Gajah Gallery proudly presents The New Now III: Convergence, the latest edition of The New Now series, featuring 19 up-and-coming artists from across Southeast Asia. While previous iterations of the show have featured promising young Singaporean artists, this year we have expanded our scope to showcase the wealth of emerging talent throughout the region, including artists from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore.
The majority of the participating artists are current art students and recent graduates from prominent Southeast Asian art institutions – LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore; Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Singapore; the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts, Institut Seni Indonesia, Yogyakarta; Institut Teknologi Bandung, and Silpakorn University, Thailand. Each artist was handpicked for their aesthetic quality and conceptual explorations, and has been invited to respond to the curatorial framework of our show.
The exhibition theme draws from the Japanese idiom ichi-go, ichi-e, which translates as ‘one time, one meeting’, or ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ – the idea being that each moment in our lifetimes can only happen once and cannot be repeated or replicated in the same way ever again. Because of this, we are encouraged to appreciate all of life’s moments, as every instance, every opportunity, will always be the first and last time.
In our current climate, bombarded by hundreds and thousands of images and terabytes of information, how will these artists create works that encourage viewers to stay put in these fleeting moments and stand firm despite all of life’s turbulence?
The New Now III: Convergence presents a meeting point at which these unique artistic practices intersect; a showcase of works by artists from wildly different cultural axes yet inspired by the same theme. These works were created for the ‘now’, brought together for one moment in time that can never be repeated.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Dini Nur Aghnia (Indonesia)
Dini Nur Aghnia (b. 1995), currently student at the Institut Seni Indonesia in Yogyakarta, is a visual artist who works with the unique medium of clay on canvas. She sculpts painted clay into discs and positions them on canvas so as to create the image she envisions. Her brightly-coloured depictions of the Indonesian landscape highlight the small victories we should be grateful for each passing day.
Enggar Rhomadioni (Indonesia)
Enggar Rhomadioni (b. 1992) is an Indonesian artist based in Yogyakarta. In his paintings, Rhomadioni seeks to record all of life’s events, our glories and our tragedies, utilizing the act of creation as a way of processing these experiences – art as a tool for communicating our emotions and feelings, and overcoming trauma. His work explores the pressures of modern society, and the psychological effects that may follow, using art as a therapeutic release from the bustle of everyday life.
Fazrin Abdul Rahman (Malaysia)
Fazrin Abdul Rahman (b. 1989) is a Malaysian artist whose practice is inspired by the traditional art of rattan weaving- specifically, the use of woven rattan sheets in the interiors of traditional Malay kampung housing. Drawing on his previous job as a craftsman in traditional woven goods, he creates tile-like arrangements out of aluminium which resemble woven surfaces, professing an affinity for the traditional geometric forms found in local designs.
Gabby Prado (Philippines)
Visual and performance artist Gabby Prado (b. 1995) is a recent graduate from the University of the Philippines, College of Fine Arts, Studio Arts (Painting). After years of training in performance, specifically dancing, Prado envisioned a way to transform movement into large scale art. Her abstract paintings rely on bodily movements and expressions to translate personal memories into art, advocating for a better understanding, inspiration, and information of our personal sensory narratives.
Galih Adika Paripurna (Indonesia)
Galih Adika Paripurna (b. 1994) is a Bandung-based visual artist, whose interests lie in exploring the themes surrounding experience; transforming digitized virtual objects found in cyberspace into physical, tangible artworks. In his current series, he concerns himself with visual stimuli being reproduced on online platforms such as social media, creating a hierarchy which places importance on observation as a primary mode of experience. In response to these ‘artificial’ experiences that forsake other bodily senses, the works he creates lie in the boundary between the second and third dimensions.
Jemana Murti (Indonesia)
Jemana Murti (b. 1997) is an Indonesian-born artist, currently based in Singapore. His artistic practice explores the intricate relationship between the physicality of the body and the intangibility of the mind, creating ‘portrait paintings’ that offer a new way of interpreting this connection. Through his experiments with the material of foam resin and stainless steel, he attempts to bridge this divide – portraying mankind as organic, messy, and excessive.
Jono Pisano (Philippines)
Jono Duran Pisano (b. 1990) currently lives and works in Manila, having recently graduated with a BFA in Fine Arts from Parsons School for Art and Design. His approach to painting captures renaissance sensibilities yet continues to challenge the classical style, exploring the concepts of the mechanism of sight and peripheral information. His practice attempts to address the artistic notions concerning originality, authenticity, and presence.
Kara Inez (Malaysia)
Kara Inez (b. 1991) is a Malaysian artist based in Singapore who draws from her personal experiences to explore issues surrounding the female body and mental health through the mediums of performance art and sculpture. Utilizing abject materials such as hair and skin, her works invoke the feeling of disgust as a means to challenge the social constructs set in place surrounding these suppressed topics. Since graduating with a BA (Hons) in Fine Arts from LASALLE College of the Arts, she has been awarded The Winston Oh Travel Award 2019, where she ventured to South India to carry out research on the hair trade.
Leela Promwong (Thailand)
Incorporating fantasy and fantastical creatures within the mood of contemporary lifestyle is second nature to up-and-coming Thai artist, Leela Promwong (b. 1994). According to Promwong, she is inspired by the “patronage system that occurs, coming and going down in regular order.” Through her fantastical style, she poses questions on power, position, and patronage, with her works being previously exhibited across Thailand, Denmark and Singapore.
Lou Lim (Philippines)
Lou Lim’s (b. 1989) artistic practice investigates processes, and the idea and power of surface in producing meaning. She is interested in the connections between the corporeal and the spiritual, between physical objects and visual imagery, and what these relations articulate. Lim has recently participated in a residency program with Pavillon Neuflize OBC, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and has taken part in exhibitions across the Philippines, France, Korea, and Singapore.
Mahalakshmi Kannappan (Singapore)
Mahalakshmi Kannappan is an emerging Singapore-based artist who has recently graduated with a Diploma in Fine Art from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. Her artistic practice seeks to identify, amalgamate, and distort different materials as part of an ongoing inquiry into their properties, characteristics, and limitations. Her current series explores the medium of charcoal; the works resulting from these experiments highlight the uncontrollable and unpredictable responses in each material.
Maneerat Thamnarak (Thailand)
Maneerat Thamnarak’s (b. 1994) studio practice centres on the medium of wood assemblage, highlighting the value of simplicity of the people in the deepest southern prefectures of Thailand where she was born and raised. Inspired by memories of her family’s way of life, her work showcases the importance of the traditional values of self-sufficiency and local beliefs which have been passed down from generations before her.
Mandy Zhuang Xuehong (Singapore)
Mandy Zhuang Xuehong (b. 1996) is a Singapore-based multidisciplinary artist who has recently graduated with a BA in Fine Art Practice (Hons) from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. Working primarily with the mediums of film and sculpture, her practice investigates the psychological energy of the spaces we inhabit, exploring architecture that has a specific location, form, and history, with a particular interest in the structure of staircases. Her work confronts questions of home, identity, memory, time, affection, and existence as she seeks to make visible these markers of memories.
Napanat Gler Tae (Thailand)
Napanat Gler Tae (b. 1994) is a current student at the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts at Silpakorn University, Thailand. His works explore his personal outlook on society as a stage, with mankind as actors playing a pre-determined role. His practice investigates the control of the mind over aspects of society and our personal lives, scrutinizing indicators which prompt us to conform to specific behavior – as if given a script for social situations.
Nurul Ezzaty (Singapore)
Nurul ‘Zat’ Ezzaty (b. 1996) is a formally trained printmaker with a Diploma in Fine Arts from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. Zat derives her inspiration from surrealist imagery of monstrous beasts and mythology, crafting stories with an air of melancholy accompanied by a subtle touch of iniquity. Her prints are an expression of her thoughts and emotions, exploring dualities such as virtue and vice, and change and control.
Raigo Law (Singapore)
Raigo Law (b. 1998) is a Singaporean visual artist whose practice researches the bio-organic materiality of forms, texts, and ontological systems; interfacing the imageries of the molecularity of cellular structures and the development of micro-macro organisms in the constructed chart of evolution. Working across installation and a range of sculptural mediums composed of unconventional items; he modifies and exploits the irregularities and inconsistencies found across each organism’s surface.
Sita Inyai (Thailand)
Sita Inyai (b. 1991) has a Master’s degree in Thai Art from Silpakorn University. Her work is inspired by the nature of equilibrium presented through the process of drawing, knitting, tying, binding, and weaving metal and silk yarns. Taking her creativity from the laws of nature, Inyai relies on the natural equilibrium of the space provided. Her works take on the shapes of parts of the human body, reflecting on the metaphors of reality and balance.
Teo Esguerra (Philippines)
Teo Esguerra (b. 1990) is a Filipino visual artist who is currently undertaking a post-graduate degree at the University of the Philippines Diliman. His artistic explorations revolve around memory, everyday experiences, and personal thoughts, interpreting fragmentary memories and realizations in a metaphorical manner. He often integrates photography in his work, relying on its tangibility as a concrete record of a memory, as opposed to reality which one can never fully control.
Veronica Peralejo (Philippines)
Veronica Peralejo (b. 1989) is a dynamic multimedia object maker whose artistic investigation explores the poetic nature of the universe found in everyday life. The sculptures she creates are inspired by the abstract imageries she derives from otherwise mundane and familiar elements in the surrounding environment. Peralejo graduated Cum Laude with a BFA in Painting from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts, Manila and her first solo exhibition Pocket Universe (2015) was shortlisted for the Ateneo Art Awards.