June 03rd, 2012 – Hands Across The Water – Post Mexico Residency

Artists: Ahmad Zakii Anwar, Benedicto Reyes Cabrera (BenCab), Enrique Carbajal Sebastian

Mexico City was recently privileged to play host two outstanding artists: Zakii, from Malaysia and BenCab, from the Philippines.

“In the project documented by this show,” writes curator Peter Frank, “distinguished painterdraughtsmen from the Philippines and Malaysia visited with a renowned Mexican sculptor for a
whirlwind but productive two weeks, gained inspiration from the people, history, and landscape into whose midst they had suddenly dropped, and returned to their homelands to work as they had before, armed with more grist for their visual mills…

“Enrique Carbajal, the sculptor better known as Sebastian, is one of Mexico’s leading artists. An expansive and generous man, dedicated to his métier and his fellows, he supports an informal artist’s retreat on the grounds of his studio-fabrication center in Mexico City. Filipino Ben Cabrera (popularly known as BenCab) and Malaysian Ahmad Zakii Anwar take their inspiration from what they observe and strongly rely on the ‘pick-up’ discipline of drawing. Appropriately, they are men of
great curiosity and, like their erstwhile host, generosity of spirit, so they capitalized readily and deftly on their quick immersion in central Mexican life. They drew, almost notationally, from the people and scenes they saw in the capital city and nearby towns, rich with a mix of folkloric tradition and the dynamics of recent history and current social change. As in their own lands, the two artists sensed a
country at or near a crossroads, reformulating itself at a millennial moment to emerge as a distinct cultural and economic entity on the world stage.

The exhibition is jointly presented by the Embassy of Mexico
in Singapore and [email protected], curated by Peter Frank and supported
by AndrewShire Gallery and the Sebastian Foundation
and Lee Foundation.