G13's 'Filling The Void' focuses on space, one of art's 7 elements

  • Arts
  • Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018

Artist Yuki Tham with her piece, Follow Me, a painting about trusting yourself.Photo: G13 Gallery

In science fiction, they say space is the final frontier. On the other hand, space is probably the first frontier to explore in art. Whether it comes to figuring out the perspective of a painting, or estimating the physical presence of a sculpture or installation, playing with space has always been a major aspect of any artist’s technique.

Let’s also not forget inner space: art is supposed to explore the parts of our minds or hearts.

Space, in all forms, is the theme of Filling The Void, a group exhibition currently on at the G13 Gallery in Petaling Jaya.

The exhibition, featuring 30 artworks from Alexandra Hon, Amy Nazira, Azizul Nasir, Cheong Tuck Wai, Gan Sze Hooi, Gan Tee Sheng, Khairudin Zainuddin, Raimi Sani and Yuki Tham, highlights the way people define and react to space.

“In their work, artists create a space. We can see the emotions inside the space. It’s a space we can relate to, whether in the interior or the exterior. You can’t convey a message if your space is blank. All the space in these works have their own roles in art creation,” explains Kenny Teng, G13 Gallery founder.

Cheong Tuck Wai's City Pier-Platform No. 3

(mixed media on canvas, 2018).

Filling the Void is an eye-catching show, especially as you soak in the paintings on display. The Khairudin Zainudin’s works Mengfungsi dan Difungsi feature figures splashed against a bright, colourful background, their forms blurry from rapid movement. The frantic activity and non-stop hustle of these places do hint to the artist’s travels to Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Khairudin Zainudin's Mengfungsi Dan Difungsi (scratched on photo printed aluminium, 2018).

Just as interesting are Azizul Nasir’s works such as Srikandi Halhamera and Inspirasi Tataguk. Both feature wide, somewhat colourful places, packed in with various birds in flight. It places a creature usually known for freedom within an enclosed area, creating an interesting contrast.

Cheong Tuck Wai’s works seem to more topical, with the plight of refugees and homelessness cropping up in the conversation. His pieces feature large, desolate landscapes (many based on places he knew in his hometown of Kuantan), with tiny figures scattered throughout.

“I wanted to figure out how I could get those emotions of being lost and cut adrift across. I think the uncertainty of life – and its transient directions – is what these works are trying capture,” says Cheong, 39, a senior art lecturer.

The works of Yuki Tham, 26, on the other hand, are mysteriously intriguing. On the surface, she paints beautiful young women engaged in seemingly ordinary activities, but each painting has its own story.

There is mystery in Follow Me, showing two women: one is blindfolded and the other guiding her. Both women are actually the same person.

Tham says this work is a rumination on self-esteem.

“It’s about trust in yourself. When we have decisions to make, we just have to follow our hearts and feelings. This painting takes place in a building with many levels, with lift doors closing or opening. Either going up or down. There are many different paths in our life,” says Tham.

“We’re all living in a space, and eventually we will leave our own traces on it. Every person makes their own space. And painting is a space for me to express my feelings. Through painting I can create the atmosphere I want, tell the stories I want. It’s another space for me to escape from reality,” she concludes.

Filling The Void is showing at the G13 Gallery, GL13, Ground Floor, Block B, Kelana Square, Jalan SS7/26, Kelana Jaya, Selangor till April 21. Open daily: 11am-5pm. Visit: www.g13gallery.com or contact 03-7880 0991.

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