Whispers of life solo exhibition by Rie Mandala

It was a jam packed opening. It was supposed to be a casual affair with no speeches, Shooshie Sulaiman informs, but Mr. Shoichi Toyoda, Director of the Japan Foundation, was so overwhelmed by the response to the exhibition that he was compelled to give a speech – nice! 

Rie Mandala’s Whisper 10, a collage lamp
Rie Mandala’s Melodies of Time
I can see why Rie Mandala’s exhibition is so well received. Her works are truly beautiful. Using recycled pieces of paper and fabrics collected anywhere and everywhere, she lovingly cuts them up to make up the collages. She emphasises that no compass is used to obtain her concentric circles, she uses only cut outs of anything cylindrical, for example an ice cream cone, to outline them. And the theme is wonderful as well… Whispers of Life represent the footprints of her life, where she has travelled to and the many cultures she has encountered. Stealing a couple of lines from her poem, she says: 

When infused with life anew, souls brimming with energy fly through the silence and speak from beyond time and space.What voices can be heard if one listened carefully.

John, Wan and Man  

Kyoko Kugai, Shoichi Toyoda and Yap Sau Bin
Masnoor Ramli Mahmud, Shooshie Sulaiman and Fatina Alfis Zolklifi

Roslan Yusof, Puah Chin Kok and Tan Hui Koon

And Malaysia is very much a part of Rie’s journey as she spent six months in Penang from July to December 2011 as one of the two artists chosen to participate in the Royal Bank of Scotland’s six month Artist in Resident Program at Malihom. I have not been to Shooshie’s 12 for an opening before so when I received a text message from her inviting me, I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone as I have not seen her for quite a while either. So I was pleasantly surprised to see the fresh white walls and nice bright lights at the space – yes, it has been several years since I last visited as well. And besides the promised Laksa Johor, roti jala with chicken curry, spring rolls and various kuih muih were on offer too!

Wandering Ripples
Shooshie Sulaiman, Zahir Azman, Nonie Nordin and Linda Nordin 


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