M IS FOR MALAYSIA
There’s not much info on Shaarim Sahat in English, but he seems like my kind of artist: interested in social justice and unapologetic. This artwork was exhibited at his first solo exhibition in Kuala Lumpur’s Artemis Art gallery. According to his statement that the gallery has on their website, Sahat is concerned with what Malaysia will become in the future. He wonders if this once colonized, now independent country will follow the steps of Mainland China in becoming the manufacturing outlet for the whole world (time to check for “Made in Malaysia” labels in your wardrobe), or if it will be heavily influenced by the radical insurgencies, like some other countries with a Muslim majority population? Maybe both, or maybe neither? Worthy questions all, they are posed in his artwork in stark, powerful yet abstract ways, and allow for careful pondering.