“…and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” – Rainbow Rowell. When it comes to art, there is no rule as to what is wrong or right, what is beautiful or not, art is something pure that comes from within, art is human and human is art, to understand art is to understand ourselves.

An art exhibition is a way to understand ourselves and society and to attend one of an extraordinary exhibition is always something that makes us wonder as to how and what is actually happening behind all of this, the story, the creative process that artists go into when making every piece of it, and that was our thoughts throughout our afternoon stroll to an exhibition that was held in National Art Gallery, the exhibition is called Di Mana (Where Are) Young. An all-female exhibition that was held from 25th of May up until 31st July 2017 consisted of paintings, performing arts, installation, digital arts, and many more.

“Di Mana (Where Are) Young” brought together one hundred and one artists to reveal their minds and crafts that comes in all shapes and sizes. According to Kua (2017), what lies beneath “Di Mana Young” theme is how these artists wants to challenge and grill the importance of qualities from social institution. “Longing to know, to overcome and empower inward and outward situation.”

It is amazing to learn how much these artists are connected through their practices. To name a few, Ony Jamsari/Nurussafwati Jamsari, “She Carry Up to The Mountain” piece was marvelous to watch and also, to comprehend how her artwork came together. She did so partly to get out more as she grew up in a village where her environment gave her a peaceful mindset. The day she went to the Land of Himalayan, she saw a group of women carrying a large basket on their heads filled with rocks and woods while singing their jolly song. She mentioned, “I can’t see tired face but I feel they love what they do. I see love through what I see.” It’s a beautiful recognition as we grasp the sense and the meaning of it.

There was a great deal of pieces that right away falls under our favorites. We fell in love with it the moment we stepped in.


Another significant piece that certainly piqued our interest was Ong Cai Bin. His idea on “Hello Strangers” conveys how sometimes our minds venture subconscious thoughts onto the substance of other individual. Our eyes are always continuously shifting, whether towards people or environment etc. It is interesting to see all the photos inside a light box, as he’d say it, “peeping to other’s life”. Our lives are under continuous surveillance. Perhaps we can learn a thing or two by appropriately peeping on others. Ong wants to help us understand life through his perspective a little more.

(Art credit to respective artists)

Ong Cai Bin, “Hello Strangers” and “I Thought I See What You Don’t” (2017)

Yim Yen Sum, “Where I Came From II” (2013)

Diana Ibrahim, “Entering The Great Malaysia Landscape # Alor Gajah 1 – 9” (2014)

Viko Ng Zhijue, “You May Touch Me Gently Series” (2017)

Nia Khalisa Abdul Aziz, “Bag – O – Water (Ibarat Katak Bawah Tempurung” (2017)

Anne Samat, “Kasih Ibu, Ayah dan Anak – Anak” (2011)

It is quite unparalleled to see an all-female exhibition as not only because of the art scene are dominated by men, but also a lot of female artists does not get as much exposure as male artists. Hence, to see this kind of exhibition feels like a breath of fresh air in the city. You can equally say that our photos don’t do its justice in showcasing to you how lovely it is to be surrounded with beautiful minds who came together and share their experience and ideas to the world.

We found connection to a lot of arts that was displayed. The struggle to be a girl and to grow up into a woman just to realized that we are not what was expected by family, society, and others was shown is some of the arts and to be able to connect deeply makes us think further about what it feels like to be a woman. What it is to struggle, to not be represented, and such things like this makes us feel better, to be represented to connect, to find that we are not alone in our world, our thoughts, and inside our own body.

Article Written by Aulia Nabila and Mia Khadijah


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