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Greatest Love: Anne Samat at the MoCA

Escape the smog and commotion of New York City with a riverside train-ride through the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley and into the oft-overlooked town of Peekskill, NY. Between farm-to-table restaurants and shops featuring handmade goods, sits Peekskill’s own Museum of Contemporary Art (or MoCA).

MoCA is currently showcasing ‘Greatest Love’, the most recent vibrant and dynamic collection from international textile artist, Anne Samat. This is the Malaysian-based artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States.

Anne Samat. Photo source: internet, ph:Maksim Akelin

Samat first emerged as a textile artist in the 1990s after graduating from Mara Institute of Technology’s fiber program. Despite facing backlash from local collectors in her early years as an artist, who claimed her work- although beautiful- was not art, Samat continued to work tirelessly. Since then, her work has gained momentum and continues to hold international attention for her use of bold colors and unexpected integration of unexpected found objects.

In ‘Greatest Love’, Anne Samat pulls inspiration from her heritage and family lineage to create elaborate totems representative of her closest personal connections. The artist intertwines thread with kitchen utensils, vintage brooches, and even leaf rakes to exemplify the complex nature of interpersonal relationships. Each piece of yarn, fabric, and thread is painstakingly hand-threaded and interwoven to create the totems- many of which stand over 5’ in diameter. When asked about her process, Samat responded that “relationship can be a …very delicate, very fragile thing,” and tweezing and twisting threads mimics the complicated balance of a close relationship.

Images from the exhibit. Photo courtesy: internet, ph: Maksim Akelin

‘Greatest Love’ functions as an exploration of the complexities of giving and receiving love, while calling viewers to examine the lines between art and craft, self and other, family and culture. Through this collection, viewers may find that perhaps there isn’t a definitive boundary at all.

The collection is available for public viewing at Hudson Valley MoCA between May 9th and September 8th, 2019.

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