As the popular saying goes, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. This definitely applies to art where you are only truly able to appreciate it when you go beyond the artwork itself.
Recently, a TikTok video about a painting in a local art gallery went viral after it drew debate on its meaning and the story behind it.
The video which was posted by @llona, featured an acrylic painting of a group of Ultraman holding up a bunch of peti.
The TikTok video has gone viral and currently has over 85,500 likes and 553,000 views. Some netizens saw the painting for simply what it is instead of the meaning behind it and what the artist was trying to depict.
“This is deep art…. so deep that people cannot brain it.”
“So deep I shed a tear,commented a netizen sarcastically.
“Are Ultraman selling petai now? Since when?” said another user.
“This has LAYERS and substance.”
On the other hand, some netizens defended the painting and told others to read the background before leaving sarcastic comments.
“This is why you need to Read the artist’s summary of the art displayed on the side,” said a user.
Another user commented, “It portrays the war between Japan and Malaya in the 1940s.”
The meaning behind the painting
The artist behind the painting is Edroger Rosili who was born in Sarawak. Edroger attained his degree in Fine Arts at UiTM in 2009 and has been active in the Malaysian art scene since 2005.
According to Hom Art Trans, in his art practice throughout many exhibitions, he juggles between multiple bodies of work almost simultaneously, exploring a variety of styles and forms that expresses his thoughts on socio-political, transaction, and personal-universal themes and abstractions.
One of his favorite themes is exploring historical fantasy.
This particular piece is named ‘Penangkapan Tok Petai’ and is part of his ‘Jepun Attack Malaya’ which is a collection of paintings he painted back in 2017.
The ‘Jepun Attack Malaya’ painting is a fantasy revisiting of Malaya during the Japanese occupation in 1942-1945 and is a series of paintings depicting a fictional sense of the historical event, as epic battle scenes between cultural representations of the characters involved in the war.
“The Japanese army is imagined as their popular fictional hero, Ultraman, fighting against the Malayan resistance, personified as local traditional fruits and vegetables, which is adapting into the visual narrative of the Ultraman story as the monsters they are fighting.”
Checkout the collection here.
Watch the full video below:
♬ Apeni Aina Abdul – Aina Abdul Devotee
What do you think of the painting? Let us know in the comments.
Also read: “Think of the earth” – Man Who Threw Cake at Mona Lisa Painting as a Sign of Protest Detained by Police
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