Rogueart unveils first volume of Narratives in Malaysian Art Series

Writers and Artists Chronicle Evolution of Country’s Visual Art

Kuala Lumpur, 7 July 2012 – In supporting the development of Malaysian visual art, RogueArt today unwrapped the first of the four-volume Narratives in Malaysian Art publication, titled Imagining Identities. The ‘not for profit’ publication, which has brought together leading and emerging figures in the art scene, gathers knowledge and perspectives on the history, practice and infrastructure of visual art in Malaysia.

Narratives in Malaysian Art Volume I: Imagining Identities highlights the ways in which art has provided artists with the means of imagining themselves and our nation. It features a collection of 19 essays comprising five reprinted seminal texts from the 1970s to 90s and newly commissioned essays by writers across different generations. The articles discuss art developments in relation to changing expressions and experiences in Malaysian social and cultural life from late colonial to contemporary times, while 140 illustrations create a parallel visual narrative.

Speaking at the launch hosted by the National Visual Arts Gallery, Beverly Yong, Director and Co-Founder of RogueArt who is also one of the two Editor-in-Chiefs of the book said, “It is important to document the rich and diverse art history and practices of Malaysia. That is why we brought together a group of passionate editors and writers to develop Narratives in Malaysian Art, so readers can find out more about the evolution and significance of local visual art.”

“We hope that this project will cultivate understanding and appreciation among Malaysians for the nation’s visual art as well as serve as a reference for researchers, practicing artists, and the overall art community,” she added.

This first volume includes writing by renowned Southeast Asian art historian T.K. Sabapathy who is also the consulting editor, as well as leading artist figures Syed Ahmad Jamal, Redza Piyadasa and Sulaiman Esa. Various cultural writers, curators, artists and academics such as Anurendra Jegadeva, Beverly Yong, Adeline Ooi, Chai Chang Hwang, Emelia Ong, Izmer Ahmad, Kelvin Chua, Laura Fan, Ooi Kok Chuen, Rahimidin Zahari, Safrizal Shahir, Siti Zainon Ismail, Tengku Sabri Ibrahim, Yee I-Lann, Zakaria Ali and Zainol Shariff have also contributed existing and new writing to the volume.

The remaining three volumes of Narratives in Malaysian Art, which aim to cover art practices, infrastructure and discourse, will be launched in phases over the next 18 months.

Co-Editor-in-Chief Nur Hanim Khairuddin expressed her heartfelt gratitude to all who supported the project. “We are immensely grateful to our corporate, institutional and individual supporters for making the project possible, and to the art community for their enthusiastic encouragement in our journey towards creating a publication that documents our country’s artistic heritage for today’s generation and generations to come.”

“Our country boasts a rich and diverse visual art history and practice that we should all be proud of. We are glad to be able to share this with all Malaysians,” she added.

The publications are made possible by the funding and support of various corporations and individuals, namely – Khazanah Heritage and Art Initiative, National Visual Arts Gallery, Bangsar Village (Eng Lian Enterprise), Gudang Damansara, Malakoff Corporation Berhad, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Libra Invest Berhad, Helu-Trans (S) Pte Ltd, the Krishen Jit-ASTRO Fund, Kenneth Tan, Rosemary and Steve Wong, and the 30 Art Friends, as well as Friends and other supporters of the project.

Narratives in Malaysian Art Volume I: Imagining Identities is priced at RM 35 and is available in both English and Bahasa Malaysia at selected bookstores nationwide. All profits from sales of books will be re-channelled into the development and promotion of the Narratives in Malaysian Art project.

About RogueArt

RogueArt are Southeast Asian art specialists based in Kuala Lumpur focusing on the creative, strategic and organisational management of art and cultural projects, exhibitions, collections and publications. RogueArt believe that existing cultural institutions and the private and corporate sector have much to give, and to gain, in supporting contemporary cultural production. At the same time, the company explores alternative modes of presenting, thinking about and looking at art and culture in the regional context.


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