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Women’s Day exhibition ‘Can She Do It?’ featuring 22 Malaysian female artists breaks free from age-old stigmas

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — With its central question Can She Do It?, a new art exhibition aims to open minds, break boundaries and honour female empowerment to say ‘Yes, she can’.

The exhibition showcases the work of 22 Malaysian female artists from various art backgrounds such as wood carving, architecture, paintings and sculptures.

Among them are Nini Marini, Pamela Tan, Miriam Omar, Sharini Yogi, Marisa Ng and the youngest artist, Benazir Ihsan, aged 11.

The exhibition is organised by AP Art Gallery in partnership with Sime Darby Property and is curated by Nazura Rahime.

During the recent opening ceremony, Nazura said that women have been questioned for years with voices of discouragement and dissent if they can actually ‘do it’, casting doubt upon themselves.

“But here is the thing about art. It has a unique power, it gives a voice to the unheard. It amplifies the whisper of our soul and expresses it in masterpieces,” Nazura said.

“Art is a safe haven where our emotions can be explored and where we can emerge stronger, wiser and more resilient.”

She commended the 22 women artists for showcasing a piece of themselves and hoped to make a safe and inclusive environment where artists of all backgrounds could share their work.

Special guest Puan Seri Wan Hibatul Hidayah binti Wan Ismail also acknowledged the effort undertaken by all the female artists in her speech.

“Many people admire the beautiful art pieces in the show but they don’t realise the hard work that goes on behind it to culminate into a show like this” she said.

One of the works is Veiled Emergence by architectural artist Pamela Tan who is known for designing the Sunnyside Up installation at Central Market MRT station.

The artwork features a woman’s face emerging from a veiled hijab structure with luminous lime green beads to convey layers of meaning behind veiling and unveiling in self-expression and identity.

Tan and her artwork ‘Veiled Emergence’, one of the works exhibited at 'Can She Do It?'. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Tan and her artwork ‘Veiled Emergence’, one of the works exhibited at 'Can She Do It?'. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Tan and her artwork ‘Veiled Emergence’, one of the works exhibited at 'Can She Do It?'. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

“The piece is inspired by women with hijab and the strength, beauty and quiet gracefulness of it,” Tan told Malay Mail.

“I grew up in a Malay school so most of my girl friends are Malay and I noticed that some of them who didn’t wear the hijab before chose to wear them as they grew older.”

“It was not because they became more religious per se, rather they chose to wear it as a form of self-expression and had gone through their own transformative journeys.”

Tan added that the emerging face represented the women she knew who felt ‘reborn’ by maturing in their own values or faith.

Can She Do It? runs till March 31 in conjunction with International Women’s Month and is open to the public at the KL East and Melawati Sales Gallery from 10.30am to 5pm.

For more information, visit here.