A photo from Sharon Chin's Weeds/Rumpai series to be exhibited at APT 8

From Malaysia: Weeds and political power

It comes only once every three years, but when it does it is oh so sweet. We’re talking about the Asia Pacific Triennial! In the lead up to the exhibition, we’ll be doing a series of posts previewing/profiling works by the artists representing the Southeast Asian region. Here’s what will be exhibited from Malaysia.


After a one-day exhibition at Merdekarya, Malaysian artist Sharon Chin will be bringing her Weeds/Rumpai work to APT 8. To create Weeds/Rumpai, Chin collected political party flags being hung up in public spaces around her neighbourhood in Port Dickson ahead of elections in 2013. Chin then painted pictures of the weeds growing in her garden on the flags.

A photo from Sharon Chin's Weeds/Rumpai series to be exhibited at APT 8
From Sharon Chin’s Weeds/Rumpai series. Photo from QAGOMA.

‘Weeds are neither glamorous nor important, but they grow and exist in strange places. They are rarely admired but if you look closely at them, they are beautiful. They are tough, persistent, and enduring,’ said Chin on her website about her choice to paint weeds onto the flags.

The weeds as a symbol of persistence and timelessness contrast against the up-cycled flags that represent partisanship and are remnants of this epoch. The weeds will remain after we, our political ideals, and the power we give them cease to exist.

Other exhibition preview posts: Cambodia | Indonesia

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