Official Opening: Emergence

Official Opening: Emergence

Emergence, the exhibition featuring six young Malaysian artists, opened last Wednesday evening, and for some of the participating artists, a momentous occasion, being their first participation in a formal exhibition.

For Artemis Art, it was momentous for a slightly different reason, as the opening signaled the realization of an important aim – to provide a platform for young artists to showcase their works.

It is heartening that the opening was fairly well attended, despite the rain that suddenly decided to make its appearance late in the afternoon, an hour or so before the opening was scheduled to start. But the less than cooperative weather did little to dampen the enthusiasm of those who made sure they were there to give support to the young artists.

We started off the event a little later than planned, due to artists and guests who were delayed by the messy traffic, characteristic of Kuala Lumpur after a downpour.

Our guest of honor for the evening was Ms. Sharmin Parameswaran, of interpr8 art space, herself a young collector who is supportive of young artistic talents.

Our guest of honor, Ms. Sharmin Parameswaran, of interpr8 art space, with her opening remarks
(Photo by TW Chang)

In her opening speech, Sharmin shared with the audience a brief history of how she got into the art scene. Daughter of a very prominent collector, she had grown up quite exposed to the arts, accompanying her father to meet with artists, or attending art events. But she realized, too, that she couldn’t quite entirely connect with the art that her father collected, which eventually led her to start interpr8.

Sharmin, too, is of the opinion that young artists need the space to exhibit their works, one of the reasons why she agreed to open Emergence. She added that more art spaces and exhibitions catering to young talents are needed for the Malaysian art scene to flourish.

Skinner presenting Sharmin with a token of appreciation, an exclusive piece of digital art, created especially for the exhibition.
(Photo by Claire T. Skelchy)

Another area that Sharmin touched on was the need to nurture a younger generation of art collectors. Young people today, she said, were more likely to spend money on the latest designer products or electronic gadgetry, rather than investing on a piece of art. Certainly a sentiment that resonates with us as well.

From left to right, Hafiz Hajeedar, S. Jamal Al-Idrus (Artemis Art), Ms. Sharmin Parameswaran, Skinner, Azimuddin Abd Manaf, Lyia Meta, and Shyevin S’ng.
(Photo by Claire T. Skelchy)

Granted, one exhibition will not achieve the goal of cultivating a new generation of collectors, but on the part of Artemis Art, we think that this is a good start. While it may not be an impossible task, it is an objective that will certainly take many more exhibitions before any significant results can be seen.

The good news is that some of the works did get sold during the opening, and we’re sure that during the whole exhibition run, many more pieces will get purchased. And those who did buy were young art enthusiasts, which is heartening to note.

One small surprise of the evening was the attendance of a gentleman who is part of this nation’s young art history.

Dato Hajeedar Abdul Majid, prominent architect, and the youngest member of the historic Wednesday Art Club
(Photo by Claire T. Skelchy)

Dato’ Hajeedar Abdul Majid, a very prominent architect, attended the opening in support of his son, Hafiz Hajeedar, one of the participating artists. Little did we know that this gentleman has a part in our country’s relatively young contemporary art history. Dato’ Hajeedar was part of the historic Wednesday Art Group, founded by Peter Harris, artist and at the time Superintendent of Art Education Federation of Malaya. Dato’ Hajeedar mentioned that he was the youngest member of the group at the time, while he was still studying in Victoria Institution, Kuala Lumpur.

Despite the rather inclement weather, the official opening of Emergence was quite well attended
(Photo by Claire T. Skelchy)

Never too young to start being an art enthusiast!
(Photo by TW Chang)

The artists participating in this exhibition are Azimuddin Abd Manaf, Hafiz Hajeedar, Harold “Egn” Eswar, Lyia Meta, Shyevin S’ng, and Skinner (their profiles and a sneak preview of their works can be viewed here).

For these artists, the exhibition allows their works, and their talent, to be introduced to the Malaysian art scene. As young artists, we are certain that a long and fruitful career awaits them. But, as the old saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This exhibition marks that step, and for these young artists, it’s an opportunity for them to emerge.

Emergence is scheduled to run from October 24 to November 7, 2012. There is a distinct chance, however, that we may extend the exhibition for a little longer. Nevertheless, do come view the works while the exhibition is on. More photos from the opening can be viewed on our Facebook page.

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