Monday, 23 November 2009

A day at the Zig Zag Zoo!

1st Naive Art Exhibition at Zoo Negara.
Naivete is a quality in art that is designed to imitate the presumed innocence of the seven-year olds in the handling of colours, lines and shapes.

The results often seem pre-meditated with the irresistible charm we often encounter in jokes not intended as such, but still leave us roaring to the ground. The sheer act of laughing gives us an immense satisfaction, an experience not unlike the one engendered by the sets of imageries Arbaayah, Bennylita, and Felicia bring forth in their works.

These artists deal with ideas, often spontaneous and uncomplicated rather than with the conventional ways in which those ideas are articulated. Hence their works come across as unschooled, raw pouring of images without proportion as is normally understood, or logic as practiced by most people to survive.

... Prof. Dr. Zakaria Ali
Fakulti Seni & Muzik
Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (Perak)

Somewhere within the sprawling (120-acre) grounds of Zoo Negara this morning, VIPs, artists, guests & friends & their kids waited for the opening & launching Abby, Bennylita & Felicia's art exhibition. When I arrived (fashionably late), the MC had just begun the ceremony.

The Director of Zoo Negara began by informing us that this is the zoo's 46th year and reminded us that it is run by The Malaysian Zoological Society, an NGO & not part of any governmental organisation. Hence, it is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to run interesting activities for visitors during weekends and for ways to generate income of the zoo. As such 15% of sale of artworks will be given to the society in support of the zoo. (prices range from RM10-RM1,000)

Pn Zanita Anuar, Director Research & Exhibition, Balai Seni Lukis Negara (BLSN - our national Art Gallery) was in full support and called these 3 women artists, heroines for taking the path less travelled, for willing to face challenges in pursuing this form of art.

Why ? Naive art was only given recognition & formally accepted within the professional art circle in mid 20th Century. According to her, many artists who painted in this form never dared dream that their art would one day be accepted into established art galleries during their lifetime. Such are the up-hill struggles faced by these artists.

She was happy to announce that to-date BLSN has in their permanent collection, 12 naive art pieces.

So, in support for our ACG member artists, I hope more people will take the time & come, see, experience what this form of art is all about!

(Exhibitions runs for 2 weeks from 22 Nov-6 Dec, 2009)

Note from the artists :

"ZIG ZAG ZOO is all about adventure, discovery, fun, happiness, responsibility, caring, love, empathy, cherish and colours while enjoying walking zig zag road in the zoo

ZIG ZAG ZOO represents sight and sounds made by the animals in the zoo.

ZIG ZAG ZOO combines visual art and zoo animals and how t hese collaboration can be fun, exciting & rewarding."

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