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Go now: 'Khabar dan Angin' at Balai Seni Visual Negara

Written by
Nadia Rosli

'Kilang Agama' by Engku ImanPhoto: Joyce Koh

Kelantan can feel like a foreign land, and like most seemingly faraway places, we non-locals tend to rely on stories and rumours. Aiming to put common misconceptions to rest, Projek Dialog brought a whole group of Malaysian artists to the land of budu and Nik Aziz to have a look for themselves what Kelantan and its state of faith is all about – they even flew Rayani Air. The outcome of the trip is ‘Khabar dan Angin’, an exhibition of each artist’s personal interpretations of the experience. 

'Wahyu' by Nadia J MahfixPhoto: Joyce Koh

Highlights from the exhibition include Nadia J Mahfix’s ‘Wahyu’, where you’ll find yourself standing in complete darkness; the only thing you can see are the artist's photographs displayed in a light box. Of course, that’s not all – you’ll have to grab the UV light provided and find the wahyu (epiphany) around the photos. 

’Pilih Bulu’ by Engku Iman Photo: Joyce Koh

Engku Iman’s work on the other hand is satirical – we expected no less. The artist’s ‘Kilang Agama’ asks you to figure out the connections between religion and money, and by 'figuring out', we mean go ahead and try to solve the puzzle game by moving the tiles around. Her other work ‘Pilih Bulu’ explores the vast idea of heaven and hell and how it is never exactly the same for everyone. 

'Ingat-ingat Lupa' by Khatijah RahmatPhoto: Nadia J Mahfix

If you don’t have the faintest idea what ‘main puteri’ is, Khatijah Rahmat’s paintings capture the traditional healing ceremony well with its use of veils and layers in the piece. 

'Here, Listen' by William SimPhoto: Joyce Koh

Meanwhile, William Sim’s ‘Here, Listen’ has an interesting backstory that involves being left behind from a trip to Golok because of immigration woes. But instead of being sad, he collected the sounds and mapped it out in an auditory-based installation. Other works to check out include ‘Cinemana’ by Alex Lee, ‘Dari Ketiadaan Sampai ke Sini’ by poodien, ‘The Day I Played God’ by Yoke Tan and KG Krishnan’s untitled set of photos of the Kelantanese landscape.

'Khabar dan Angin' is on at Balai Seni Visual Negara until March 16. Join the curatorial walkthrough and artist talk to get a better context behind all of the artists’ works. There will also be a screening and forum during the opening reception on March 5. For more info, see listing

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