In Malaysia, new ways of weaving

Art August 10, 2017 15:15

By The Nation

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Malaysian weaver Anne Samat’s debut solo exhibition “Sultanate in the Eye, Monarchy at Heart” at Richard Koh Fine Art in Kuala Lumpur through August 23 features works from her most recent series, “Freedom”.

“Freedom stands for something greater than just the right to act however I choose,” she says. “It stands for giving everyone an equal opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

“Taken literally, the ‘do whatever you want’ approach would produce anarchy, every man, woman and child for himself or herself. Fortunately, none of us has to live that way. I’ve always believed that freedom is what I feel within, followed by the ability to express it in the sincerest manner.

“The desire for freedom is what takes me from a comfortable life to uncertainty. Our true self is who we really are when we let go of all the stories, labels and judgements that we have placed upon ourselves. It is who we naturally are without the masks of pretension.”

Samat was drawn to the art of weaving during her student days, but her pursuit of freedom prompted her to break with its rigid traditions. In search of new textures, she substitutes yarn, polyester and rattan sticks for the conventional silk and cotton, injecting a new identity to an art form often mistaken as craft.

Conjugating the weaving of everyday and industrial objects is the key to her “Freedom”.

Samat’s works walk the tightrope between feminine and masculine, exploring scale and tension with the introduction of new materials. Balancing the organic and the man-made, this exhibition features eight new pieces, including wall-mounted mixed-media sculptures, installations and free-standing sculptures.

Richard Koh Fine Art is at 229 Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya. Learn more at