Artists withdraw paintings from Malaysian mall hanging them like ‘laundry’

Artwork decorating the outside of the railings at the Artisfair exhibition. Photo: Aimmanhafizal/Twitter
Artwork decorating the outside of the railings at the Artisfair exhibition. Photo: Aimmanhafizal/Twitter

Artists are pulling out of an exhibition after seeing paintings dangling from a mall’s railings. 

At least two participating artists are withdrawing their artworks from the Artisfair exhibition at the Fahrenheit 88 mall in Kuala Lumpur, where organizers are being criticized for disrespecting the works by hanging canvases like laundry, as described by some observers. 

“No you can’t be serious [about] hanging those canvases like that,” Artist Nawwar Shukriah Ali, aka Bono Stellar, said on Twitter yesterday. She has withdrawn her Clair De Lune glass on wood piece. 

“The worst way to display artworks. I’m pulling out my pieces. This is disrespectful!” another artist Indra Gondhi said on Twitter. He plans to remove three pieces of his artwork and told Coconuts that although he didn’t see his art on display in the photos circulating online, he “will not tolerate this action by gallery or curator.”

The exhibition by the Bookxcess bookstore, known for hosting the major Big Bad Wolf annual book sale, opened yesterday and runs till Nov. 28. It features more than 2,000 paintings, prints, and 3D installations by both rookies and established artists from across Malaysia and Indonesia that strives to challenge “conventional presentations or art,” according to the event’s website. 

Photos of part of the exhibition circulating online showed dozens of portraits hanging over the railing across various levels of the eight-story mall.

The organizer did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

“… This looks like someone hanging out laundry? Where is the empathy and respect for the artists? Even kuih (cakes) have protective cases,” Twitter user YuneFuji said in reaction to photos of the exhibition, while another urged participating artists to “take your artwork and runnnnn.”

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