Art transforms lives. It gives people the power to question, to confront, to explore and to challenge how we think about the world.
Over the last decade, the Malaysian art scene has gone from strength to strength, growing into a mature and professional industry. However, the country is lagging behind its Southeast Asian neighbours in terms of pricing and visibility due to the lack of emphasis placed on promoting local arts in the country and the region.
Indeed, Malaysia’s art scene is a disparate and fractious one with few real collectives in place. Because of that, only a few local artists, such as H H Lim and Nor Azizan Rahman Paiman, have received international recognition — but not enough to put Malaysian art on the map.
Until today, many new artists in Malaysia find it difficult to secure funding and a place in exhibitions.
RHB Foundation, in collaboration with RHB Premier, aims to change that.
Understanding the importance of art as a key instrument of social and cultural transformation, RHB Foundation will be organising its inaugural Art with Heart exhibition, a dynamic platform to showcase artworks by new and emerging, homegrown artists as part of its corporate responsibility initiative.
The exhibition, which will be held from Nov 17 to 25 at the National Visual Arts Gallery, will showcase 11 artists from different backgrounds and styles who were specially selected for their exceptional talent.
By providing an avenue for artists to exhibit their artworks, the Foundation hopes to uncover exciting talents and provide them with a space to freely explore their creativity and expression.
On top of that, purchase of the artists’ work during the exhibition will benefit not only the artists themselves but also charitable organisations that will be identified by RHB Foundation. This will also accord RHB Premier’s valued customers and business partners access to a unique asset class.
“We want to bring more attention to new and emerging talents and help promote the local art scene to national and international art lovers and buyers. We also want to see more artists benefiting from this exhibition in the future and those with the means and interest to fully support the initiative,” says RHB Bank Bhd chairman Tan Sri Azlan Zainol.
The Art with Heart exhibition, themed Images of Life, will showcase more than 50 artworks that depict different styles of scenes and events from everyday life.
Through various art forms, the exhibition aims to transform the ordinary and the mundane into extraordinary and beautiful masterpieces that will alter the viewer’s perception of what it means to be part of Malaysia’s social zeitgeist.
Visitors to the exhibition can expect to explore and be inspired by different styles and techniques of artworks, from abstract, landscapes and figurative art to naïve or folk art.
The list of artists for the exhibition include young and emerging talents like Muhammad Azizul Mohd Nasir, Chok Yue Zan, Choong Soon Leong, Marisa Ng and Koo Yeanni, who have been making waves on the local art scene.
There are also talents who have garnered substantial following for their unique brand of art, such as Dennis Chan, Nizar Kamal Ariffin, Hasemah Abu Hazim or Shima, Mohammed Zaki bin Zakaria and Hasni Dan.
The exhibition will also feature special guest artist, Suhaimi Fadzir, who specialises in installation art — a genre of three-dimensional work that is designed to transform the perception of space.
Suhaimi, who hails from Perak, is well known for his work, which is a fusion of art and architecture. He has exhibited internationally in several solo and group shows and his work has been extensively collected, as public and private collections in Malaysia, South Korea, Ireland, China, the US, Indonesia, Singapore, the UK, Japan, the Philippines, Spain, Uzbekistan, Germany and Mexico will attest to.
Through this exhibition, RHB Foundation hopes to build and strengthen rapport with the local creative community. Ultimately, Art with Heart is about encouraging and inspiring a new appreciation and love for arts and culture among Malaysians.
The Art with Heart exhibition will open from 10am to 6pm daily at the National Visual Art Gallery.