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Malaysian artists to look out for

Phuan Tai Meng

PHUAN is regarded by some as one of the best contemporary artists in Malaysia, and it's not hard to see why. He combines a mastery of painting with cool conceptual rigour and a proclivity to experiment across media. In his Oops! Saw It (2009, acrylic on linen and plaster of Paris on plywood, 150cm by 150cm), he paints a realistic image of a construction site on linen, only to hike up its bottom half to reveal a black liquid-like surface that resembles a pool of sewage water.

Phuan says: "The painting is that of a construction site in KL that has been abandoned since the 1997 financial crisis - one of many such sites dotting the city. I wanted to convey the idea of wasted potential...

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