'ARCHIVE: ENG HWEE CHU & TAN CHIN KUAN is our first edition of ARCHIVE, in which the overall context is very simply inspired by the documents that we have collected. Both these artists have tremendous high profiles since late 1980s and 1990s. Their visuals embark massively on the critical values of the art scene, and for their contribution to the history of contemporary art in Malaysia, they have both received acclaims and awards in high ranking art exhibitions and competitions of that time, both in and out of Malaysia.
'12 has gathered, organized and put together a whole body of documents and records, slides, photographs that are related to their individual artistic activities fro various sources. Yet, the main source of information was from the artists themselves, and indeed some of the most valuable evidence and input were the ones that inadvertently, fluidly and unintentionally, that came from various stages of our casual conversations with them.
'Artist-couple Eng Hwee Chu and Tan Chin Kuan were the subjects of 12’s inaugural Archive exhibition, which has its roots in an earlier project Shooshie Sulaiman and Fatina Alfis worked on with art historian, T.K. Sabapathy, and that seeks to restore and rewrite missing chapters within the corpus of Malaysian art, especially on artists who have been marginalized by public institutions, the media, or private collectors.
'12’s team spent months excavating enough material to present a concise and redeeming evaluation of Eng and Tan. Their efforts are presented in Archive’s publication on the artists, which is an objet d’art in itself, featuring colour plates of all the artists’ works to date (including Tan’s installations that are no longer in existence), articles and reviews, press clippings, and photographic studies.
'Archive’s physical exhibition showcased pieces from Eng’s seminal Black Moon series from the late eighties and early nineties alongside more recent works, whilst Tan’s works ran the gamut from prints dating back to the late eighties, monochrome works on zinc from the mid-nineties, to a number of visceral self-portraits based on the artist’s dreams from more recent times.
'The combination of the physical exhibition and its accompanying publication has made Archive the most comprehensive showing of Tan and Eng’s works to date.' (From organiser's website)