ข่าวประชาสัมพันธ์อีเวนท์

FORGOTTEN BEAUTY by TAN WEI KHENG

          Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA) is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Tan Wei Kheng at Richard Koh Fine Art, 229, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar 59100, Kuala Lumpur. Forgotten Beauty is the artist's second solo exhibition with the gallery and is scheduled to run from 10 – 24 April 2018. The exhibition will present 17 portraitures painted of various figures from tribal villages in Sarawak which the artist had visited in the past. The Opening Reception will take place on Tuesday, 10 April 2018, from 5 – 8pm.
          Intrigued by ancient practices and tribal culture, Tan forged a relationship with the living tribes of the interior jungles through constant visits and engagement over the years. Drawn by the adornment of tribal men and women, Tan's involvement allowed him to better understand the nuances and belief that informed the native lifestyle and aesthetics. This insight shaped Tan's understanding towards the important markers of identity and distinguishing traits that various dialect, customs, laws, territory and culture adhere to, they provide us with a clue into the native worldview and construct.
          An attempt to bridge the gap of different understandings, Tan records his observation through the display of tribal ornaments worn in their everyday, their initial adornment often performed by natives as rituals and belief heavily informed by mythologies. As a simple example, tribal tattoos are markers with protective powers deeply associated with headhunting, a rite of passage viewed as primitive and a mark of a savage by the contemporary today, slowly diminishing or replaced as the traditional are discarded while the society gravitate towards modern aesthetics. It is this very shift in belief injected by modernisation that Tan wishes to reflect through his portraits, from a belief system that is embedded and in harmony with nature towards a reality in constant pursuit of empirical evidences that the advancement of science affords.
          Forgotten Beauty is the artist's stance in embracing these charms created through the collective memories of ancient ancestors. These intimate portraits are realistically rendered to capture the strength and vigour of the elderly and respected of certain tribes, they question the remolding effects of modernisation and reinforce the distinction of the sacred and indegenious culture. They record a moment where we negotiate the conflicts of preservation at a time of impending modernisation.
          Tan Wei Kheng (1970) is a self-taught artist from Marudi, Sarawak, Malaysia. Originally a ceramist for a commercial outlet producing touristic objects, Wei Kheng became drawn to the stories, symbolism and traditional knowledge of Sarawak's interior peoples. Wei Kheng travels regularly into the dense interior of Sarawak where he spends time with friends from the tribes of the Orang Ulu (People of the Interior) such as the Kayan, Kenyah, Penan, Kelabit and Iban. His paintings depict them, their stories and concerns.
          Richard Koh Fine Art has been in operation since 2005 and is regarded as a pioneer for introducing Asian contemporary art to Malaysia and the region. Promoting an adventurous roster of emerging and established artists, the gallery regularly mounts exhibitions locally and abroad with a commitment to emerging practices and challenging media.