For his solo titled “Jemputan” in Malay, artist Johann MF, who is of Malay-Javanese decent and a passionate Europhile since young, treats the audience to his version of Makan in the spirit of Jamie James’s “The Glamour of Strangeness”. Jemputan in English means guests, people invited to an event organised by the host. This could be in the form of celebration, for example birthday, wedding, passing an examination, getting a new job, promotion, etc. Traditional jemputan in Singapore Malay culture is often presented on the tikar mengkuang (weaved pandan leaves mat) accompanied with food and beverages.
Instead of the tikar mengkuang, Johann’s Jemputan consists of classical oil paintings, food and tropical fruits placed on pewter chargers, plates and a gilded tureen made in the 18th and 19th century, accompanied by hibiscuses, a chandelier candle from the 19th century, a Persian carpet and cello performances. With such a Makan experience serviced in “The Glamour of Strangeness”, Johann feasts our eyes and hunger with the other side of “exotes”, in which he sees himself living in the sense of otherness. Born into a conservative Javanese Muslim family, he often faces criticisms within his community for being laced into overly Westernized thinking and life-style, and for being incompatible within his social group in this given society. Jemputan aptly embodies his otherness in an infatuatedly celebrative manner, bitterly critiquing the internalised social identities built on the established cultural, gender, political, class norms, etc.
Opening reception & performances: 19 Mar, Thu, 6.30–9pm
Discussion with Susie Wong: 28 Mar, 4-5pm
Venue: Comma Space, 51 Jalan Pemimpin, #04-02 Singapore, 577206
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Fridays (4-7pm, by appointments only),
Saturdays and Sundays 1-6pm
When: 19 - 29 Mar 2020,
By: Comma Space