By Matt Liew
And thus begins our Urbanscapes coverage, as the 3-week long music and arts festival is due to kick off this weekend. Over the course of these 3 weeks, we’ll be highlighting things and happenings that we think you should definitely go and check out.
A play on the phrase ‘Can’t Be Bothered’, Cannot Be Bo(a)rdered is an exhibition featuring works by 16 artists and collectives from Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Cannot Be Bo(a)rdered is a broad visual exploration of skate culture and its psyche, where each artist will exhibit an artwork – using skateboards as a primary medium – to challenge existing stereotypes and construct new narratives in skate culture, through their different creative styles and visual expressions. The exhibition also aims to showcase a blend of coexisting subcultures that are increasingly popular today – urban, street, DIY, and visual culture.
Curated by Iman Ismail, the artists featured in Cannot Be Bo(a)rdered have backgrounds as varied as their styles. Assembling to present a riot of expression are graffiti scene pioneers, trained fine artists, self-taught illustrators, graphic designers, and architects.
Malaysian artist Donald Abraham’s work “Penghuni Kampung” reflects his cherished skating experiences, in which the Yusof Gajah-mentee relates how street skaters stake their claim on conducive spots, forming a village of their own. From the street to the boardroom, Galeri Petronas creative director Nizam Rahmat’s installation deals with the personas and masks of the corporate world, presented in fictional discussion.
From Indonesia, Bambang “Toko” Witjaksono’s work transposes his “pop batik” visuals onto skateboards. The Indonesian art scene pioneer has curated the internationally-renowned art festival ArtJog since 2012. His fellow compatriot and comic book artist Popok Tri Wahyudi’s “Bearing Kindness” tackles the struggle of young rebellious skateboarders.
The Singaporean contingent includes Farizwari Fajari, better known as Speak Cryptic, who is inspired by the visual language of comics and underground music. Yasee Poh, whose work “Obi Good” is a play on colloquial Singaporean vernacular for “serves you right”, features embroidered characters resembling traditional snacks like kuih lapis and ondeh ondeh. Meanwhile, Dyn Starr Galactica evokes nostalgia with “Pussyboard”, a playground sculpture constructed out of skateboards.
Cannot Be Bo(a)rdered can be found at the Urbanscapes House, Medan Pasar for the full 3 weeks of Urbanscapes. Admission is free, so this exhibition is definitely something you should go and check out if you have the free time
Date: April 23rd – May 8th, 2016
Time: All Day
Venue: Urbanscapes House, Medan Pasar
Admission: Free Entry