Female exploration

Identity politics is a serious topic in "Muse", an exhibition by two female artists from Africa at Project 189 Bangkok, on Friday and Saturday from 5pm onwards.

Presented as part of "Galleries' Night Bangkok 2020", the exhibition dives with abandon into the subject in a range of media including embroideries and distinctive drawings by South African multimedia artist Elzahn Nel and psychological portraits by Ghanaian artist Maku Azu.

Through her playfully expressive work, Nel explores the complexities of African female identity and how women throughout the world position themselves in societies that restrict the freedom to do so.

Her muse is the human figure, which she captures in gestural, inky lines or careful stitches, combining both masculine and feminine traits in a conversation about the self, sexuality and gender.

Sketched in bold black, her anonymous figures -- vague bodies rather than individuals -- have been given ambiguous traits: soft curves alongside sharp angles, a suggestion of a form here or an indistinct fold hidden there.

Meanwhile, Azu's artistic practice deals with issues surrounding selfhood, otherness, displacement and belonging. She explores how institutions, governments and cultures exert their influence to manipulate this "self" for survival or profit.

She examines the part played by the individuals in negotiating their personal autonomy on a daily basis and her works include complementary abstract pieces inspired individuals that navigate these daily tensions.

Project 189 is a privately funded artist-in-residence programme and project space located on Soi Nana, Rama IV, in Bangkok's Chinatown.

There is no admission fee. Call 096-339-9491.