Piyadasa Gallery: Sphaera.
‘SPHAERA: Imagination in the Sphere of Mere Physical Existence’
by Visual Art Program, Cultural Centre, University of Malaya
Ruzaika Omar Basaree
Nik Syahida Sabri
Lim Kok Yoong
curated by Lyne Ismail
Dates: 15 August – 30 September 2018
Venue: Piyadasa Gallery, Cultural Centre, University of Malaya
Time: By appointment (Mon – Friday 10 – 5PM)
Contact Person: Simon Soon ([email protected])
‘Sphaera’ is an exhibition that recenters wonder as an aesthetic experience and creative impulse at the root of many imaginative scientific explorations that transforms the ways we understand the world.
The 13th-century Sufi poet, Rumi, once suggested that humankind possesses two forms of intelligence. The first is acquired knowledge through book learning. The second is a kind of hard-wired wisdom, described using the metaphoric imagery of an overflowing fountainhead. In a sense, every idea is borne of a marriage of these two forms of intelligence. Since every idea is built on an accepted string of assumptions, an idea is also sparked by unproven premises, which nevertheless allows us to make certain leaps in the imagination.
The combination of logical thinking (visual, mathematical, or verbal) and free-thinking (ability to work with unproven assumptions or imagination) may lead to critical questions and speculative conversations. It creates the condition for thinking speculatively rather than within the confines of convention. Since the 18th century, the arts and sciences were increasingly viewed as two separate and distinct disciplines with their own particular models, methods, and approaches to intellectual inquiry. However, the divide between art and science is increasingly being argued to be false and unproductive.
Instead, scholars have argued for they offer tools to explore the many layers of what it means to exist. For many, the pursuit of knowledge and understanding is a neverending one. At the same time, this desire to know is also characterised by a sense of liberation.
In the words of Nobel Laureate for Physics, Albert Einstein,
“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom”
– Albert Einstein, Out of my Later Years, 1967