There is something to be said about our parents, they are TODAY the most pretentious-hypocritical-goody-do-goods A F T E R WE came into the picture.
I imagine , from stories told to me; the years between the 60’s (and flowed into the early 70’s), was a frenzied flurry of giddy hormones. It was a happily AND freely a lustfully alcoholic induced era too. It seemed like everyone oozed sex, they danced, they cajoled, they teased hard and they partied hard! Hair was greased up or back for the men ,and for the ladies, their head of hair was firmly sprayed in place, so much so that it had a zip code of its own. Perfume and cologne lathered on so thick and strong that the scents seem to jump ahead and accost your intended target even before you could get at them with fancy pick up lines.
The Women were defiantly demurring and fabulously classy, they purred and seductively giggled at everything you say. They would still hold you captive, thats if you haven’t fallen already, as they walk away. Think Sohia Loren, making use of her perfectly manicured hands, painted lips, and long lashes to communicate instead of her words to agree , show surprise or express delight, each time you said something funny or clever. It wasn’t that you were exceptionally intelligent or even very funny, she just made you think you were.
The Men, they could all dance, they rocked AND rolled, they would glide into your line of sight and jiggy and wiggle with you all over that dance floor…if they couldn’t dance they will cooly sweep you off your feet with sweet gifts , rich compliments, and offer to turn your dreams into reality. They used every manly pore on their body to be fashionably- “manly” because at that time THAT was successfully SEXY.
What made that generation tick had nothing to do with their bank account. It wasn’t important back then , it didn’t really matter, instead it was the new beginning of Malaysia , they were young and that was already potentially successful , it was the new beginning for every one. They had the will and full intention to a have a happy life because it was a simple patriotic promise they all shared as Malaysians. They definitely expressed that promise FIRST by flirting, with all the energy they could muster. It was basically a decade of urgent mating rituals, of “boners” , “wants”and pick-up lines that worked. Becoming a man started when you’re a husband, becoming a woman started when you’re a wife. It was as simple as that.
“Joget Kenduri Kahwin” (below)
“Joget Town Hall” (above)
At this time, we have just celebrated our independence from British Rule (1957) and it was time to try out our new found freedom ! There are treasure chests of black and white photos or films that remind us of these times. These were the days of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Frank Sinatra, they were the golden days. We had our own version of James Deans, Elizabeth Taylors , Marilyns and Sinatras. We had the talented P. Ramlee and his rat pack. The everlasting beauty and feline-like wit of Saloma and her trend setting hour glass figure that shaped all the ladies in those days. They translated western screen legends into our very own aspirations, fantasies and wanna-bes. The 60’s was the era of friendship across all types of characters and race. Everyone drank, every one smoked, life was filled with music, the promise of a bright future and the spirit of “togetherness.”
Kide and his loud delightfully outlandish “Pe’el” Exhibition
Pe’el [ pe/.el ] is a Malay word that means habit or behaviour. A perfect title for this exhibition. The term lends a magnifying glass to our own particular behaviour, aparently defined by where/how we grew up. Be it from small towns or a distinctive family trait . I’ve not had the opportunity to meet Kide Baharudin in the flesh. I can only imagine the person behind the art work to be full of quiet observance at first, and then suddenly come at you with feverish slaps of oil paints, like a frantic swordsman in a duel, EnGuarde!
His wonderous story telling on canvas comes from inspiring cheeky tales told by his parents. They are of small towns and growing up in a close knit “kampung” (village) environment . Festivities and cultural celebrations were real life fashion shows back then. A collage of antics from endearing characters remain like ghostly smiles in our hearts today.
Stories told to us were not about the colour of skin, the differences in our culture, nor the enforcements of our religions. Instead it was the humble confessions of open communication, silly drinking stories, puppy love and the “Pe’el” of quirky characters from the past , loved and cherished. It was about the beauty and grace of women, and macho persuants of men, and mostly, and more importantly the common sentiment that our differences was what made us Malaysians.
Kide comes from a small town called Kg. Sawah Lebar, Negeri Sembilan, small towns all over Malaysia had their own different kind of buzz, and energy. Each little town had their own system of sustainability. They looked out for each other. A birth, a holiday, a wedding was celebrated by all. They bought each others goods and produce, they traded meals as much as they traded gossip.
Reminiscing with Wanida Razali , Gallery Manager, Hin Bus Depot.
Wanida and I spent a whole good afternoon, picking through each piece, it was fun studying each character on each of Kide’s art work. We noticed also tiny touches that made these stories all so real and or what was practical back then; like the flashlights in back pockets of some men in the paintings; because they had to walk back in the dark after a celebration, wives chasing drunk husbands home, how the movement and curviness of women were accentuated, and many other charming memories of how fun the simplicity of life was back then.
“Orang Tua” (sculpture below)
Wanida, …what is your role at Hin Bus Depot aside from prancing around the gallery with me?
I facilitate shows and programmes held in the Exhibition Space. Since I am working alone now without a team, I decided not to organise or curate shows anymore. I’m focusing more on on site coordination, online and offline marketing, and maintenance of the physical space.
I’ve noticed few of his works are not for sale… does he not want money?
I think this is his first collection that he put his all into the works. Compared to his earlier works, this collection has so much movement, so much life, so many stories in each and every one of the artworks. Maybe he’s not ready to let go of his beautiful babies..?
What’s Kide like? Is he as large in life as his paintings?
I honestly did not set any expectations of him before we met. He is such a humble, kind and quite a shy person. He is very easy to work with, very professional. I’m really honoured to get to know this artist.
Kide has participated in many group exhibitions, locally and regionally. In 2017, Kide made his mark as he emerged champion for Vans Asia Custom Culture competition, gaining him recognition in the streetwear community and globally.
If you’re not a fan yet, you will be. This kid – Kide will wake up all your emotions about family, and yearn for those good innocent times, especially now. Links below will get you started as an introduction to Kide’s works. His work is amazing and gleeful! I can’t express it enough here that YOU NEED TO GO VISIT to experience his story telling journey.
Congratulations Kide. Thank you for the reminder that once, a long time ago, we were REALLY TRULY 1 MALAYSIA.
This exhibition is supported by Vans Malaysia.
About Hin Bus Depot
Hin Bus Depot is a creative community hub located in George Town. Home to a gallery, arts & events spaces and innovative business outlets, Hin Bus is working towards a sustainable community and providing a place for artistic execution. Hin Bus represents a platform for entrepreneurs, small business owners, craftsmen, artisans, musicians, performers, and makers of all kinds to showcase their talents and the belief of supporting a small community.
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