Young talent welcomed into exhibition curated by association for Malay artists

Muhammad Amirul Bin Azman with his photography piece, titled Saturation.
Muhammad Amirul Bin Azman with his photography piece, titled Saturation.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Artist Abu Jalal Sarimon with his artwork, titled We Learn From History, at the Kontemporari 2017 art exhibition, on Dec 23, 2017.
Artist Abu Jalal Sarimon with his artwork, titled We Learn From History, at the Kontemporari 2017 art exhibition, on Dec 23, 2017.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Nuryn Qistina Suhaimi with her artwork, tiltled Fallen, at the Kontemporari 2017 art exhibition, on Dec 23, 2017.
Nuryn Qistina Suhaimi with her artwork, tiltled Fallen, at the Kontemporari 2017 art exhibition, on Dec 23, 2017.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Guests attend the Kontemporari 2017 exhibition at the Ion Art Gallery, on Dec 23, 2017.
Guests attend the Kontemporari 2017 exhibition at the Ion Art Gallery, on Dec 23, 2017.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Artist Nur Iman with his works, on display at the Kontemporari 2017 exhibit.
Artist Nur Iman with his works, on display at the Kontemporari 2017 exhibit.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Sometimes it's good to be just plain, says Mr Muhammad Amirul Azman, a 23-year-old artist who tries to depict this feeling in his artworks currently on display in ION Orchard.

The works are part of Kontemporari 2017, an exhibition being curated by the association of Malay artists, Angkatan Pelukis Aneka Daya (Apad).

"There is so much chaos in the world that sometimes when we try and achieve happiness we get stuck somewhere in between, but that is okay," Mr Muhammad Amirul said, referring to his photograph of a simple pale pink building corner.

"Everyone starts off plain and simple, like this building," he said.

Artists like Mr Muhammad Amirul, who are not members of Apad, have never been featured in an Apad exhibition. Now, in its 47th year, the association has for the first time opened participation to all Malay artists, as opposed to just its members.

This has led to works by younger artists such as Miss Nuryn Qistina, 17, being featured. She focuses on body painting, using make up, face paint and latex material.

"I couldn't find a canvas to paint on once so I decided to paint on my face and it was nice to see a masterpiece smile back at me in the mirror," she said.

Mr Kamal Dollah, president of Apad, participated in the exhibition himself, contributing a batik painting piece.

He said: "We are an old association and the number of our members are declining, we have lost touch with younger artists but our role is not to be a club but to be for Malay artists."

A majority of Apad's members are over 50-years-old.

Mr Kamal Dollah said that 20 new artists, many of whom were young talents, have been drawn to the exhibition since it was open to non-members.

"The young artists will bring modernisation to art in Apad and help change the identity of the organisation itself," said Mr Muhammad Amirul.

There are a total of  71 works by 52 artists on display at the ION Art Gallery.

The exhibition will run from 10am to 10pm daily until New Year's Day (Jan 1) and is free of charge.