Prepare to delve into the remarkable solo exhibition ‘Blind Side’ by Ivan Lam, brought to you by Wei-Ling Gallery. This collection showcases a series of paintings that bear his unique signature style while imbuing a new essence and significance, as he often does with each new series. The exhibition’s central theme revolves around the condition of blindness, offering an opportunity for the visually impaired to engage with and experience the artworks.
Lam has always been fascinated by the concept of blindness, delving deep into understanding the human perspective and the challenges they face in society. Engaging with the visually impaired community has provided him with insightful reflections on the ways of seeing, even for those who have the gift of sight. Inspired by his conversations with the Malaysian Association of the Blind (MAB), Ivan created a series of art that would connect with the visually impaired.
The first painting of this exceptional series is an ode to justice, featuring a surface that is partitioned into two sections. The upper and larger section is textured, colored white to represent purity, with a poignant braille inscription that reads “those that can see cannot read, those that can read cannot see.” The lower section portrays a scene of a police car alongside an anonymous figure – possibly a politician – being escorted to prison. This profound work serves as a testament to the significance of standing up against oppression, even in the face of adversity. Here, the artist draws inspiration from his conversations with the visually impaired, who have taught him the value of optimism.
The remaining paintings showcased in the exhibition feature a spectrum of vibrant colors such as red, blue, yellow, green, and purple. Each painting is once again adorned with a braille inscription detailing the colour’s relation to various objects, scents, and tastes, in order to perceive it. The format of these paintings has been thoughtfully considered, to make them easily accessible and user-friendly for the visually impaired audience – encouraging them to feel at ease while running their hands over the braille inscriptions. While these paintings are realised with the visually impaired audience in mind, they are equally captivating and enriching for sighted visitors, who are invited to appreciate them on a different level.
One of the unique aspects of the exhibition is the socially-engaging poster design competition for the blind. By employing a poster template that cleverly contrasts two types of dots, one for the sighted and the other for the visually impaired, the former may decipher the message in conventional alphabets that the dots form, while the latter may rely on tactile UV braille for reading. The visually impaired participants are to paste colored stickers onto the UV dots to create their design. Ivan intends to extend this project to reach out to more communities in other places. An ongoing project that shall continue to open up new possibilities of seeing, without necessarily reading.
“I strive to use my art as a tool for social justice and change. In a world where injustices abound, I believe that art can be a powerful means of resistance. Through my work, I hope to encourage others to join the fight against oppression and to stand up for what is right. We can create a more just and equitable world for all,” says Ivan Lam.
At Wei-Ling Contemporary, Ivan Lam’s solo exhibition ‘blind side’ presents a novel and stimulating perspective on contemporary art that seeks to establish a rapport with the visually impaired community; a demographic that is frequently neglected in the art scene. The show endeavors to create an all-encompassing environment that accommodates everyone, irrespective of one’s visual abilities – thus promoting inclusivity and accessibility in the art world.
‘Blind Side‘ is featured at Wei-Ling Contemporary from 20th April – 3rd May 2023.
Wei-Ling Contemporary is located at 2nd Floor, Wei-Ling Gallery Annexe, No 8, Jalan Scott, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Admission hours are Tuesday – Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday 10am – 5pm.
Exhibition is open by appointment only. For appointments and further assistance, please contact +60322601106 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org