Selepas Majlis is a 2013 oil on canvas painting by young artist Mohd Fazli Othman. The bright, beautiful canvas represents Fazli’s dedication to a traditional practice of figurative painting, which allows his audience to effortlessly connect with his work and immerse themselves in the all encompassing atmosphere created by this rising contemporary star.

Measuring 15 feet by 7 feet, Selepas Majlis is an industrial feat for a young artist, and is comprised of 3 large panels. The first third features a larger than life portrait of a garbage collector, set against two large dumpsters. These subjects are painted in an established realism style, whereas the remaining stretch of the canvas is completed in an almost Monet-esque rendering of a blue cloud filled sky and gleaming clean green grass.

Fazli approaches his artistic practice in a traditional manner similar to a Renaissance master, from an exhaustively researched concept, to in depth ink and charcoal studies on paper, in an effort to fully comprehend his subject and study it from all angles, aesthetically and conceptually. Settling on the final composition, Fazli begins with an initial fully detailed pencil rendering on the expansive canvas, perfecting his perspective and proportion with the established grid technique of working. Four layers of oil paint follow, a meticulous procedure that requires patience and dedication to detail, which allow the artist the ability to achieve beautiful colours that glow as if lit up. The finished effect transmits a bright sense reminiscent of the glare off grass on a hot day, overpowering the viewer with the sensation of standing in a sunny field.

Living near the largest landfill in Malaysia triggered Fazli’s interest in the process of garbage collection and the individuals it involves. He began his research in 2009, in an approach reminiscent of method acting where he worked as a garbage collector and cleaner after certain events in an effort to understand the mind set and effect behind the task. He went on to document his findings via a series of self-portrait photographs, where he dressed in the distinctive orange uniform and posed with props including brooms against backdrops of rubbish in the actual environments where he was working. This initial self-involvement led him to painting a self-portrait of himself as the cleaner in Selepas Majlis, commenting it is a transmission of his personal experience to his audience. Indeed each image Fazli paints, from himself to the dumpsters to the glistening landscape has a carefully considered purpose, the artist excludes superfluous icons, in an effort to render his message as clearly as possible.

Fazli’s established technical practice, which highlights his incredible professional skill and natural talent as a painter, is exciting in a contemporary landscape in which young artists often turn to more experimental methods of creating art, especially when merged with highly current concepts of the environment and modern laborers. His delight in the traditional aspects of painting is evident in the large scale Selepas Majlis. The complete immersion in his subject matter, which affords the piece a heightened atmosphere, and the time intensive fabrication of the painting not only satisfy the personal challenges he sets himself as an artist but also come together to engage his audience in a progressive discourse of our modern landscape, and mark Fazli as an artist whose thrilling career trajectory is likely to be closely followed by all.

written by Zena Khan 

artist               : Mohd Fazli Othman

type                : oil on canvas

dimension      : 214 x 452 cm

price               : RM 20, 000.00


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