Rewriting the script of art

  • Arts
  • Saturday, 12 Oct 2013

Media/Art Kitchen – Reality Distortion Field is not about paint and paper. It’s about motion, lights and things around us.

TO experience a cross-platform explosion in the art world, pop over to Publika in Kuala Lumpur for the Media/Art Kitchen – Reality Distortion Field exhibition. Visitors will be able to witness and participate in workshops surrounding media art, an innovative art form like no other.

Media art makes use of video and digital technology and has become increasingly prevalent in the art world. Artists use a combination of familiar, everyday items and computer technology to take viewers into a whole different realm.

In this particular exhibition, artists use unsuspecting but familiar mediums to create spectacular works of art through the use of videos, pictures, shadows, lights and sounds.

Held in commemoration of the 40th year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation in 2013, the theme Media/Art Kitchen is inspired by and enveloped in the image of a kitchen which is full of daily invention and creativity.

Philippine media artist Tad Ermitano’s Sammy And The Sandworms.

The subtitle, Reality Distortion Field, is meant to suggest the kitchen, which is considered a sort of workshop or laboratory, as a space where reality is distorted and the impossible becomes possible. The rules are simple – there are none.

Japanese media artist Kuwakubo Ryota, 42, sums up his exhibited piece titled “The Tenth Sentiment”: “I used everyday objects to create my works and technology was used to cast the shadows through the use of light, which I attached to the left side and front of the train.”

Ryota’s exhibit comprises a laid out train track for a toy train with lights attached to the front and side. This allows for the light to cast shadows of the laid out “scenery”.

“I want adults to experience the joy of seeing,” said Ryota, whose work has won him several prizes at ARS Electronica in Austria.

Singaporean musician and sound artist Bani Haykal, 28, adopts a somewhat avant garde approach.

“I wanted to create music out of dormant objects. There are no rules in how to interact with them, you can find your own new way on how to approach it,” he explained.

Bani deconstructs dormant objects such as a bicycle, pipes and an electric guitar to make a whole new instrument you can create music with.

“Operasi Cassava” is an ongoing project which examines Malaysia’s cultural identity through the symbolic Cassava plant. People don’t know much about this food /plant, but there are several memories and bits of information attached to this plant.

“We have created a digitised museum with lots of digitised memories. We use this website to document different stories and to bring in scientific information as well,” said Yap Sau Bin, one of the people involved in “Operasi Cassava”.

In addition to the exhibited art works, visitors will also be able to take part in Media/Art Kitchen’s creative laboratory, workshops, talks and screenings.

Indonesian pixel-artist Narpati Awangga’s (aka oomleo) Pixel Video Art Showcase.

This one-of-a-kind exhibition enables visitors to immerse themselves in the art and create their own interpretation of media art through the labs and workshops.

Rather than simply passively consume the exhibition, the labs and workshops available are designed for visitors to convert their thoughts and inspiration after seeing the exhibited artwork into an active response.

Some of the labs and workshops available include working with touch and moist synthesisers (TM Synth), pixel-art, experimenting with sound and light and, forms and shadows.

The Media/Art Kitchen exhibition took in Jakarta last month, and will later travel to Manila and Bangkok later this year.

“We started planning this event last August in Tokyo with all the other curators. It’s great to see it all come together,” said Adeline Ooi, one of the Malaysian curators.

The content and size of the exhibition varies in each of the four countries it’s held in. As the project targets a wide range of audiences, each country will feature different artists to fit the specific conditions of each region.

This touring event is jointly organised by a talented group of young curators and artists throughout South-East Asia and will be showcasing the works of 50 carefully selected artists from all over the region.

Two curators from Malaysia, Ooi and Shooshie Sulaiman, have selected the 13 media artists from Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia for the KL leg of the exhibition.

A Mahameri mask modelled after Japanese artist Tamura Yuchiro's face.

The works of Malaysian group “Operasi Cassava” and media artist Fairuz Sulaiman will be representing Malaysia in the exhibition.

Other artists include Kuwakubo Ryota, Horio Kanta, Hagihara Kenichi, Tamura Yuchiro and Yagi Lyota from Japan; Lifepatch and Narpati Awangga from Indonesia; Tad Ermitano from the Philippines; Bani Haykal from Singapore; Nitipak Samsen from Thailand; and The Propeller Group from Vietnam.

The artist’s works, labs, workshops and talks will be held at Black Box, Art Row and Plan B in Publika. The exhibition ends on Oct 20.

Admission to Media/Art Kitchen – Reality Distortion Field is free, but pre-registration is advised. For more information visit and

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Rewriting the script of art


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