Conversations with Sharon Chin and Zedeck Siew
Through The Eyes Of Artists, A Glimpse Of Malaysia
22 May 2016 - Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan, Malaysia
A lot of art now skips that crucial local step. I want to address a specific audience that feels very real. The criticism I get is, “Don’t you want more people to see your art?” But I think that’s how it spreads. If I zoom in on the local and the specific, it has more resonance outside. Even the thought that it starts from the outside doesn’t make sense to me. – Sharon Chin
After several hours of rolling past kilometres of palm oil plantations, the bus pulls into Port Dickson. Back in the 1980s, I recall Port Dickson being described as one of the several short holiday destinations that were but a drive away from Singapore, much like Fraser’s Hill or Melaka or Kota Tinggi.
It was only in 2016 that I paid my maiden visit to the sleepy coastal town that is only 72km from Kuala Lumpur.
Objectively speaking, PD - as it’s affectionately called – doesn’t inspire confidence. The beaches aren’t of the white sandy sort one might expect of a “beach resort”; the waters don’t look clean enough for a swim; most of the buildings – commercial and residential – look the worse for wear, some altogether unfinished and abandoned.
But, Mackerel didn’t travel to PD for a holiday. Art and conversation were our purpose and we imposed on the hospitality of two of Malaysia’s emerging talents – visual artist Sharon Chin and writer Zedeck Siew.