Home Shows Two Sides of the Sarong

This coming Lunar New Year. The Art. People Gallery × Four Points by Sheraton Chinatown is proud to present Two Sides of the Sarong, an exhibition featuring 2 upcoming Malaysian artists. Aff Sulaiman and Florence Khoo provide two unique and fresh perspectives on the Peranakan cultural heritage. It couldn't be more appropriate for the work of these two young artists to be displayed right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown - the bustling, storied pulse of the city.

Rich detail, delicate beading, and tempting displays are all hallmarks of Afi Sulaiman's mixed media pieces. Combining both traditional and digital media, Affs work is a marriage of both eastern and western, texture and pattern, traditional and contemporary. Afi's love for Malaysia's rich cultural bank is clear for the viewer to see. Food is a prominent part of Aff's work, tying in to a national cultural passion for eating and drinking. Each piece is created both on the screen and on the canvas, creating one-of-a-kind treasures that bring a certain je ne sais quoi to the space. The work of Afi Sulaiman is truly one of this era, as is the artist herself - a composer of the modern day still life.

Florence Khoo's batik women are vivid and folksy. There is a reminiscent quality to the pieces that recall the self-portraits of Frida Kahlo and the Polynesian women of Gauguin, each work having aspects that are inherently classical in nature. Of course, batik motifs are ever present, featuring heavily in the traditional baju the women don, as well as in their painted dwellings. As someone partially based in Cambodia, Florence's work brings her back to her roots in Malaysia, acting as a visual link to the artist's personal definition of home. The dual portraits are of sisters - the artwork being a celebration of the kinship and comfort a sister can provide. Featured throughout this collection is the idea of home, whether it be cultural or familial, and the importance of carrying with the values of home with oneself, no matter how far the physical distance.

Two young Malaysian artists, despite being distinct from each other, circle the same creative nucleus. Just like a cut of sarong cloth dancing in the breeze, both sides flit back-and-forth to display a myriad of intricate patterns, each side telling a different story. Just like the stories Chinatown reveals in her alleyways and corners, Two Sides of the Sarong is a celebration of the many layers that make up new Malaysian art and the young people that make it.