Our very own venture into developing a platform for emerging artists in Malaysia is now becoming a reality. Hosting its inaugural exhibition in collaboration with Alliance Francais Kuala Lumpur, sembilan presents Flow x Symmetry, featuring Nicholas Choong and Jaël Estrella – two promising artists from diverse backgrounds; with the common goal to experience a unique journey in their artistic career. Based in the quaint town of Seremban in Negeri Sembilan, the residency program provides emerging artists a home away from home for three months, to create new works for a joint exhibition at the end of their season in residence. In addition to a cosy abode at Hotel Sun Lun Yik, Nicholas and Jaël also had the opportunity to meet with Yeoh Choo Kuan for a studio visit and discussion about his successful journey internationally and locally. They also participated in an artist workshop held in Penang, hosted by Wei Ling Gallery, Sembilan fully sponsored this trip and managed the workshop application and also had the opportunity to visit the Alphabet Press on a private tour to understand the process of letter printing. These programs were part of sembilan’s artist development initiative which aims to provide the artist in residence new learning and growth opportunities. Flow x Symmetry is the result of the outstanding works completed by Nicholas and Jaël during their time with sembilan from October – December 2014. The exhibition showcases the individual artist’s work of art and most interestingly, a joint collaboration piece. Flow is represented by Nicholas, whose character, style and approach to his work is akin to the nature of a floating leaf leaning where the wind blows. In this series, we follow Nicholas’ journey in sembilan from the time he settles into the art space, familiarizing himself with Seremban town (“Stage 1 Where I am”), exploring new subjects and methods (“Stage 2 The Uncles”), and finally to the last stage of his time, showcasing the emulsion of all his experience in four distinct portraits of people recognized for their individual strengths and talent (“Stage 3 Portraits”). Nicholas works with watercolour, ink and acrylic on paper and canvas.
Stage 1: Where I Am
Stage 2 The Uncles
Stage 3 Portraits
Symmetry resonated with Jaël from the beginning of her time with sembilan. Recognising her need to fulfill the desire to work on this, Jaël dived straight into creating nature inspired works of symmetry. In achieving balance, Jaël meticulously outlines the patterns achieved from the pressing of acrylic on paper, creating out of this world patterns and colour streams. Each stroke and splash may seem unstructured at first glance, but balance comes into the picture with boundaries drawn into the perceived chaos, best described by the popular phrase ‘organised madness’. Although inspired by nature, Jaël’s paintings invite viewers to self interpret the story: “You tell me what you see – because everybody sees something different. And that’s why I love this method so much!”
It’s Just the Beginning
Feel Like Dancing
A special feature of the residency is for the artists to collaborate on one piece of work. In Season #1, Nicholas and Jaël reveals “The Roti Man”. A truly iconic Malaysian whom may be a thing of the past in the cities – but not so in Seremban. This collaboration sees Nicholas’ amazing line work merging with Jaël’s talented eye for colour. “The Roti Man” is a true reflection of collaboration, the spirit of the sembilan Art Residency, and fully represents flow and symmetry in Season #1’s exhibition.
The Roti Man
Flow x Symmetry will be open to public on the 31st of January 2015 for three weeks. A special and unique launch event will be held on the 30th of January 2015 by invitation, hosted with a mission to promote art as a lifestyle. Exhibition details: Flow x Symmetry Nicholas & Jaël 31st January 2015 14th February 2015 Venue: Alliance Francaise 15, Lorong Gurney, 54100 Kuala Lumpur Organiser Contact details: ∙ firstname.lastname@example.org ∙ Yeoh Xin Yi : + 6012 215 6382 (media enquiries) ∙ James Yip : + 6012 205 1110 ∙ Tan Lee Suan : +6012 391 1180 About sembilan Art Residency Program sembilan was founded to support local emerging artists by providing them with a conducive workspace and living arrangement to creatively explore and express their ideas along with the opportunity to exhibit their work at the end of the residency. The program provides artists with a dedicated art space within a 1919 prewar building in Negeri Sembilan, which has been recently renovated. It is approximately 2,000 square feet in size with plenty of blank wallsn and a wide, open space. For 3 relaxing months, artists in residence will stay at a newly rejuvenated, heritage styled hotel. Built in the 1950s, Hotel Sun Lun Yik was carefully restored in 2014 and is only a short stroll away from the art space. Once every quarter, sembilan will host group exhibitions for its residents to showcase their body of work in various exciting locations around Malaysia. The residency is located in the state of Negeri Sembilan, along the fringes of Seremban’s charming old town. It is approximately 45 minutes from Kuala Lumpur by car. The Program also aims to introduce a different side of Negeri Sembilan to gallery owners, collectors, curators, artists and other art enthusiast by hosting studio visits and art related networking events. sembilan is jointly managed by elias projects, a boutique project management and business consultancy, Hotel Sun Lun Yik, a boutique heritage style hotel and Chalk and Raddy, an online Art magazine dedicated to promoting emerging artists in the region. http://www.sembilan.com.my http://www.facebook.com/art.sembilan