Different, but Same

September 11, 2009

This is a new series of work from the group show “Different, but Same”.

Killing Time 1

Killing Time 1

Killing Time 2Killing Time 2

Killing Time 3Killing Time 3

A Photography ExhibitionFeaturing Alex Moh, Azril K Ismail, Azrul K Abdullah, Bernice Chauly, Ceacer Chong, Eiffel Chong, Erna Dyanty, Lim Hock Seng, Pang Khee Teik, Tan Chee Hon and Yee I-Lann

at Wei-Ling Gallery
N0 8 Jalan Scott, Brickfields,
Kuala Lumpur
Phone: 603226011067
Email: weiling@weiling-gallery.com

Exhibition runs from Tue 1 Sep – Mon 14 Sep, 2009.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-7pm
Sun : By Appointment

Preview: Tue 1 Sep, 12pm-7pm


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SPIRIT OF WOOD and other treasures

SPIRIT OF WOOD and other treasures

A show of exquisite carvings by a Master Carver, the late Nik Rashiddin Nik Hussein alongside the drawings of Ahmad Zakii Anwar, watercolours by Jalaini Abu Hassan, black and white photography by Bernice Chauly, works by Ahmad Fuad Osman, Ahmad Shukri Mohamed and Noor Mahnum Mohamed.

of people and places

March 2, 2009

of people and places - taksu

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Photography exhibition in Gallerie Taksu

“Menjadi Didi” photograph series, part of the Diversity group photography exhibition under the Black & White Fest in Annexe.

Photography Exhibition
By Alan Ng, Alex Moh, Azril Ismail, Azrul K. Abdullah, Bernice Chauly, Caecar Chong, Erna Dyanty, Lim Hock Seng, Pang Khee Teik & Tan Chee Hon

Ten Malaysian photographers return to their first love, black & white photography, to seek diversity in a monochromatic world. All works are printed on silver gelatin paper.

Photographers’ Talk: Sat 20 Sep, 3pm

Taken from STAR MAG:

ARAHMAIANI – Gives a lecture on painting that’s causing a stir…

By Gina Fairley

When I think of a lecture, I remember the days of sitting at school dreaming of being elsewhere … a voice of authority droning on about what I should think. Yes, I did walk away from those hallowed halls learning something, but what do we walk away with from Indonesian artist Arahmaiani’s exhibition at Valentine Willie Fine Art, titled “Lecture on Painting, Part I”?

Arahmaiani explains, “… I have been trying to paint for years. I’m working on that subject that is so un-popular among painters at the moment – landscape!”

Arahmaiani has represented Indonesia at international exhibitions and biennales in Venice, Sao Paulo, Havana, Yokohama, and a swath of other highbrow venues. She is celebrated for her provocative artworks that use performance, installation and her own writings. She is among the more conceptual, avant-guard artists of the art world.

This is her first painting show.

I chatted with Arahmaiani leading up to this exhibition and asked her why these grey-green landscapes? Why choose a European landscape to couch her ideas to a Malaysian audience?

“… in Germany I started to appreciate this grey landscape … then I came back here to Malaysia and POW!, it is all green and colour … I started to think that I go between these two worlds of the grey and green … I am trying to capture this swinging experience…”

In a performance at the opening of the exhibition, Arahmaiani attempted to convey this ‘swinging’ by using a golf club as a prop to her ‘lecture’ on painting.

“My performance will be a very important part of this exhibition … The paintings, the photographs, and the performance link together to stimulate thought.”

But what did her ‘class’ absorb through her performance?

Text is a device that many artists have used over time to express ideas. Arahmaiani writes over her landscapes in a loose freehand. It’s expressions such as “Sudah lupah” (already forgotten) we see scrawled across her paintings. She says she is, “…interested in the meaning of words.” She presents them in a kind of ‘pop-scientific’ diagram, “ … a construction of geometry”, as she calls it.

Graphically, the paintings make for nice pictures. I am left with that feeling of being back in the classroom with heady physics equations scratched on the blackboard. Maybe the exhibition is a lecture after all?

There is something mysterious about these moody landscapes – they draw you in. This is confirmed in the striking black and white photographs by local artist, Bernice Chauly.

Chauly has photographed Arahmaiani bathed in light, immersed in water, or hugging a tree with text scrawled across her body – a signature of Arahmaiani’s performances. Chauly’s photographs are sensitive and telling.

Chauly explains she is using a “different disembarkation point … approaching photography for the first time as a shared artistic process, working with a performance artist”.

I asked Arahmaiani what she wanted to ‘say’ through her paintings.

“I want to turn the medium of painting into performance… I want to transform the individual ‘product’ of painting for the commercial art world into a complex question of authorship and marketability.”

Does that mean they are paintings, or are they props for a performance?

As props they’re very interesting. As paintings, you might compare them to other painting shows on at the same time, such as Jack Ting at XOAS Gallery – an accomplished painter, and “Causeway Cousins” at Taksu, a fabulous group exhibition including outstanding painters such as Olga Polunin, June Lee and Fauzul Yusri. Is it technical merit or ideas we are drawn to?

It’s an exhibition with a twist. Is it about landscape painting, performance art or communicating a message? You will have to work that out yourself!

Arahmaiani: Lecture on Painting, Part I, with photograph by Bernice Chauly, will be on show at Valentine Willie Fine Art, until 10th September. The gallery is located at 17 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru and is open Monday through Friday 12 noon to 8pm, and 12 noon to 6pm on Saturdays. Visit www.artasia.com.my or www.kakiseni.com for a more lively commentary on the exhibition.

Additional links

Rimbun Dahan’s Arahmaiani.

Universes in Universe Arahmaiani Biography.


Bernice Chauly – writer, photographer, filmmaker, actor, teacher – will be exhibiting a series of 18 black and white photographs combined with original written text centering around the theme of love. Known primarily for her documentary photography, Chauly ventures into new territory this time by exploring a theme that is more intimate and personal.

Chauly explores and exploits the various love-associated permutations of conflict, desire, sorrow and hope using images of people, objects and events surrounding her life as her subjects. 

Armed with a manual camera, pencil and paper, using only natural light and the strength of memory, she brings out the many poetical colours of her theme juxtaposing hand-written text on paper with photography in each of the works.

Although Chauly’s works are highly personal, they are also able to appeal to a wider audience. By drawing on her mixed parentage, cross-cultural marriage and eclectic beliefs, she effectively taps situations familiar to many of us living in a complex environment besot with “inters, multis, and crosses”.

Chauly’s films and documentaries have been widely shown, both locally and internationally. In 1999, she received the silver award for best documentary in the Malaysian Video Awards for “Semangat Insan – Masters of Tradition”, a documentary series on dying arts forms of Malaysia which she conceptualised, wrote and photographed. And later, in 2000, the gold award for the same series. 
In 2005 she worked on a project on refugees commissioned by the UNHCR Malaysia titled “Face to Face – Confronting the Humanity of Refugees in Malaysia”

“In the amorous realm, the most painful wounds are inflicted more often by what one sees than by what one knows.” – Roland Barthes.

This is a personal show. The theme in which this new body of work was created stemmed from the most fundamental yet beguiling of all human emotions – love. In working with this emotional impetus I have charted a series of experiences in my life which have undoubtedly influenced me as an artist and a person. In choosing to work with the personal I have chosen to remember, recollect, record and subsequently present pieces of evidence in an ongoing personal history.

In looking at the classical Greek notions of love, I have chosen to work the concepts of ‘eros’ and ‘agape’. In ‘eros’ the intrinsic philosophical pursuit is that of Ideal beauty or Art, instead of the usual reference to sexual desire – of which I have also explored – and is a further reflection of a part of an object, idea, or person that partakes in Ideal beauty. The concept of Ideal beauty is one that I have found refuge in many times in the past, and one notion that I have tried to explore in this work. The nature of love is also reflected in the physical, emotional and spiritual realms, and explains the concept of ‘agape’ or love for God and humanity. This is the second philosophical extension that I have tried to assimilate and reflect upon in this series of work.

By presuming love has a nature, it should be, to some extent at least, describable within the concepts of language – whether it is with words, images, music or film. But what is meant by an appropriate language? The lover or the person ‘in love’ is irrational, so how does one constitute a medium in which to express? The epistemology of love asks of how we may know love, how we may understand it, whether it is possible or plausible to make statements about others or ourselves being in love (which touches on the philosophical issue of private versus public) and the method in which we try to express it. In the thought that the true nature of love may be forever be beyond humanity’s intellectual grasp, I can only try to express how the nature of love has dealt its hand in my life and in my work.

I have chosen to do this with the artistic mediums that I have worked with for many years, familiar forms that I have found best express the awesome, divine yet destructive nature of love.

As a writer and  photographer, I have chosen to work with the most basic of tools – a manual camera, pencil and paper – which reflect my singular passion as a purist. The images were shot in the space and confines of my own home, using only natural light, real objects and the strength of memory. The simple act of carving graphite on paper reflects my process as a writer and by utlilizing the combined sense of (in)sight the work is an interpretation of the real presented in conscious constructs of memories. 

The selected poems and text which were written over a period of 20 years are now being married to images – some in more literal ways than others – to reflect the shifting perceptions and juxtapositions associated with each memory; hence creating a discourse between the images and text. With intractable emotions that are associated with love, I have tried to speak of it ; of its failures, its weaknesses, its strengths and symbolizations – from love to love, from lover to the beloved.

As someone who is passionate about telling real stories of others in almost all of my work, I have now decided to tell mine.

Bernice Chauly

March 2006





This series of images ” Dear Lord, I think I am going to die” explores the space and context in which my mother spent her last weeks before she died of cancer. In the space and confines of my home, this triptych portrays the images that she saw everyday from the bed she lay on. My siblings and I would pray with her every night reciting The Rosary in its entirety. She died peacefully on this bed on 16th March 2007.

Group exhibition of Contemporary Photography at the Annexe, 12 – 29 July 2007:

Celebrating Malaysia’s 50th Year of Independence and the 50th Year of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Japan, The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur and The Annexe, Central Market proudly present ‘Sharing Space – Contemporary Photography of Malaysia + Japan’ Exhibition.

The works by the Japanese artists are part of a touring exhibition titled “Counter-Photography”, curated to present 11 noted Japanese photographers: Eikoh Hosoe, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Miho Akioka, Miyuki Ichikawa, Akiko Sugiyama, Chie Yasuda, Kazuo Katase, Hiroko Inoue, Tomoko Yoneda, Tomoaki Ishihara, Michihiro Shimabuku. The exhibition is curated by Yuri Mitsuka, curator of the Shoto Museum of Art. The exhibition in Malaysia is presented by Japan Foundation, KL.

The Annexe, Central Market saw this as an opportunity to share its new gallery and present the works of Malaysian contemporary photographers alongside with the Japanese photographers. The Malaysian photographers are: Bernice Chauly, Sharon Lam, Tan Chee Hon, Caecar Chong, Nazim Esa, Minstrel Kuik, Eiffel Chong and Pang Khee Teik (who as Arts Programme Director of The Annexe, Central Market, is also the curator of this exhibition). The works presented by the Malaysian photographers are new and half of them are being produced specifically for this exhibition.