PRINT February 2003


“STANDING STILL” IS A SUITE OF 113 PHOTOGRAPHS MADE BY THE Singapore-born artist Simryn Gill in her travels across the Malaysian countryside over a period of two years ending last summer. Gill, who was educated in India and England and has lived and worked in Australia since 1987, revisited her former homeland in the wake of the financial crisis that shook the entire Asia Pacific region beginning in 1997, turning boom into gloom and souring Asia’s dreams of galloping globalization. Until that point, photographed Asia was dominated by the image of frenetically erupting supercities—and nowhere more memorably than Kuala Lumpur with its iconic Petronas Towers, Malaysia’s pretender to the throne of world’s tallest building and a symbolic fusion of Islamic geometries and Western high tech.

Gill’s quiet photographs excavate a quite different architectural reality. Outside Malaysia’s shiny urban

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