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03/12 Sunday 09:57AM

see what four artists in brunei did

Visitors to the Waterfront Art Gallery this month will have the opportunity to enjoy a collection of paintings by local artists during the Brunei Art Forum Exhibition. They will also be able to view, and in one particular instance, participate, four installations created specially for this event.

The first installation to capture the audience is a collection of three pieces by Osveanne Osman:
" 'Izumi' - is an identity piece that revolves around the use of abstraction and symbolism. Bodily gestures, colors, motifs and the complexity of details explain the clarity in life as well as darker inhibitions. Arms upstretched are posed in a gesture of support that could also be interpreted as bearing burdens. The floral and serpent motifs are a personal indication of two predominant cultures (being Malay and Chinese) that shape ‘identity’ in Izumi. The complexity of the root-like entrails signify, literally in a visual sense, how firmly ‘rooted’ culture is to identity.

'Inhibitions' is a piece born from its predecessor ‘I wish I were a boy’. Done through a technique of inking bubbles and using them to paint, this piece focuses on the element of spontaneity. Loosely based on the gestalt theory the abstract formations of wispy swirls and dots only take shape according to the viewer’s own cognitive process

'The Vitruvian Dress - is Fashion really wearable?' was born from the relationship between the opposing qualities of a circle and a square. Made from metal wires, mesh, satin and organza the concept of opposition in harmony is presented by incorporating organic waves into a medium whose properties are solid and structural."
- Osveanne Osman

The second installation is entitled, 'Nasi Katok'. The title of the display has little to do with the obvious as not a grain of rice nor its usual spicy accomplice can be found anywhere on the display. Its creator, Syaifuddien, defines 'Nasi Katok' as something not just for statisfying hunger. He wishes to convey a deeper social understanding and observation through this creation. Modernity and wealth has changed society and the way people think.  'Nasi Katok' - born in the middle of the local community that is rich with a long history, aims to show and teach us -with its humbling contents - not to waste in this time of plenty. 'Nasi Katok', features a sole human as part of the creation, introducing the concept of 'live' art that broadens, challenges and questions society's traditional view of art.

It is the first time that a local exhibition has included a participative installation - entitled Creat'art'ive Tree - that allows the public to participate and leave their own artistic mark on the display. The creator, Syen Sofian who is a designer by training, wanted to convey in a clear and visual way, how the creative process is a journey that is shaped by direction and design. Like the roots of a tree, ideas need a strong base and support in order for it to grow and multiply into many other ideas and new innovations. Like the new leaves that unfold and the flowers that bloom, ideas become tangible when they are materialised. Visitors can help the tree 'blossom' by stringing up their doodles or messages on a card and hanging them on the tree.  This process aims to show that creativity does not need to be complicated.  It can be simple and practical, not static and certainly not permanent. Creativity should be flexible enough to attach and detach easily with innovation and progress.

As visitors move towards the end of the hall, they will be met by Sam Siren's String Installation - a criss-crossing web of coloured strings that depicts the flow of life in a structural representation, where the blues represent calmness and yellows highlight one's life at its most glorious moments. The rhinestones suspended in midair play the roles of thoughts, ideas and inner voices of individuals that only they themselves fully cherish, like precious diamonds. The movement of the strings and rhinestones combined depicts an endless journey. The floor just below the strings provide a canvas for a constellation of colourful origami - spread across the space as an interpretation of ideas, talents and thoughts, as well as inner voices that have been exposed to the world and transformed into creativity.   

Visitors can walk through this installation and add to it by leaving a flash of their thoughts and feelings on a piece of Post-It and stick it on the wall. You need to dip your head a little as you walk through this artistic alley to read the words of the public. Read their inner thoughts and desires. Feel their emotions. Delight in their wit and humour. Once you get to the other side, look up and move on.  Like life, there is a lot more beauty ahead but you need to keep moving on to see it.

The installations and a range of paintings in various media and subjects are on display now until the end of February, 2012 at the Waterfront Art Gallery. Look out for the BAF schedule of activities during the exhibition on their Facebook page - Brunei Art Forum - Official.

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