You have 'Consent' to touch, play and draw at this interactive art exhibition


Dedic's ‘Self Portrait In Analogue Confusion’ installation is bound to tempt visitors, making sure the Temu House gallery space is 'ringing' throughout the 'Consent' group exhibition. Photo: The Star/William Gary

At the Temu House gallery space in Petaling Jaya, the experimental-minded exhibitions continue to attract attention. The current group show Consent, with a cast of contemporary local and Australian artists (many showing in Malaysia for the first time), offers viewers an opportunity to touch, hug, press and play with most of the artworks on display.

There are 11 artists in this exhibition, which features an array of mediums, including digital art, illustrations, installations and textile works. You can poke about (but be gentle) as much as you want since the exhibition, which ends this weekend, is nicely laid out for the visitor to interact with the exhibits.

There are no security guards to intimidate visitors. Instead you might get the friendly curators and artists to show you around, and explain things.

“Each artist allows the viewer a different degree of access to their art. Some are open (to touching the artwork) while others are more hesitant and protective, understandably,” says Sharmin Parameswaran, the co-curator of Consent.

The show's curators Dedic (left) and Sharmin discussing the bodysuit costumes from Brecia, which tell the artist's story of transitioning from stay home mum duties to being an active participant in the art scene. Photo: The Star/William GaryThe show's curators Dedic (left) and Sharmin discussing the bodysuit costumes from Brecia, which tell the artist's story of transitioning from stay home mum duties to being an active participant in the art scene. Photo: The Star/William Gary

"In the art industry, an artist can have trouble saying 'no' to (exhibition) opportunities, even though they might not be ready. For this exhibition, we made it very clear to the artist, that they have control over their works," she adds.

Consent, co-curated by Dedic, is an accessible show, focusing on the relationship between curator, artist, and the audience.

The artists David Blumenstein, Linda Brescia, Lada Dedic, Giselle Stanborough, and Garry Trinh (all from Australia) have joined local names Joanne Loo, Nadia Nizamudin, Xeem Noor, Trina Teoh, Umar Sharif and Tep York in creating a playful range of works, where art transcends the boundaries of traditional observation, inviting viewers to be an active participant.

A visitor hugs a knitted installation by Xeem Noor titled 'Articulation'. Xeem encourages visitors to hug the main artwork as a form of comfort and support. Photo: The Star/William GaryA visitor hugs a knitted installation by Xeem Noor titled 'Articulation'. Xeem encourages visitors to hug the main artwork as a form of comfort and support. Photo: The Star/William Gary

A knitted installation by Xeem titled Articulation, which looks like it might fray at any time, welcomes visitors to hug the main artwork, which doubles up as a form of comfort and support "wall rug". Just don't pull too hard.

In Trinh's Pen Tests series, you can get arty and doodle away with the stack of pens made available.

Brescia's bodysuit costumes, tucked in a cozy corner of the exhibition area, tell a personal story of the artist transitioning from stay home mum duties to being an active participant in the art scene.

The bodysuits, filled with pillow stuffing, can be squeezed if the visitor is curious enough.

There are stacks of pens available for visitors to doodle with, as encouraged by artist Trinh. His 'Pen Tests' series features sample pens obtained from office supply stores. Photo: The Star/William Gary There are stacks of pens available for visitors to doodle with, as encouraged by artist Trinh. His 'Pen Tests' series features sample pens obtained from office supply stores. Photo: The Star/William Gary

“It’s been fascinating to see not only the artist's presentation of their ideas, but also how different audiences react to being given or denied consent to interacting with the artworks," says Dedic, who is also exhibiting an artwork titled Self Portrait In Analogue Confusion - which features hotel reception bells - in this show.

Once you reach the top of the staircase at the gallery, you'll see a sign that warns: "Do Not Touch" the bells on the wall.

"I don't actually mind if visitors hit the bells. Psychologically, there could be certain reasons why people feel the need to touch artworks, or are even terrified to try interactive ones.

"To me, the audience reaction is what I'll be looking out for," concludes Dedic.

Consent exhibition is showing at Temu House in Petaling Jaya until till March 3. Open: 10am-5pm. Free admission.

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Consent , Temu House , Art , Exhibition , Group , Australia , Malaysia

   

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