Proximities is the first solo exhibition by Singaporean artist-curator Zulkhairi Zulkiflee. This debut exhibition at Objectifs focuses on a new video work surrounding Malay masculinities and their plural representation.
At the beginning of 2020, artist-curator Zulkhairi Zulkiflee focused on the trope of the Malay Boy found in the works of Singaporean artist Cheong Soo Pieng. An indirect extension that included a visual study of colonial postcards depicting the implicit relationship of boy and crocodile, and personal photographs of his father in the eighties, Zulkhairi's consistent interest in images and visuality is rigorously anchored by the Malay male body. Here, his works circulate key themes like representation, racialized masculinities, and Malay male identity formations. In the many Malay boy(s) of Cheong’s multiple yet elusive renditions, Zulkhairi attempts to locate the Malay male in art history while unpacking underlying systems of power that have shaped and naturalized understanding of difference. When exorcised from the framings of art history - one informed by overlapping lenses of pioneer artists and their Western predecessors, the Malay boy now stands as a figure (re)molded by contemporary currents and various intercessors.
Against such discourses, the exhibition primarily focuses on a video that foregrounds Malay masculinities and their plural representations — intersecting wide-ranging sources from art history to personal meditations.
List of Artists: Zulkhairi Zulkiflee. With online screenings of works by Rizman Putra, Adi Yadoni, Izat Arif, Phil Collins and Yusri Sapari.
Image Credit: Zulkhairi Zulkiflee, Proximities