Langkawi Art Biennale
Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
From the Lens of Anahita Ghazanfari
Children has no choice but to move out from their home with family because social problem happens in their countries.
In my case, Dominican Republic is always my home but I belong to everywhere.
I usually create human and nature in the same image. The human and nature connection is close and wherever we migrate should take care of it.
The Idea of migration for me is very important because it’s just makes us as human seeing things in a larger scales and in a more feasible way.
After the second world war my father went to Germany from Latvia, my mother went to Germany from the Ukraine, and they moved to Australia. The year after I was born in Australia and I am so glad that they did move to Australia. My hurts goes out to people who migrate to other countries but can not go back.
It is a complicated thing, I mean sometimes in some situation it’s a wonderful thing and create a great mixture and sometimes it’s not.
I believe that in my age it’s better to stay in your country, there is no such thing as a better world for me anymore, however I think young people need to go and find their way. They have to see the world.
In my painting I have a group of colorful people migrating, because where ever you go you should be happy.
The topic of this exhibition is really interesting, eventhough maybe the works itself does not reflect that. The Idea that they brought us here from almost all around the world it give us kind of migrate concept behind that.
The adventure begins...
Travelling to another country to share and explore art is always a novel idea to any artist, hence 250 artists from 38 countries around the world recently gathered in Langkawi Islands to indulge in an art exchange.
The lively artists arrived with suitcases full of creativity, culture, delight, and most of all anticipation on the days ahead. Who were the other participants? How were they going to conquer barriers like culture differences and languages? What form of art were others bringing to the table? This were some of the questions that would have crossed the artists’ minds as they ‘migrated’ into this exciting adventure.
Art is magic
It was not long though after they met that they were in tune with each other, all united by the common love for art. Everybody shared the unique experiences and journey as an artist, cementing their newfound friendship. I arrived a week after the exhibition had started, and it was so surreal to watch them interact like they were old friends. Everyone laughed and joked with the next person, all initial inhibitions shed as the magic of art took over.
Travelling to another country almost always requires exploring ones’ new surroundings, and it was no different for the ‘migrants’. There is always something new to see if you look around. With the trained eye of an artist, it’s even more spectacular as you get to explore the details one would ordinarily miss, thus the artists ventured deep inside the beautiful Langkawi Islands to learn its traditions and secrets.
Of huts and scarecrows
The place was lively with events, with everyone chipping in to prepare for a great exhibition. Male artists carried the farmer's house while the females painted scarecrows that represent the rich culture of the islands. Painting gave the ladies an opportunity to express themselves; their personalities shining through the colourful brushstrokes that created a masterpiece unique to each artist.
Y.A Bhg Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad visits...
The event was graced by former Malaysian Prime Minister, Y.A Bhg Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad bin Mohamad, who is an avid art lover and supporter. Y.A Bhg Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was offered brushes by several artists to paint on their scarecrows and experience for himself the magic of creating art. It was also a great honour for the artists to have an art enthusiast of such high rank view and appreciated their work.
Y.A Bhg Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad also toured the exhibition and had a chat with some of the artists, taking photos with them here and there. The artists gave him some of their artwork as a token of appreciation for not only gracing the event, but also supporting their artistic endeavour.
Tan Sri Dato' Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen
After some well-deserved rest and a delicious meal, the glamorously dressed artists headed back to the Exhibition hall to meet with one more special guest. The arrival of former Minister of Tourism, Tan Sri Dato' Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen was met with much cheer and ado. Tan Sri Dato' Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen is another ardent art supporter, and both she and the artists enjoyed their time talking about their art concepts and ideas.
By evening, the day was still filled with energy and enthusiasm, and I was certain none of the participants wanted it to end. There was music, dance, laughter and happiness as the artists prepared to say their goodbyes. It was indeed a beautiful day and a lovely way to end the day, surrounded by friends from all over the world. I certainly wish to see them again.