These neat neon lights greeted me at the entrance highlighting the exhibition theme of using materials that are available to create art, materials which some might discard as rubbish. What a great idea!
As soon as I heard of Ernest Zacharevic’s graffiti art exhibition, I decided to head up to Penang. I am pleased I did. I feasted my eyes and mind on Ernest’s perspective of creating art from rubbish in Malaysia.
I wonder if this piece is a self-portrait of the artist himself? The usage of old wooden cupboards & a carburettor was used to create this piece. The self-portrait has a disjointed, ethereal & uplifting feel to it. On a personal note, I loved it because it gave the impression that his soul is ethereal although his body is a standard machine like every other sentient being. His feet are arched on tip toes as if reaching for a higher platform or purpose. Next to this portrait, on the right, are his framed paint splattered trousers, akin to expressing that gifting his art to people is his life’s centrepiece. *perhaps I’m reading too much into this. Whatever he means, I like these pieces.
The tenderness of this piece portrayed on a jute sack in the way this lady lovingly protects the baby’s head. This art piece makes me think of the hired Indonesian helpers in Malaysian homes who leave their own families to earn wages which are repatriated back to their home countries for their families livelihood. Ernest has acute cultural observations of Malaysia because he has fresh eyes of a traveller. This is a trait I can relate to because the local societal norms are an anomaly for a traveller who is accustomed to a different cultural perspective.
After being away from Malaysia, I’ve had to piece my own puzzle and I am sometimes startled by the pieces that I find amongst us. The next piece of art is an example of how I felt. I love how Ernest painted on wooden blinds.
Similarly, I took this photo, on my way home from work at about midnight and it struck me how difficult earning a living was for this man. He is impoverished and has to use the effort of his legs to cycle, collect and sell recycled rubbish to make ends meet. When I saw Ernest’s art in the gallery, I remembered that particular evening.
This piece made me giggle because I was trying to capture an appropriate angle to photograph it to interpret what it meant to me. It is a dark sculpture of a desolate, limbless prisoner cowering under the great light of inquisition. Being Malaysian, it reminds me of the limits of freedom of expression thereby restricting individuals rendering us constantly answerable to the authorities.
On to slightly more cheerful & very cute portraits of playful children:
There was more art outdoors. I thought it was funny how this kid was scratching his head, trying to figure out what this art contraption was.
The taxi driver was confused and did not seem to know the directions. I think this the best way to describe it: 59, Jalan Gurdwara, Penang opposite to Grand Continental Hotel and next to SRJK Kampung Jawa, behind Times Square, next to Aik Soon & Company.
This is a photo of the entrance.
The gates are locked in the photo above because I arrived about 45 minutes too early.
I managed to coax a photo and some conversation out of the really friendly artist, Ernest although he was tired and busy manning the gift shop.
I am weatherbeaten by the Penang heat. Please excuse my boho-dishevelled look.
Ernest’s art is a delightful, thought provoking perspective.