More rooted as a columnist and an artist, Abdullah Jones writes for Malaysia Kini and Selangor Kini and discusses the inner-workings of politics, social commentaries and used both publications as a medium for his opinions. Yet there lies another escapism which is the pathway of vulnerable emotions, self-reflection and criticism through his art in which Lolong/The Scream is no different.
A combination of limitless colours, absurd objects and graffiti stylings, one of the works featuring at the solo exhibition is The Bitches with an undeniable silhouette of the controversial political activist and advocate, Aung San Suu Kyi with a painted skull on the frame of her face, a white dog barking the word, “Bitch” and solemn line at the top which says, “Selamat malam, Rohingya (Goodnight, Rohingya)”. The piece clearly refers to the genocide of the Rohingya people and the crisis that seems to go on for years with no apparent solution given by the now State Counselor of Burma (a position that mirrors that of a Prime Minister) – a person once revered by the international community as an advocate of human rights, now condemned for her and her government’s discrimination and oppression towards the Rohingyan community. It is told through bubbles of painted typography that is a constant aesthetic which can be seen throughout the exhibition.
A repeated character in Abdullah’s paintings is the “talking heads” icons with speech bubbles floating around them and it has made it’s debut in Abdullah’s previous solo exhibition, Blues Malaya series. The roles given to the “talking heads” are that of nameless, faceless gossipers who would make petty remarks about anything that may affect those who are subject of such rumours and with them being plastered in the exhibition, there seem to be quite a loud atmosphere to it by saying what they “think” or nothing at all.
A hypnotic expression from the mind of Abdullah Jones, Lolong/The Scream is a delicate voyage that must be taken slowly for each port has a story to reveal through the details of each colour, the streaks and the splashes and the attentive way of how Abdullah constructs his narrative whether on canvas or paper. For an exhibition that is entitled from the word that stems from “yelling” somehow one must look closer in order to see and hear more especially on deciding the fine line between political commentary or personal insights.
Featured Image source: Artcube Facebook Page.