Noor Mahnun Mohamed - Pictures of You, Pictures of Me
Noor Mahnun Mohamed’s third solo exhibition in Malaysia is an exhibition of portraits. Born in Kelantan in 1964, Noor Mahnun is certainly one of the finest and most sophisticated painters of her generation. The meticulous and layered handling of her paintings, and the psychological depth of her work set her apart from her peers.
To make a body of work entirely of portraits is highly unusual, and a very deliberate act on the part of the artist. She has painted her wide circle of friends, among them fellow artists like Chang Fee Ming and Jalaini Abu Hassan, and a number of self-portraits. Some take the form of seemingly straightforward and conventional head portraits, while larger works are painted with the subject in a scene, as in a snapshot.
The portraits, in all their simplicity and variety, make us think again about how a painting can describe a person. They make us consider how we would wish to be seen, and how we imagine ourselves, as well as how we relate to those who see us.
Noor Mahnun Mohamed studied at the Hochschüle für Bildende Künste, Braunschweig (1989 – 1996) in Germany and graduated with a Masters in Fine Art. In 2000 she was the Malaysian artist-in-residence at Rimbun Dahan, a year long programme which invites a Malaysian and an Australian artist to live and work on a private estate outside of Kuala Lumpur. She was awarded the Italian Government Scholarship to study printmaking at the International School of Print and Graphic Il Bisonte, Florence in 2003.