What I Did Before (Inside: Continued Lessons)
Sometime in 2003, Yap Sau Bin (Bin), who is an artist-friend and working colleague at FCM, MMU asked if I would like to have a show at his artist’s group exhibition space in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur. Bin is a member of the Rumah Air Panas Artist Group and sometimes acted as the group’s curator (http://rumahairpanas.wordpress.com and http://www.rap.twofishy.net). I agreed and started planning to have some kind of an installation with drawings, found objects and furniture. I also included an artist talk where I talked, explaining things and answering questions from the audience. I named the installation as Inside: Continued Lessons. It was generally about my quests in understanding life by referring to certain parables, metaphors and other significations from my traditional and cultural pasts
Following are my statement for the installation/exhibition as well as a collection of photographs taken by Bin and his friends during the exhibition’s reception and artist-talk session in 2004.
A Note On Inside: Continued Lessons
There is not a day without education. Lessons are meant to be experienced every each day. It is about making, improving and managing the life we are living.
This exhibition of an on-site installation forms a part of a serial called the Inside Series started sometime in 1997. It is an on-going serial that;
‘discusses the insides of oneself. The insides can be seen in two ways: i.e. a) the tangible insides, which include our internal organs, blood, bones and etcetera, and b) the intangible insides, which are our feelings, desires, wisdom and etcetera. The insides comprehend each other and make the self moves forward, gaining experiences, understanding sciences and seeking knowledge. The experiences, sciences and knowledge acquired are important to nurture and develop the soul/the hidden self within us.
Journeys and quests are made for the self, planned and unplanned. The self encounters many wonders and sometimes miseries and tragedies too. The self is to choose. It is the self that decides.’ (1998)
Though, at times, the works in the serial are autobiographical in nature, they also seek to discuss certain themes such as education, as this exhibition presented. Inside: Continued Lessons calls to attention some simple existing (natural) metaphors for references or lessons in trying to improve human endeavours. We are to observe happenings and events, phenomena, that happen around us. We are to take lessons to teach and learn of our coming generation.
One main chosen metaphor is the tree. A good tree with strong roots, sturdy stem, soaring branches and bears fruits comes its season. The good tree is likened to a/the self should be. A/the self must be strong, sure and resourceful in its foundation, firm and steadfast in execution, full of aspirations and surety of better produces.
Lets take some lessons.
Tsabri Ibrahim 2003/04
TSABRI. (1998). Artist Statement: The Inside Series, Inside 2: Assorted Experiences (Exposition on the Deconstruction of a Labyrinth). Kuala Lumpur.