GAVIN YAP

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Fashion -

The ac­tor and film­maker on adding “gal­lerist” to his re­sumé. What in­spired the launch of your on­line store/gallery Neon Sauce? I started off as a col­lec­tor of vin­tage movie posters, but as I went along, I found my­self ask­ing, “What is Malaysian pop cul­ture? What does it look like?” The goal of Neon Sauce is not only to come up with posters or art pieces that Malaysians can get ex­cited about and be proud of, but to also ex­pose Malaysian artists to peo­ple from other places. The big­gest mis­con­cep­tion about Malaysian art. That lo­cal art is elit­ist – which isn’t true. There are many kinds of art, and there are many lev­els of pric­ing. A lot of peo­ple just as­sume that any art ex­hi­bi­tion is full of pre­ten­tious peo­ple talk­ing about ab­stract ex­pres­sion­ism. Sure, there is that side of the art world, but that only makes up a frac­tion of it and I’m not in­ter­ested in that. Some peo­ple as­sume that we don’t have awe­some artists here, that we don’t have the tal­ent. Which art­work has stolen your heart, and why is it hard to sell it? I had favourites while I was help­ing the artists de­velop their pieces. There were a cou­ple where I thought, “Yeah, I’m get­ting

by Kenji Chai this for my­self.” But by the time it got to the ex­hi­bi­tion, my re­la­tion­ship with each piece had evolved and it started be­ing about find­ing the right home for them. I have my favourites, but the fact that I had a hand in their ex­is­tence means a lot more to me than ac­tu­ally hav­ing them on my wall. What is the great­est chal­lenge in start­ing Neon Sauce? When you’re ven­tur­ing into a new ter­ri­tory, it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to gauge how much there is to do. No mat­ter how hard you think it’s go­ing to be, you’re rarely pre­pared for the re­al­ity of it be­cause you have no frame of ref­er­ence. Plus, we’re a pretty small op­er­a­tion, Much of the ground­work was just my wife and I. I couldn’t have done this with­out her. What can we ex­pect from Gavin Yap this year? Aside from Neon Sauce’s first batch of re­leases, there are two more art shows planned. I’m work­ing on my se­cond book, a sci-fi com­edy called Not From Here. I also have two films in de­vel­op­ment – one is a low bud­get com­edy, the other, a Malay hor­ror movie. Be­sides that, I don’t know ... we’ll have to wait and see, which is al­ways fun.

Keris

Tyger

by San­dra Khoo

Gavin Yap

Pon­tianak

by Michael Chuah

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