Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Filipino Artists in Malaysia

Picking up on John Berger's evocation of art as representing "the enduring, guts and honour" there is a long illustrated essay over at Small Acts by Carmen, one of Malaysia's best cultural critics. The essay focuses on the work of the Filipino artists' collective Anting Anting who are currently painting a public mural at the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur. For one of the artists, Manny, here is the power of the mural as a form: "It challenges you to not just display your craft but to come up with images that interact and hopefully stimulate people into some kind of critical engagement—facing and confronting their own situation. I haven’t been around here long enough to grasp the Malaysian condition and situation but we start from where we come from; the issues we raise are just as valid in the Philippines as here: the environment, politics, religion, ethnicity, particular issues pertaining to greed and big business and the victimization of the poor". Read the rest.


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