Minimal Art, an abstract genre whose central principle is that the physical aspect of a work acts as its reality, results in art that possesses a completely literal presence, typified by intensely simple forms. Traditionally minimalist artists decant art into its fundamental elements, resulting in a concept of pure aestheticism which provides the audience with a strongly visual experience via a literal, objective approach, as is beautifully exemplified by Dhavinder Singh in his new work Magnum Opus: Landslide.
A slim vertical piece mounted onto the wall, Magnum Opus: Landslide features a large yellow triangle, with a smaller black triangle at its tip. A pulley system is installed between the triangles as part of the work. Choosing to involve organic materials, Dhavinder fills turmeric into the large triangle, and black sand into the smaller triangle at the tip. The clean simplicity of the work belies the incredible technical feat that lies behind its inception and creation. The triangles are fabricated from acrylic, thus requiring millimeter precise technical specifications and fabrication, as do the custom made clips Dhavinder uses in mounting Magnum Opus: Landslide on to the wall. As is characteristic of minimal artists, Dhavinder is uncompromising in terms of colour and space, which leads to much experimentation with material to discover which are the natural substances that will satisfy his vision, and mounts the work himself to ensure the exact impression he envisions is transmitted to his audience. The scarcity of visual elements in minimal art necessitate the hyper specificity of the artist to produce a strong statement which resonates with the engaging beauty Dhavinder stresses visual art must possess.
Magnum Opus: Landslide represents Dhavinder’s latest minimalist approach to highlight the issues he views as currently besting Malaysia. Continuing from his last work, Magnum Opus: Disseverance, this latest production strives to describe the outcome from the possible socio-political fallouts in a multi-cultural country like Malaysia. The word ‘landslide’ conjures the image of natural disasters, which have the power to swallow up entire towns, causing unforetold destruction and incalculable loss. The two triangles collectively symbolize the positive human relationships between the citizens in this country that the artist feels are now being threatened by insidious elements bent for the purpose of political or economic expediency. Dhavinder works to remind his audience that the power and responsibility to exert change for the better or to allow conditions, under the dictates of those with hidden agendas, to deteriorate is in their hands.
Dhavinder’s work is born out of a stringent dedication to the essentials of art, both intellectually and visually. It is wonderful to note that while he uses elements that are highly culture specific, such as the yellow turmeric powder, his aesthetic is truly international, mirroring the increasingly global landscape evident in a rapidly developing Malaysia. The minimal aesthetic of works such as Magnum Opus: Landslide present a very different angle of art in contemporary Malaysia, generating great excitement amongst critics and admirers alike of what is forthcoming from this highly experimental young artist. As Dhavinder himself states, “This is not the end. There is still a lot more to come.”
written by Zena Khan
artist : Dhavinder Singh
type : wall-mounted installation
dimension : 85 x 122 cm
price : RM 5, 000.00