The Whispering exhibition at Galeri Seni Mutiara is a mixed exhibition with artwork in a range of different styles and from different time frames. It has everything for every kind of art enjoyer, from traditional Chinese brush work to contemporary street art style, from textured abstracted forms to vibrant stylized realism. The title of the show is “2019 Whispering Exhibition” or “Pameran Berbisik-bisik” and as Koay Soo Kay, the gallery owner, stated at the opening event on March 10th, the concept is based on the traditional whispering auctions of Malay fishing villages. He wants everyone to enjoy the artwork and not take notice of the price. As a budding collector myself, I am often intimidated by price so it was refreshing to walk around a show and be able to take in every piece of art as it is, as a piece of art, and not as something to buy.
A highlight for me was seeing the view from Straits Quay towards Komtar in the 1980s, as painted by Singaporean artist Khor Ean Ghee; A really valuable historical document. I also enjoyed the playful mark making and mangosteens of Koay Soo Kay and a name I’ve gone to go research further is Koichi Tashiro as I loved his mishmash of Asian cultures with textures in his mixed media piece.
Founder of the Penang wing of Urban Sketchers, Kiah Kiean, had his work was also on display. Many of the works present were painted by members of the Teacher’s Art Circle and it is great to see that there is a such a strong connection between art teachers and artists in Penang.
Galeri Seni Mutiara is a small gallery in the centre of town. Koay Soo Kay clearly loves what he does and is very passionate about sharing fine art with people. They have regular shows throughout the year and promote local artists. They are open Monday – Sunday 11am-6pm and are at 118 Lebuh Armenian, next to Armenian Park, the Puppet Museum, and the Sun Yat Sen Museum. The website is http://www.galerimutiara.com. The Whispering Exhibition will continue until March 31st 2019.
By Lusy Koror