'Fall into the sea to become an island' by RUN AMOK
Run Amok is one of Jebat.NET friendship network in Penang.
From the symbolic image of a betel nut tree on an island found on Penang’s tricolour flag to the names of islands that have been painted on Penang Ferries, our affinity and identification to islands is not only visual but a cultural one.
The title of the exhibition is adapted from a Malay maxim ‘Jika benih yang baik, jatuh ke dalam laut menjadi pulau’ (Good seed, even if fell into the sea, would become an island). One explanations of this maxim gives the idea of how one would uphold one’s virtue and integrity regardless of the environment or societal pressure. However, this proverb is appropriated to provide a local context to our imagination on the notion of ‘island’ and is engaged in a more literal sense to further problematize its assumed meanings. The first part of the title suggests the act of falling which generally connotes a sense of an uncontrolled situation, an unintended downward descend into the unknown yet the second part alludes to the transformation of such movement into the physical appearance of an island.
Island here, is used as a metaphor to signify the culmination of perseverance and endurance of a long journey through the ebb and flow of the sea. The coconut sprout floats over the sea for a long period of time due to its resilient and self-sufficient nature until it drifts ashore to its newfound home. The physical appearance of a floating coconut sprout resembles a miniature version of an archetypal representation of an exotic island – elongated vegetation on isolated outcrop. Island in this context is physical, palpable yet allegorical. Being an island is not necessarily being isolated: it is also about being resilient, fluid and buoyant.
A group of ten artists were invited to respond to this curatorial brief and fabricate work based on their personal association with island, socio-historical readings, critique of island politics or the archetypal image of an ‘tropical island’ through video, painting, sculpture, photography and installation work.
Liew Kwai Fei
This project is sponsored by George Town Festival.
Run Amok is an artist-run space dedicated to producing shows by local and regional contemporary artists.
Show opens from 09.08 to 31.08.2014, fromTuesday to Sunday 11am – 6pm (or by appointment)
151-O, Off Hutton Lane, 10050 Georgetown, Malaysia.