Role Play

Category: Curatorial

I started this series of works around the end of 2008. I balanced my time working while traveling in between Yogjakarta and KL. During that period, I asked myself many questions which I do not have answers to. I was wondering if what I was doing make any sense at all. One of the many questions is was it important if people can understand me, or my works?

Most of us play multiple roles in life – be it in the society, at home, on stage, etc. But what role do we play when we are alone? Do we have a hidden role that only we know ourselves? Therefore, I started to observe others for clues.

I did not find the answer, nor did I ask anyone. Coincidentally, I came across a picture of an underground singer(musician) in a newspaper whom is a total stranger to me. However, as I read the newspaper article, I learnt that she sings her own written songs. Although I do not know how her songs sound like, but I feel like I can understand the realm of reality in her works – just like what I am trying to do with my paintings. It is strange, and yet I discovered how simple it is that people can be understood and be connected. Thus, I painted “Singing Her Own Songs”.

Soon after that, I painted “Mime”. The mime is the epitome of what I wish I could become – getting the message across without saying anything at all. I am not a good talker and I seem to be capable of saying the wrong things at the wrong time.

Then, I painted this young man – “A Believer in Doubts” staring into the blank – as if trying to justify what his future would be like. In another painting of a young man with a scarf covering part of his face – it looked as though the scarf claimed his identity. However, it is an item of necessity to shield himself from the fumes and dusts on the streets when travelling around town.

That is how I started this series of paintings – about people with their individual roles, or having some agenda fixed on their mind, I believe people existed in their own reality with their personal moments, and put on a different role when in the company with others. This tension we built between the distance we put among ourselves are so delicate that can be shattered when something arises.

Published: August 6, 2009

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