ZHAN Art | Space is thrilled to present ‘Sweet and Sour’, a duo exhibition by London-based artists Alya Hatta and Leily Moghtader Mojdehi. The exhibition inspired by the sweet and sour chicken dish serves as a backbone for the show and reflects a paradoxical reality. The dish, widely popular across Asian restaurants in the West, is however a common dish in the East. It is with that notion that SWEET and SOUR were put together by the artists. By reimagining and reinterpreting the authenticity of Asian culture, Alya and Leily invite the audience to explore their works through the lenses of a world of implied meanings and suggestions.
The collection of 15 vivid pieces ranging from figurative paintings to abstract renderings can be experienced as an exercise by the artists to establish new spaces for unplaceable experiences. While Alya reaches deep into her memory bank to create artworks of what it was like growing up in Malaysia, Leily focuses instead, on the richness of her Iranian/Singaporean/British family heritage and their respective traditions. Despite referencing different Asian origins, each work is an exploration of becoming and being Asian. As a collective whole, the exhibition acts as a reminder of how personal memories can influence our perception of the Asian self.
“As Asians based in the United Kingdom, both Leily and I were made aware of how our Asianness is oftentimes reduced to a simple takeout dish sold in Styrofoam boxes. We wanted to put up an exhibition which showcases our Asian roots and how we can build and narrate our own stories, the way it should be told as we experience them, and not how others perceive it to be,” shares Alya Hatta.
“We are thrilled to be showcasing the works of Alya Hatta once again. This time, Alya has partnered with Leily whose works explore transcultural identity. Together, the Sweet and Sour exhibition showcases some of their most personal stories and imagined myths, and we believe the artworks will appeal to many, especially those who grew up on a rich diet of Asian values and traditions,” said Desmond Tong, founder and curator of ZHAN Art | Space.
Sweet and Sour, scheduled from 19 September to 9 November 2022, comprised of paintings and sculptures, with prices ranging from RM 2,700 to RM20,000.