Don’t be misled by the contemporary democratic/ parliamentary frame of reference. This is a post-traditional return to the heyday of the Malay Sultanates (Kesultanan Melayu) – rebutan kuasa di antara pemimpin Melayu sekeluarga, diatas dan keatas Tanah Melayu! Itu sahaja …
PS Sabah Sarawak is not included in this reading … but that is a different feudal narrative!
Event: Tradition as a Measure of the Contemporary Dialogue Session / Speakers: Dr. Simon Soon, Niranjan Rajah and audience! / Date: 17th March 2018 / Time: 2 pm to 4.30 pm / Venue: Piyadasa Gallery, Cultural Centre, Universiti Malaya /
In this Dialogue Session we will explore the life work of the scholar and author Durai Raja Singam form personal, communal, national and international perspectives. We will then go on to discuss the role of tradition in the contemporary art and social life of the nation. Pictured above in his habitual work attire in the later years of his life, the ever so modest Dr. Singam held two honorary Doctorates (awarded by the University of Jaffna and the Banaras Hindu University). He was as fluent in the contemporary lingua franca of international scholarship as he was steeped in Hindu tradition, Durai Raja Singam’s lifework is the epitome of a post-traditional praxis.
I am happy to announce the Tradition as a Measure of the Contemporary: Towards a Post Traditional Praxis in Malaysian Art Dialog Session which will take place on 17th March 2018 from 2pm to 4.30 pm at the Piyadasa Gallery/ Cultural Centre , Universiti Malaya. This Dialog Session is a part of the external programme of ALAMI BELAS – KL BIENNALE 2017, Bali Seni Visual Negara. This dialogue is a part of my installation at the Piyadasa Gallery titled The Gift of Knowledge Installation Commemorating the Person and Work of Durai Raja Singam (1904-1995). It will explore the historical and bibliographical researches of Durai Raja Singam who is a pioneering biographer and bibliographer of the great art historian and metaphysician Ananda Coomaraswamy. He was a serious amateur historian and a researcher who operated outside of the privileged circle of academic institutions. Indeed, Durai Raja Singam is an exemplar of cosmopolitanism in 20th century Malaysian intellectual life. Taking the work of Durai Raja Singam as point of departure, this session will investigate tradition might be a meaningful measure of the contemporary in Malaysian Art. The dialogue will explore the rapprochement of our diverse traditional world views, their relevance in contemporary moment and their significance for our national sense of being.