The Beatles’ animation).
The private viewing party was hosted by Patrice Vallette, who said, “It gives me great pride to collaborate with Absolut to nurture and support local Malaysian artistic talent, in this case the “Four Fantastic”. It is a golden opportunity to highlight Malaysia in the international arts scene; this is not about mere branding, this is about creating a space for artists to work in and to thrive.”
We were treated to works of art in different mediums, including oil painting on canvas and installations, both indoor and outdoor and got to enjoy some lovely canapes, and ABSOLUT vodka cocktails.
This event was supported by Absolut in a collaboration with the gallery as part of its recent launch of the Absolut Warhol edition in an endeavor to promote local artistic creativity.
For more info, head over to http://www.vallettegallery.com/