Artwork that expands the mind

COLOURS, shapes as well as simple and complex lines in figurative art can inspire, excite and even stir the minds of children whose parents make it a point to visit art galleries.

Singapore-born businessman Farouk Khan and his Pakistani wife Aliya said bringing children to art galleries opens their minds to different ideas, stimulates the creative thinking process and develops critical thinking.

“Young children can benefit from observing paintings in galleries as the immersive learning experience makes them wonder about the painting.

“Figurative artwork provokes the imagination as it tells of events, people, buildings and animals through the use of colours and patterns.

“Children will be able to decode the painting in their own understanding,” said Aliya.

Farouk said art gallery visits allowed parents and children to spend quality time together in a unique environment. Core Design Gallery is holding an art exhibition called “Debunking the Myth”, which features selected artwork from The Aliya and Farouk Khan Collection of Malaysian contemporary art.

Associate curator Scarlette Lee said there were 18 art pieces from a variety of Malaysian contemporary artists.

“The exhibition seeks to establish the role of the figure in the development of contemporary Malaysian art, a topic which has not been fully explored until now,” she said.

“Through a curated exhibition and accompanying critical essay, audiences are not only exposed to the developments in this genre through the different periods of contemporary art, from the 1980s to the 1990s and the 21st century, but also the various ways the figure has been represented,” she added.

Farouk said certain artists such as Ahmad Fuad Osman, Eng Hwee Chu, Ali Nurazmal Yusoff and Fadli Yusoff offer faithful and realistic representations, while others such as Yusof Ghani, Anthonie Chong or Shooshie Sulaiman choose the expressionist route.

Some prefer to combine the two worlds – “The Hijab Nurbaya Series” by Hasnul J. Saidon beautifully merges expressionism with realism, as a perfectly rendered pair of hands emerge from an abstract background.

Another interesting piece is Hamir Soibs’s 2008 “Nafsu Nafsi” which is painted in bitumen, a notoriously difficult medium that Hamir is the undisputed master of.

Aliya encourages parents to bring their children to visit the art gallery and talk to their children about the paintings.