Cuturi Gallery is delighted to present Shape of Land, a solo presentation by Khairulddin Wahab (b. 1990, Singapore) that traces the concept of disenchantment through visual representations of land in the archive and examines the historical foundations and systems of power embedded in these representations.
Wahab approaches the archive through Max Weber’s concept of disenchantment as a point of departure; to unpack the disciplines, mechanisms and processes employed by colonial geographers, travellers, naturalists and artists to represent and mediate foreign lands.
Referencing materials such as topographic maps, colonial prints and paintings of Southeast Asian landscapes, Wahab combines elements from these archival materials with found images from his daily life to create visual metaphors that refer to larger narratives surrounding these references.
One theme that informs his latest works is the colonial use of geography to accumulate information, wealth and power. In this context, colonial cartography was a visual language and technique imposed on foreign lands to articulate imperial space and communicate specific interests, doctrines, and worldviews. In his painting titled Serpentine Prison (2022), Wahab has inserted several visual cues related to narratives surrounding surveying and mapping.
Another longstanding interest in Wahab’s practice is the relationship between the form of representation and what is being represented. In Shape of Land, the representation of the landscape is a prominent feature of his paintings. Wahab regards the colonial landscape representations that he references not only as a view or a represented space but also as text
These landscape representations become entangled in a host of codes that reveal as much about the cultural values and worldview of their producers. Shape of Land invites viewers to explore these narratives around landscape, enchantment, and representation through the paintings of Khairulddin Wahab.
This new series of artworks is based on research conducted by Wahab as a National Library Creative Resident with the National Library Board, Singapore.
Venue: Cuturi Gallery, 61 Aliwal Street, Singapore
When: 7 - 29 Jan 2023, 12pm - 7pm
By: Cuturi Gallery