Vincent Leong, Executive Properties: Strategic Location, 2012, Digital C-print, 55 x 83.5 cm
Malaysian artist Vincent Leong returns to VWFA Kuala Lumpur with his latest solo project YOU ARE HERE presenting the artist's viewpoints about Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur through nostalgic, critical and humorous bodies of work. Photographs, light boxes, installation as well as hand made and manufactured objects create a bittersweet conversation around the social-cultural issues that Leong has observed and is implicated by as a Malaysian. Characteristically iconoclastic, he subverts familiar Malaysian symbols and landmarks that merge photographs of abandoned spaces with famous architectural landmarks alluding to the flaws of Malaysian modernity, or light boxes that show the reflections of domestic and public interior spaces through the distorted surfaces of inanimate TV screens. These silent sentinels, question who is looking at who and serve as alternative and highly atmospheric images of people and place. Juxtaposed with highly politicised cultural symbols and objects the exhibition therefore oscillates between searing derision and poetic longing.
Alluding to a specific moment or place YOU ARE HERE references locational maps that plot the position of a viewer at any given point in order to locate and further navigate themselves within an area. The exhibition, is in itself a type of orientation, which sees Leong aligning himself and his opinions through a new series of new works, in relation to his surroundings and circumstances at this particular point in his life. Known for an irreverent and provocative approach, his musings are complicated by time and maturity as an artist who has been practicing for nearly ten years. Including more romantic overtones to his work alongside his biting political commentaries the exhibition is as much a multifaceted portrait of people and place as it is about Leong's understanding of himself and the world right now.