Reflection 2

March 9, 2024 - April 20, 2024

Welcoming you to 2024!

Maya Gallery is thrilled to announce Reflection 2, a group exhibition of works by Idris Ali, P. Gnana, Aziza Ali, Edmund Low, Jeffrey Wandly, Terence Tan, Masturah Sha'ari, Teena Raju, Azri Alwi, and late pioneer artists Sulaiman Suhaimi, Mohamed Abdul Kadir (S. Mohdir) and Sarkasi Said. This presentation will bring together a selection of abstract, landscape and figurative works, across various mediums including oil, acrylic, watercolour, batik, photography and mixed media. 

The theme of reflection invites one to embark on a personal journey, explore connections and relationships, and make sense of the world around us. In this exhibition, the artists convey their messages of reflection by evoking a sense of intimacy, tranquility and warmth through the use of reflective light, and monochromatic colours, transporting us to a different mood, time and place.

Showing at Maya Gallery for the first time, pioneer artist Mohamed Abdul Kadir or S. Mohdir (1936-2010) was an educator, co-founder of Angkatan Pelukis Aneka Daya (APAD) or Association of Artists of Various Resources, its President from 1984 to 1991, and a recipient of the Pingat APAD (APAD Award). In "Sedikit Saja Ruang Kosong" (A Little Empty Space, 2004), a monochromatic oil painting in blue hues, the artist depicts a modern city skyline sandwiched between a sea of kampongs (below) and futuristic building structures (above), reflecting his critical attitude to urban development and modernisation. 

Idris Ali (b. 1944), recipient of the Pingat APAD and Heritage Award, similarly adopts a limited colour palette in his watercolour work, "Masjid Sultan" (1998), revealing realistic details of the façade of the Sultan Mosque against a dramatic sky. The urban landscape is also captured in "Sultan Mosque V" (2020) by Jeffrey Wandly (b. 1964) where he paints a rare scene of a traffic-free North Bridge Road during the lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Sultan Mosque, originally built in 1824, remains a perennial favourite for many Singapore artists, even in photography. "Bussorah Street" (1986), shot in black and white, by Edmund Low (b. 1965) takes us back in time before the area’s commercialisation, while Terence Tan (b. 1970) digitally deconstructs the grand mosque in Minarets of Masjid Sultan (2020), showcasing a more contemporary representation of this heritage landmark as she celebrates her 200th anniversary this year.   

The monochromatic palette is further explored especially when capturing the natural environment. Shades of green occupy Masturah Sha'ari (b. 1969, Singapore)’s abstract paintings, "Nature Retreat" (2023) and "Green Mountain" (2022), mirroring her emotional journeys into imaginative spaces of tranquility and peace. This sense of calmness is also portrayed by Teena Raju (b. 1984, India) depicting waves lapping on the sand, using glass beads and mixed media in hues of blues, greens and browns, in "Seaside 4" (2023). 

Nature as a subject matter runs on with Azri Alwi’s "Winds before Rain" series (2019)  denoting the artist's contemplation of signs preceding events of cleansing, replenishment and fresh beginnings. According to Azri, "The wind that precedes rain is an invisible force, seen and felt by its effect on more tangible entities—leaves, clouds and trees, ultimately crescendo-ing in a great wash from the sky." He also asks, "What other ‘winds’ do we experience in our inner lives, and what other forms does ‘rain’ take?". This tranquil state is also explored in "Alone with the Breeze" (2022) by Aziza Ali, picturing the back of a female figure, in deep thought as she faces the world before her.

In "Kampong by the Sea II" (1979), Sarkasi Said (1940-2021) uses the batik technique of waxing on brown coloured linen, in picturing the lives of fishermen living in kampongs facing the vast ocean. "Fishermen" (circa 1960s), a batik painting by Sulaiman Suhaimi (1932-2008) also adopts the use of limited colours to portray fishermen preparing their sail prior to setting out to work in the open sea.

Apart from the subject of nature, the environment, livelihoods and employing monochromatic colours, the importance of family bonds also proves strong, complementing the exhibition theme. The love between mother and child is depicted in the mixed media painting, "Nothing else but love VII" (2023) and "Reason to live" (2023), a bronze sculpture, both by P. Gnana (b. 1970), as well as in Sarkasi’s brown batik painting, "Mother and Child" (1979).

With reflection also comes rejuvenation. On a more upbeat note is "Life Colours!" (2018) where Aziza Ali paints flowers, albeit using a restricted colour palette, to reflect her life journey, bringing warmth and joy to the viewers! 

Though S. Mohdir’s abstract work, "Muka-muka dan Mungkir" (Two-faced and Unreliable) is possibly a critique on unattractive human behaviours, it’s geometric patterns in the primary colours of blue, red and yellow induce a somewhat positive energy. One might ask: does this fit the exhibition theme? The answer is yes. Because abstract paintings do not define objects or figures too distinctly, they can allow the viewer to relax and able to have an emotional response and thus a reflective experience.

In this second iteration of the exhibition series launched in 2021, Reflection 2 marks the beginning of Ramadan, a month observed by Muslims as a period of fasting, a time to renew one's faith, reflect on one's actions, and recollect memories of loved ones. Ramadan denotes values of peace, kindness, patience, and love, reminding us to share inspirations and messages of positivity for those in hardship. 

The exhibition will later welcome Syawal, celebrating the end of the month-long fast, in commemoration of Eid, or Hari Raya Puasa or Aidilfitri, marked with gratitude and the strengthening of bonds amongst family and friends.

Reflection 2 shows how art can inspire and motivate, allowing the audience to embark on a personal journey of discovery, and immerse in a meaningful and enriching artistic experience.

Exhibition: 9 March to 20 April 2024
Opening reception: Saturday 9 March, 3–5 pm

Guest of Honour
Mdm Aziza Ali 
Pioneer restaurateur of Malay fine dining (Aziza's), Celebrity Chef, Artist, Author,
Singapore Women Hall of Fame, World Gourmet Awards,
Former Member of Culinary Institute of America’s Judiciary Council

Opening hours:
Wednesday to Saturday, 12–6 pm
Visits preferably by appointment

Email: art@mayagallery.com.sg
WA: +65 96746050

Batik painting
circa 1970s
Winds before the Rain
Oil on canvas
42 x 30 cm
Seaside 4
Glass and mixed media
76 x 51 cm (87 x 62 framed)
Sultan Mosque V
Ink and acrylic on canvas
180 x 90 cm
Reason to Live
Solid bronze
40 x 20 x 20 cm
Nature Retreat 
Acrylic on canvas
61 x 61 cm
Kampong by the Sea II 
Life of a Fisherman Series
Batik painting
90 x 120 cm
Alone with the Breeze
Acrylic on canvas
71 x 81 cm
Bussorah Street
Photograph on archival paper
15 x 21.5 cm
Signed and numbered
Limited edition 1/8 SOLD
Minarets of Masjid Sultan
Professional fine art archival paper
(Classic Limited Edition of 8)
57 x 38 cm
Masjid Sultan
30 x 40 cm