Q & A with Curator Khairuddin Hori & Gerald Leow

Chan + Hori Contemporary
Jun 16, 2017 8:46PM

Artist Gerald Leow is currently exhibiting a collaborative exhibition, “ I Am Time Grown Old to Destroy the World” at Chan + Hori Contemporary in Gillman Barracks. Curator Khairuddin Hori talks with the artist about the show and his collaboration with fashion photographer Ivanho Harlim which is now open June 1st – June 25th.

Gerald Leow
Reclining , 2017
Chan + Hori Contemporary

1. Is the exhibition title based on existing books, songs etc?

The title was taken from a line in the Mahabharata uttered by Krishna, which was also quoted by Robert Oppenheimer when he saw the first atomic bomb detonate. The inspiration behind the exhibition were also from my reading and subsequent study of the epic a number of years back. I love how that line seems like it's taken from a metal song but is in fact taken from the Hindu epic, which if you get a chance to read it, is more metal than metal.

2. How should we approach this exhibition and artworks?

Well I think the approach would be the same as we view anything pertaining to visual culture today. Whether it is looking at the Venus of Willendorf or a fashion spread, it is still about the figure, the body, and emotions.

Gerald Leow
Sleep , 2017
Chan + Hori Contemporary

3. What made you decide on the use of nudity in this series? What do they represent?

The nude figure in the images is a literal expression of the body of flesh and blood. They represent our existence in this material world.

4. Do the poses by the model symbolise anything?

Yes they do. Some poses of the model are with small sculptures I made, in raw steel and jagged. The props express materiality and the inherent violence present in life. Other poses of the model alone look like meditative yogic poses, but are actually referenced from BDSM slave poses, hence the titles: endure, rest, kneel, and floor.

Gerald Leow
Divine 2, 2017
Chan + Hori Contemporary

5. Is the blue used to paint the model in reference to the works of French artist Yves Klein?

Actually no. The blue is used here as a symbol of divinity and otherworldliness. It's another type of IKB (International Krishna Blue).

6. What brought about the collaboration with famed local fashion photographer Ivanho Harlim?

 We have been friends for a while and have similar interests in culture. So when I had this idea to show nudes with some sculptures I was making I decided to speak to him to shoot, because he does great nudes. It is also a conscious choice to want to engage with the language of fashion, which I have been more inspired by in recent years than in contemporary art. The working process was easy, because I think we have a mutual respect and that is very important in any collaboration. We decided on the approach of the images together. With the common knowledge of the styles at play we were able to together decide on what the aesthetics would be like. We connected on the message behind the visual language and approach so the coherence behind the works is evident.

7. If viewers feel clueless in the face of your art, what would you have to say to them?

When the student is ready the teacher will appear.

Chan + Hori Contemporary