[Exhibition Opening] "Always Moving": The Batik Art of Sarkasi Said

  • VISUAL ARTS
  • FREE
  • EXHIBITION
  • TOUR
Free Admission 21 Sep 2017 - 07.00pm NUS Museum

Opening address
Adjunct Assoc. Professor T.K. Sabapathy
Department of Architecture, School of Design & Environment, NUS

An exhibition of batik works by Sarkasi Said from the 1990s to the present, this exhibition follows the personal development of Sarkasi’s style and traces the history of his practice, from his days as itinerant street artist, to becoming a prominent batik artist.

Through video interviews with the artist, the exhibition revisits Sarkasi’s earliest reminiscences of batik as a central component of his Javanese heritage, within the context of multicultural and modernising Singapore. The presentation explores the artist’s regard for the batik as a cultural object, and the identity batik confers on users (and consumers) of the textile. As national development gains momentum, Sarkasi’s experimentation with an abstract style also implicates his personal responses to the evolving cosmopolitan landscape, and the tensions that lie between traditional symbols and the loss of their transmission.

Sarkasi continues to uphold the foundational principles of the resist technique in batik even as he holds in tension conceptual perspectives between craft and contemporary practice. Eleven works are included in the exhibition, collectively demonstrating shifting interests from discipline to the expressive, from allusions to tradition and nature, to the imagined space, in his words, “always moving”.

Image : Detail of Celebration, c. 1997, Resist Dye on fabric, 268x289cm. Collection of the artist.

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