Yavuz Gallery is proud to present Alya Hatta in her debut solo exhibition in Singapore, as part of the gallery’s participation at S.E.A Focus 2023. Held in conjunction with Singapore Art Week, the showcase titled Playing Chopsticks, acts as a departure point in the artist’s observation and consideration of materiality in her art-making and larger scope of practice.
Playing Chopsticks comprises of five new diaristic paintings that the artist has filled with striking colours, vigorous brushstrokes and effervescent scenes. This body of work conflates mythology and modernity. It contends with the categorisation and circumscription of women from the Southeast Asian diaspora through social and cultural anthropology.
The women in Hatta’s works are often nude or seminude; in these autobiographical works, she paints the women of her childhood. Growing up in a household where her grandmother was the leading matriarch, Hatta gets inspired by such figures that possess strength, austerity and authority that are depicted in her paintings to seem almost Amazonian in their stature, defiance and uninhibition. With large asymmetrical breasts, round bellies and thick love handles, these caricatures are vessels of nostalgia and narration.
Each facet of Hatta’s painted surface is imbued with meaning that is instrumental to the transformation of each work from being simply an artistic object, into a memento – a homage. Collaged fragments of found textiles and objects such as lace, hessian fabric, cloth, and synthetic pearls have been thoughtfully stitched and sewn directly into the canvases. Incorporating new materials to her paintings has expanded Hatta’s query into specificity, irregularity and non-conformity in mark-making and storytelling.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Alya Hatta (b. 1999, Malaysia) is an interdisciplinary artist based between London and Kuala Lumpur. Drawing on personal experiences and memories, Hatta uses the dynamism of colour, form, sound and space to explore the realms of the digital and the physical in representing her Southeast Asian identity, and to portray the colourful intimacies of the diasporic human condition. She investigates the history of artmaking and visual culture, primarily through subverting the traditional academic processes of creating. This can be seen in her disregard towards drawing, form and perspective as well as her continuous investigation into integrating traditional and digital mediums. She is a recent finalist of The Ingram Prize 2022 and the winner of the Neville Burston Award 2021.
ABOUT THE FAIR
S.E.A. Focus is a leading showcase and art market hub dedicated to Southeast Asian contemporary art. It aims to bring together a fine curation of established and yet-to-be-discovered artistic talents to foster a deeper appreciation of contemporary art and artists in the region.
As an anchor event of the Singapore Art Week, it offers an exciting and complementary blend of art experiences for collectors, artists, galleries and the public. The initiative celebrates the best of contemporary art in Southeast Asia and is led by STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery, commissioned by the National Arts Council, Singapore.