A leading light in the Malaysian contemporary art scene, Anurendra Jegadeva has always drawn on world affairs as points of interest across his body of work, so that the Covid-19 pandemic should act as a primary impetus in his latest exhibition is no surprise. SCREAM INSIDE YOUR HEART- New Paintings from Solitary Confinement shows the artist visualising the turmoil that most have felt during the months of lock-down and quarantine.
Held at Wei-Ling Gallery from 17 Sept-3 Oct, work on this new series started before Covid-19 escalated, but it was the implementation of lockdown measures that sharpened the focus and gave it a clearer drive.
“In many ways, our world has been heading in this direction for the last few years with the climate change, the resurgence of the strongman dictator, the failure of globalism and multiculturalism, the threat to democracy, the internet and its subsequent consolidation of tribes, the rich and poor divide, and natural disasters,” says Jegadeva.
The artist uses the mask as a symbol of isolation and separation throughout the series, serving as a direct reference to the toll of the Coronavirus. An example of this is the increase of verbal and physical attacks on Asians in Australia where the artist lives, and he explores these aspects in the series.
The artist also revisits familiar ground by including actors he has featured in his past paintings, only this time in masks. Some of the work includes masks that are part of his home, such as the Balinese mask in Letter to my grandmother to the Garuda mask in Same Old Stories.
Another theme which appears in this series is that of women’s place in contemporary society, and the disparity between men and women’s freedom and limitation. This can be seen on the works Separate Together and Same Old Song, Again, each underscoring the challenges faced by migrants via ethnic, economic and religious factors. This relates back to the pandemic in that Covid seems to predominantly affect certain groups, but that in the end we must come together in order to overcome it.
SCREAM INSIDE YOUR HEART- New Paintings from Solitary Confinement
Where Jalan Scott, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur
When 10am-5pm (Tues-Sat) – Exhibition from 17 Sept-3 Oct
Tel 03 22828323