Shooshie Sulaiman utilizes a wide array of artistic approaches, from two-dimensional works, site-specific installations, and performances to writing, and even creating spaces such as gallery and bookstore to encounter fresh experiences of art, suggesting that for her, artistic practice and life are inextricable. Born of mixed parentage, Malay and Chinese during the most critical era of Sino-Malaysian relations, Sulaiman’s journey and experience has often been fraught with contradiction. Many of her works are based on situation, experience, and process, as her journey of investigation in cultural and social configurations, or identity continues.
Sulaiman’s work in the 2007 ‘documenta 12’ exhibition in Germany, for example, comprised two small books that included notes, images and collaged elements, which were ‘performed’ by the artist as one-on-one readings and discussions with gallery visitors. A recent body of work, which was presented at APT6, featured an evocative wooden room filled with a series of photographic collages, created from discarded family portraits that the artist collected in Kuala Lumpur and Melaka (Malacca). The collages included texts, drawings and flower petals, investing the artist’s own imaginary set of relationships and narratives into the photographs.