With the recent easing of restrictions, Segaris Art Center is celebrating its reopening to the public with a bang.
There is more than one reason to celebrate: It is the gallery’s 10th anniversary this year and the team has put together a group exhibition featuring over 90 Malaysian artists at Whitebox, Publika in Kuala Lumpur.
Officially launched last Sunday (Oct 10), the Segaris Art Center’s 10th Anniversary Show has over 100 artworks from both emerging and established artists on display, including Alvin Chong, Amy Nazira, Agnes Lau, Edroger Rosili, Fadly Sabran, Faizal Suhif, Faiz Mahdon, Haris Abadi, Kide Baharudin, Nor Tijan Fordaus, Shafiq Nordin, Shahrul Hisyam and Hug Yin Wan.
Nizam Rahmat, chief executive officer of Segaris Art Center shares that the response from the participating artists was very encouraging. The walk-in exhibition, with all the public health SOPs in place, can also accommodate 80 visitors (fully vaccinated), with enough elbow room to spare at the Whitebox.
“During preparations for this exhibition, we initially had around 40 works. Over time, more artists were added to the list and it grew until we had a total of over 100 artworks. It was rather overwhelming and a pleasant surprise for us that it looks like this will be the biggest art show post-MCO this year,” says Nizam.
As a throwback to the first group show at the Segaris gallery in 2012, artists such as Ahmad Shukri Mohamed, Jamil Mat Isa, Jalaini Abu Hassan, Ramlan Abdullah, Tajudin Ismail and Umibaizurah Mahir@Ismail return in this 10th anniversary show.
Established in 2011, Segaris Art Center has produced around 100 exhibitions to date, with over 500 artists being part of its decade-long journey.
Collectors and art enthusiasts will see many familiar names at the 10th Anniversary Show, with a few new faces included.
“Among the first-timers with Segaris in this show are Adli Nazrin, Afiq Zainal, Amir Mansor, Amri Ibrahim, Issarezal Ismail, Lihua and Nur Khairi Hamidi. We have seen a growing number of young artists coming up in the local art scene in recent years, and also an increase in young art collectors.
"Segaris has always supported young artists, giving them a platform to display their works. Among them are Kide Baharudin, FaFa and Haziq Syawal. We have grown with them, from small group art shows with small artworks to their solo shows with bigger and more mature artworks,” says Nizam.
The past two pandemic years have been tough on the Segaris Art Center's programming and exhibitions, but Nizam remains optimistic that things will slowly pick up for the Malaysian art scene in the coming months.
From the highs of seeing painter Fadilah Karim's successful A Decade: 2010 – 2020 exhibition from last December to the frustrations of not being to open Kide Baharudin's debut exhibition Sa-Hari-Hari in July because of the lockdown, Nizam realises the challenges and uncertainties in the art scene during these pandemic times.
"We can look back fondly at the days of big exhibition openings, but we can't have such events now. We will have to adapt to post-pandemic realities. To be able to open an exhibition to the public is an achievement in itself now.
"Just to get art back into a gallery space is already a backstory, with cliffhangers. This anniversary exhibition was hanging in balance for many months because of the lockdown situation. Could we go ahead? Should we postpone? So many doubts. But we kept planning and working, hoping to find a solution.
"This whole year has also been a time where as a gallery, we have had to keep the artists motivated, lift their spirits and to assure them that art would eventually return (to a public space)... as a gallery we have definitely grown closer to the artists, and we will keep moving ahead with them," says Nizam.
Segaris Art Center’s 10th Anniversary Show is held in partnership with Samsung Electronics Malaysia, where 10 paintings from the exhibition are featured on Samsung’s The Frame Art Store until March 31, 2022.
The Art Store is a digital art platform that brings art pieces - from contemporary art to photography - from galleries around the world into your living room.
Awang Damit Ahmad’s Garismega Di Hujung Musim, Kim Ng’s The Condition Of Unstable State Of Existing, Suzlee Ibrahim’s Dancing Of Life, Faizal Suhif’s Di Balik Cahaya and Hamdan Shahraani’s Bias # Tegas are among the selected works.
As the gallery embarks on its second decade in the industry, it aims to evolve into a museum and art centre of sorts, and to explore other sectors such as conservation and art services, as well as curatorial and art consultancy.
Segaris Art Center is also a participating gallery of CIMB’s Artober 2021 in November.
The Segaris Art Center’s 10th Anniversary Show runs till Oct 17 at Whitebox@Publika in Kuala Lumpur. Opening time: 11am-6pm.
More info here.
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