Two art collectives are the focus of Penang exhibition


Adeputra Masris Berotak Kecil, which features traditional wayang kulit elements.

Two art collectives, featuring 12 visual artists will be presenting their works in an exhibition that opens at Hin Bus Depot in Penang tomorrow.

The Collective: Individuals exhibition features two currently active collectives, namely Penang’s Rumah Studio, a communal artist residence studio, featuring BibiChun, IMMJN, Kangblabla, Sliz and Sattama; and Titikmerah collective, which is based in Kuala Lumpur, and shows regularly in Penang (in collaboration with Rumah Studio).

Adeputra Masris Berotak Kecil, which features traditional wayang kulit elements.
Adeputra Masri's Berotak Kecil, which features traditional wayang kulit elements.

Titikmerah’s members include Adeputra Masri, Ajim Juxta, Aleff Ahmad, Caryn Koh, Latif Maulan, Syahbandi Samat and Tomiheri.

The Collective: Individuals theme is a result of discussions between Ajim, one of Titikmerah’s founders, and Sharmin Parameswaran, a curator and gallerist. The exhibition, featuring a joint curation between the two collectives, was planned earlier this year by Ajim, Sharmin, and Xu Jen Teo, founder of Mampu Art Market.

This Penang show is a sampler of a bigger Collective: Individuals exhibition in Kuala Lumpur in May, featuring seven collectives (Foursome, Huaguoshan, Make It Happen, Run Amok, Mekar Studio, Rumah Studio and Titikmerah).

For the longest time, Ajim has been questioning his collective’s role and contribution to the visual arts community, and whether Titikmerah’s other members share similar visions, and what are their personal directions as individual artists. Titikmerah started off as a pop up gallery.

Ajim's Berasas Tiga, a triptych that he will be presenting at the Collective: Individuals show. — Titikmerah
Ajim's Berasas Tiga, a triptych that he will be presenting at the Collective: Individuals show. Photo: Titikmerah

“This exhibition combines both the collective and the individual’s roles (in the art scene), there are many layers,” says Ajim, who is keen to see how collectives are then able to sustain themselves in the long-term.

“One of the more interesting aspects of the show, for me, has been the process in which each member has had to work together in questioning the collective’s existence, which inevitably also asks personal questions of self-contribution to the group and the arts,” he adds.

Sharmin says that the idea of visual art collectives are akin to “wild seeds” for an art ecosystem.

“You usually find that these artists are like­-minded souls and share common interests. These people often come together without the need or hassle of formality,” says Sharmin, who adds, “Most art collectives are formed over coffee talk.”


Collective: Individuals is on at Hin Bus Depot at 31A, Jalan Gurdwara, George Town in Penang from March 3-21. The exhibition is open to the public from noon to 8pm on weekdays and 11am to 9pm on weekends. Admission is free. More info: www.hinbusdepot.com.

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