MA-NA-VA-REH – Love, Loss and Pre-Nuptials in the Age of the Great Debate
Anurendra Jegadeva

We are pleased to share with you, MA-NA-VA-REH – Love, Loss and Pre-Nuptials in the Age of the Great Debate, a solo exhibition by one of Malaysia’s leading contemporary artists Anurendra Jegadeva. This exhibition featured at Art Stage 2014 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore and has now returned to Kuala Lumpur to show at Wei-Ling Gallery in the month of July 2014.

The artist’s inspiration for this exhibition derives from his grandmother who was a renowned wedding planner for all Hindu weddings in the 50s and 60s, in a small town of Teluk Intan, in the town’s Immigrant road Ganesh temple. She designed invitation cards, decorated venues and most significantly designed and built the Wedding Ma-na-va-reh or wedding dais/throne where the couple would sit through the wedding rituals and ceremonies.

In many ways, his inclination for the visual arts was inspired by imaginings of how – in his mind’s eye – with saw and brush in hand, his grandmother would build and paint the wedding dais which traditionally resembled ancient temple architecture of the gopuram, courtyards and central altar.

In the past, Anurendra Jegadeva’s practice has always been concerned with the relevance of painting within a contemporary art context as well as the human portrait since half a century of photography. In the last five years, he has become interested in extending the tradition of western painting to a myriad of influences extending from American comic book framing devices to the rich painted temple traditions of South India.

MA-NA-VA-REH is a room installation comprising of a large painted wedding dais made out of an intricate assemblage of painted panels, altar boxes, printed material, paintings on the walls and kolams on the floor, where visitors are encouraged to interweave through the installation to uncover the wonderful stories each and every work tells.

From old love letters to colonial ephemera and religious artifacts – both found and made – the construction will combine the various influences of the artist’s/our fragmented experience of being born in the East, being shaped by the West and the tensions of assimilation on the one hand and traditional and cultural identities on the other. Starting with the fabled tale of the negotiation between Garuda and the Angel Gabriel that demarcated Muslim and Hindu South East Asia the narrative extends through our colonial histories culminating in the post-colonial tensions within the modern histories of the Independence generations of the region.

Using the stories of Empire and migrant peoples, the artist also wishes for this `painted object’ to address the issues of belonging and community that has come to a head in the tense racial and religious climate that currently inflicts most of the region.

Surrounding the dais is a series of paintings that question the idea of unions and the conditional love that is attached to them.
In making MA-NA-VA-REH the artist’s intention is first and foremost to push the boundaries of his art practice through the reinvention of his painting medium, but as importantly to explore the times we live in and always – how he fits within that scheme of things.

The Malaysian showing of MA-NA-VA-REH brings together new and recent works that celebrate enduring Love – whether old or young; be it the passionate unions of the new or the tired, time worn routine of the old and tested.

A Malaysian figurative artist and writer, Anurendra Jegadeva is regarded as one of Malaysia’s leading contemporary artists for his socio-political commentary on both local and current issues, and for continuously forging effective and fresh narrative approaches to contemporary and historical themes through his works.

Through the years J. Anu has exhibited a number of solo shows and has also participated in various group shows with Wei-Ling Gallery. The artist’s most recent solo show with the gallery was entitled “Letters to Mr. Hitler” which showed at The Arts House in Singapore in October 2012.

Wei-Ling Gallery is located at No.8, Jalan Scott, Brickfields, 50470, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Wei-Ling Gallery is open on Mondays from 10am-6pm, Tuesdays – Fridays from 11am-7pm and Saturdays from 10am – 5pm.
Admission is free.
Please call 0322601106 or email for more information.
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