Fyerool Darma, To The Present Hour
2019, Variable Dimensions
Oil on canvas on wood, synthetic cowhide, wood, synthetic polymer paint, dyed rope and solvent ink on polyproplyne paper
To The Present Hour is an exploration of the visual and textual translations and transformation of religious art and text in Southeast Asia through the lens of Fyerool’s personal experience as a Singaporean Muslim.
It includes a printed image of a waterfall and two calligrams as well as two reproductions of a censer (an incense burner) that was made in China for Muslim merchants, from NUS Museum’s South and Southeast Asia’s collection. The censer, calligram and image of a waterfall are forms of decoration common in homes that Fyerool has visited as well as his own family home where they are both decoration and expressions of religious belief.
The text on the censer reads “All men are brothers” in Arabic. In selecting this specific censer to reproduce, Fyerool is alluding to the histories of transmission of trade and religion in one object that itself points to the unity of all humans. Thus, in bringing the censer and calligrams together, Fyerool alludes to the ways in which religions have not only co-existed but interdependently influenced and developed the aesthetics that individuals have used to express themselves and their different faiths in everyday life.
Fyerool Darma graduated from LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore in 2012, and has currently presented his artistic projects through NUS Museum, Yale-NUS College Library, Asia Film Archive’s State of Motion 2019: A Fear of Monsters and Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore. His practice investigates the cultural production of art and artefacts in relation to how markers of identity and class have developed out of histories of migration, trade, exchange and colonialism. His works are often inspired by his own life and everyday experience as a Singaporean.
Tristan Cai, For A Better Tomorrow
Richard Walker, Epiphany
The Buddhist Archive of Photography
Photographs from the collection of Pha Khamfan
Bob Lee, Have A Little Faith
AikBeng Chia, Thru Their Eyes
Kapilan Naidu and Darryl Lim, Dial-a-Religion