Razak Mansion, the low-cost, public housing structure in Kuala Lumpur, lives on in the nine mixed media paintings of Davinder Singh.
Recollēctus is the title of Dhavinder’s solo show which explores the concept of space, memory and loss during his time at Razak Mansion.
It is also a tribute to Dhavinder’s family, especially his grandmother from whom he inherited the property. Although the space no longer exists, having been demolished in the name of modernisation, the "essence" of it, is presented in the show for a wider audience.
Talking about his solo exhibition, Dhavinder describes his mixed media paintings as projecting a sense of being“isolated” and “abandoned”.
“It is clinical yet sombre,” adds the artist.
His fascination with the older parts of the city and new developments in Kuala Lumpur as well as reliving childhood memories, are expressed in almost all the works.
His observation of the space, especially Razak Mansion – focusing on the hollow bricks, the weathered walls, and the state of decline – reflected in the nine paintings capture the features of a decaying structure.
While his earlier works depict human elements, this collection has none.
Recollēctus brings together not only the "essentiality" of such space, and how they occupy a place in our memories but also the physicality of the lost setting. This is achieved with the use of carefully selected and "curated material" to evoke a sense of desolation.
The Razak Mansion once housed 658 people, all of whom were displaced from their homes once the demolition order came through.
Dhavinder is best known for his series of installations that combine geometry and colour. InRecollēctus, he continues to utilise geometric forms on canvas, drawing a subtle but definite connection in various media.
Recollēctus is the first of three exhibitions planned throughout the year. This labour of love is Dhavinder’s second solo outing with Project Room Fine Art.
Project Room Fine Art offers an experimental space for "serious artists" to exhibit their works.
“We want artists to explore their art without the pressures normally associated with a commercial gallery," says gallery director Azad Daniel.
"It is a space where unconventional artwork by contemporary artists will find a home."