Artists from Kuala Lumpur and London have joined together to explore their contrasting and parallel creative points in exhibition entitled Past, to be held at Battersea Power Station from January 17th to February 12th.

Four artists from Malaysia and two from London will be featured at the pop ups at Circus West Village, the first phase of the regeneration of Battersea Power Station and will explore how the past can be understood in the present.


This might be through the lens of myth formation - how might histories turn into myths, which then shape cultural norms, or it might take form in archiving - how are stories of the past documented and passed down for posterity?

Each artist has looked at the questions through their own lens, resulting in a cross-medium body of work that includes site-specific performances, collages, paintings, photography and print.

Ahmad Shukri looks at the heritage site of Battersea Power Station as well as the forests around his studio. British artist Jakob Rowlinson is also featured in the exhibition.

Azad Daniel uses experimental rubber and liquid tin sheets, which act as a visual documentation for Malayan heritage pattern and text. The archive itself is investigated by Larry Amponsah, who unearthed photographs from museum archives as a starting point for his experimental collage paintings.

Turning to the role of the past within the present, Haafiz Shahimi unpicks the roots of Malay myths through a set of printworks made using pyrographic techniques. Also experimenting with print is Masnoor Ramli, as he creates a series of socio-political photographic prints presented in his signature dreamy visuals. Thus, through these artworks, Past provides a platform for histories to be brought into contemporary consciousness, igniting new ways through which the past may be known today.

Last summer, Battersea Power Station announced the Powerhouse Commission and their plans to deliver a new cultural district for London that will build a sense of community and ownership at the new town centre as well as to widen access to culture for audiences in South West London.

This is part of a long-term cultural and community investment that will take place over the multiple phases of the development as the new neighbourhood takes shape. The first two sculptures unveiled included one by Malaysian artist Haffendi Anuar, who created a site-specific series of pilotis, traditional architectural columns that lift a building above ground or water, and are commonly found in stilted dwellings, such as fishermen’s huts, across Asia. Within the context of Battersea Power Station, Machines for Modern Living are intended as surrogates of Battersea Power Station’s’ chimneys. By installing them on ground level at Circus West, their presence is anchored to the site, bringing the distant chimneys of Battersea Power Station within grasp. The complex forms of the sculptures, with their angular stacks, allude to both western minimalism and traditional Malaysian-Indonesian architecture.


Notes to Editors


Dates: January 17th- February 12th  2018.

Where: Pop-ups at Circus West Village, Battersea Power Station

Free entry - register interest for events at Eventbrite

Times: 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday. 12pm to 5pm Sunday. Closed on Monday.

Artists: Ahmad Shukri (Malaysia), Azad Daniel (Malaysia), Haafiz Shahimi (Malaysia), Jakob Rowlinson (England), Larry Amponsah (England/Ghana), Masnoor Ramli (Malaysia)

Curator: Zena Khan

Zena Khan graduated from the Royal College of Art, London, with a Masters in Curating Contemporary Art. Her past projects include Open House, a weekend exhibition with live programming at Delfina Foundation, London. Part of Delfina Foundation’s 2017 theme Collecting as Practice, the two-day exhibition and event explored the past ten years of residencies at the foundation, featuring artists such as Manal Al Dowayan, Laura Wilson, Katherine Bohm, Leone Contini, Hala Muhana and Judy Price. Alongside her research and curating practice in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, where she has produced exhibitions including Debunking the Myth, which researched the role of figurative art in Malaysian contemporary art, Life Between the Dots, a solo exhibition for senior Malaysian artist Fauzin Mustafa, and Marking the Time, a survey of five mid-career artists in Malaysia that looks at current local artistic practice, Khan works as a culture columnist for The Artling, Harper’s Bazaar and Buro 24/7 Malaysia

ARTSEA Gallery: Artsea is an upcoming London based art gallery, collaborating with leading Southeast Asian contemporary artists to exhibit their works in Europe. We provide the platform for our artists to expand their reach through exhibitions and projects which highlight contemporary issues – issues which bear relevance to many parts of the world.

Future projects will bring together these artworks in an exciting and dynamic programme through exhibitions as well as fairs.