You are cordially invited to the opening reception of
A Solo Exhibition by
To be officiated by
3-10 & 3-13, Level 3, Intermark Mall
The Intermark, 348 Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
BEBAS is a solo exhibition by Malaysia’s well-known contemporary artist : Suhaimi Fadzir. The exhibition is open for public from 21st of March 2016 (Monday) whilst the launching night will be held on the 24th of March on Thursday, 8 PM at Artcube.
(visit our facebook page to view the artworks)
(Written by Zena Khan)
Over the span of his career, Malaysian artist Suhaimi Fadzir has drawn from a variety of influences – including the deconstructivist philosophies of Jacques Derrida, conceptualist techniques of Marcel Duchamp, formal aspects of Western art history, the history and contemporary environment of Malaysia, and his training as an architect – to create a unique blend of mixed media art he terms Archipainting. Despite being best known for this expansive, sculptural genre, in recent years, Suhaimi has been returning to experimenting with two-dimensional mixed media and painting works. His current solo, Bebas, here at Artcube Gallery, demonstrates the ease with which Suhaimi, a truly inter-disciplinary artist, is able to move between two, and three dimensions in his creative practice. At the same time, his position as a key intellectual thinker in contemporary Malaysian society is solidified, through the depth of ideas – ranging from themes of politics to society to religion – in the works presented.
Born in 1963 in Perak, Malaysia, Suhaimi originally trained as an architect at the Washington University in St Louis, Missouri. During this time, deconstructivism, as exemplified by employing shapes to distort or dislocate fundamental structural elements, emerged as a form of postmodern architecture. This influence has been strongly evident throughout Suhaimi’s artistic career. Indeed, his development of Archipainting can be seen as a fulfillment of the deconstructivist’s aim to show the construction and mergence of ideas and structures. Till today, Suhaimi maintains two studios, one in Malaysia and one in America, moving between them as he does between two and three dimensions in his art practice. He affirms that physically shifting between spaces enables him to broaden his insights on local social themes, by constantly infusing them with the discourses raised through viewing the world through different lenses. Through this layered way of working, Suhaimi manages to embody a truly cosmopolitan artist, whose works draw upon several international references, yet are infused with a strongly specific Malaysian cultural resonance.
Audiences and critics have responded well to his endeavors. Suhaimi regularly exhibits at important solo and group exhibitions, both in Malaysia and internationally. In 2012, he was awarded the Dublin Biennial Award of Excellence. Other important exhibitions he has participated in include the 12th and 13th Venice Biennale (Architecture), alongside famed photographer Ansel Adams in America, at the Saatchi Gallery, and at the GMCA I and GMCA II exhibitions in Malaysia. Critically, he has further established his relevance through the receipt of the prestigious Smithsonian Fellowship, as well the Art St Louis Residency programme, both in America. Several key artworks by Suhaimi can now be found in public and private collections in Malaysia, Korea, Ireland, China, USA, Indonesia, Singapore, UK, Japan, Philippine, Spain, Uzbekistan, Germany and Mexico.
Bebas brings together a wide selection of artworks by Suhaimi, which have been produced over the span of the past eight years. As such, the exhibition functions as a mini retrospective, highlighting a specific period of the artist’s career and documenting his progressions, technical developments, and conceptual threads, during this time. His penchant for assemblage is strongly demonstrated, particularly through the display of “Ferguson (For The People)”, Ferguson (Hands Up, Don’t Shoot)”, “Merdeka 1957” and “Kontrak Sosial”. These four mixed media wall assemblages are composed mainly from found objects, a key material Suhaimi has regularly revisited over the course of his career. Audiences will note that these works are increasingly refined from those produced during his early Archipainting experiments. The composition of each piece is more structured, drawing inspiration from classical Western paintings, as opposed to the freer, expressionist style that demarcates his earlier works. Additionally the works have a finer finish. “Ferguson (For The People)” and “Ferguson (Hands Up, Don’t Shoot)”, made up predominantly from found metal objects, are perhaps the most visually similar to Suhaimi’s earlier works. However, in being anchored by extra-large steel woks with lights below them, the works are endowed with a smoother, and more polished finish overall. Similarly, “Merdeka 1957” and “Kontrak Sosial”, which are finished in dominantly-white palettes, show Suhaimi’s progression of Archipainting into an increasingly sleek, contemporary direction, echoing the refinement of society at large.
“Ferguson (For The People)”, “Ferguson (Hands Up, Don’t Shoot)”, “Merdeka 1957” and “Kontrak Sosial” feel like natural starting points from which to begin intellectually navigating Bebas. Not only do they assert Suhaimi’s creativity in inventing a genre, Archipainting, but also the elements in their compositions have had a strong influence that can be tracked throughout the rest of this exhibition. The razor blades that fill the backgrounds of “Merdeka 1957” and “Kontrak Sosial”, are again visible in “Angin Senja”, “Hadirnya Dendam Bila Sabar Sudah Tiada Di Hati”, “Allah Is The Light Of The Heavens And The Earth (Orange)”, “Allah Is The Light Of The Heavens And The Earth (Green)” “Allah Is The Light Of The Heavens And The Earth (Purple)”, juxtaposed against mixed media backgrounds, overlaid with print and neon lights. In presenting these works within the same space, in a singular exhibition, the gallerists’ communicate not only the artist’s development over time, but also that of assemblage within contemporary Malaysian art.
It enabling audiences to follow the more critical developments of Suhaimi’s practice over time, a weight is lent to Bebas as being an intellectual space in which he can raise discourse on subjects close to him, while demonstrating his technical mastery. This is clearly exemplified in “Allah Is The Light Of The Heavens And The Earth (Orange)”, “Allah Is The Light Of The Heavens And The Earth (Green)” and “Allah Is The Light Of The Heavens And The Earth (Purple)”, from the Jawi/Neon series, where Suhaimi simultaneously expands on his experimentations with neon lights and calligraphy. Over printed backgrounds filled with razor blades, Suhaimi personally inscribes calligraphy of verses from Surah An-Nur. The verses hold personal significance for the artist, who was introduced to their magnitude through an alternative medicine man, with whom he spent time. The calligraphy is repeated in neon lights that mimic Suhaimi’s own Arabic writing, and are affixed to clear Perspex panels overlaying the pieces. Steel cookware, such as saucepans and pots, are arranged in a neat box across the bottom third of each piece, creating a visual link back to “Ferguson (Hands Up, Don’t Shoot)” and the artist’s penchant for metallic found objects. As a mixed media artist, Suhaimi demonstrates an innate understanding of the need to carefully structure his works through the use of several layers. The base of “Allah Is The Light Of The Heavens And The Earth (Orange)”, “Allah Is The Light Of The Heavens And The Earth (Green)” and “Allah Is The Light Of The Heavens And The Earth (Purple)”, are initially primed with black and white imprints of luxury brand logos, seemingly as a nod to the materialization of increasingly affluent societies, such as Malaysia. He links these works visually to “Hishammuddin Hussein Onn”, by repeating these prints as the initial layer on the artwork’s surface.
A large-scale triptych, “Hishammuddin Hussein Onn” is a nod to the three generations of the Onn family who have been pivotal to Malaysian politics since Independence. Each canvas features a large painted portrait – the first is of Onn Jaafar, founder of UMNO, the next is his son, Tun Hussein Onn, the third prime minister of Malaysia, and the last is of Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, the current Malaysian Minister of Defence. Over the printed logos, Suhaimi prints a scaled-down mix of the three portraits, before painting over them with expressive double layers of faces that give each canvas a sense of movement. In painting the portraits of these members of one of the country’s most prominent political dynasties, in an expressive, contemporary style, Suhaimi nods to historical traditions of depicting influential figures while expanding the canon of Malaysian contemporary painting.
“Hishammuddin Hussein Onn” is from the Merdeka series, which explores personal observations of nationalism, the Malaysian constitution, and social contract, as well as political issues. ‘Merdeka’, the Malay term for ‘independence’, commonly denotes Malaysia’s independence from the powers of colonial Britain. As such, these works are meant to explore the Malaysian constitution in terms of the original structure; that is, what it was meant to convey and subsequent interpretations in modern times. The other work included in Bebas from this series, “Standing Tall (RAHMAN)”, clearly depicts this through detailed layering of images, portraits and text. At 42 feet long, this work weaves an intricate narrative on the “Rahman Myth” alongside a discussion on the successful policies by previous Malaysia leaders that have propelled Malaysia into prominent economic and political positions on the global stage. The “Rahman Myth” suggested that the initial letter of the first six Malaysian prime ministers would come together to spell RAHMAN. Suhaimi questions whether the foretelling of this anagram was a myth or coincidence, given the fact that it has actually come to pass. From this, he goes on to ruminate on the contributions of each of the six prime ministers to Malaysia, in particular Tun Abdul Razak, who is often referred to as “Bapa Pembangunan”. Several of Tun Razak’s policies, such as the New Economic Policy, which was focused on the eradication of poverty and social construction through rural development and education, have been major contributing factors to the increased urbanization, development and affluence witnessed by Malaysians today. With a complex layering of collages, acrylic, emulsion, and medium transfer, Suhaimi brings together key images, symbols, and points that speak to the impact of these six prime ministers, in an aesthetic that a contemporary audience can connect to with ease.
In presenting a cross-section of works by Suhaimi from the past eight years, Bebas enables viewers to understand the artist’s creative progressions – technical, creative, and conceptual. As such, this exhibition situates Suhaimi within the context of the Malaysian contemporary art movement, as a key innovative figure, who continues to make important contributions to the canons of Malaysian art history.
BENCHMARK is a group exhibition comprises the works of five Malaysian contemporary artists; Hamir Soib, Masnoor Ramli Mahmud, Zulkifli Yusoff, Abdullah Jones and Abdullah Hamdan. The exhibition is open for public from 5th of February 2016 until 5th of March 2016 whilst the launching night will be held on the 18th of February on Thursday, 8 PM at Artcube. The Opening of the show will be officiated by our guest of honour, Puan Nori Abdullah.
(visit our facebook page to see the Artworks)
In contemporary societies, the role of the artist is considered crucial for cultural, political and social discourse. Understanding critical contemporary art to act as a mirror of contemporary culture, it offers a rich resource for society to reflect upon, as it considers ideas and rethinks the familiar. Socio-political art in particular has been an important part of the visual landscape for centuries, a way to challenge authority, and rethink social conventions, as has historically been seen in the works of luminaries such as Francisco Goya. Developing this thread of thought with updated and experimental mediums, contemporary artists encourage reflection and analysis, thus promoting intellectualism within society. Indeed, this trait is clearly apparent in the paintings of Hamir Soib. A titan of contemporary Malaysian art, Hamir has witnessed, and encouraged sweeping change in thought and behavior within the contemporary art world, with his large-scale witty observations of events within the rapidly evolving social landscapes of our time.
As a result of the scale and detail of his paintings, Hamir’s works are relatively singular. Accordingly, the opportunity to view a compilation of his paintings within a single exhibition is a rare treat. On the rare occasion he has had a solo exhibition, for example 2005’s Pameran Tunggal, they have gone on to be recognized as key markers within the timeline of Malaysian art history. Not only have Hamir’s solos marked new developments within his portfolio, but also they have acted as an indication of neoteric movements within the contemporary Malaysian art market. This can be attributed to a combination of his astute analytical and innovative abilities, as well as his far-reaching influence over the next generation of artists. These threads are again apparent here in Benchmark, where Hamir presents a selection of five important pieces. Created over the past year and a half, “Al-Fatihah”, “The Gatekeeper”, “Beban”, “Wasted Energy I” and “Wasted Energy II”, span a wide variety of established and inventive techniques, thoughts on culture and politics. As such, viewers are provided with a much-anticipated insight into the creative growth of arguably Malaysia’s favourite contemporary painter.
Centering this compilation are national, economic and political seam lines. Despite being painted within a singular timeframe, this collection appears split between two distinct styles. While four of the paintings are filled with perfectly detailed surreal imagery, “Al-Fatihah” is a monolithic example of the contemporary calligraphy style Hamir has been instrumental in popularizing. These two opposing visuals are bound together however, by the artist’s trademark responses to the socio-political landscape of current times. Consequently, these five paintings come together as a dynamic response to the changes in Malaysian society, raising critical discussions and promoting debate on subjects and histories in real time.
Hamir’s 2014 canvas “The Hot Seat” can be studied as a precursor to these new paintings. Despite the dreamy imagery of a riderless golden horse set against a starry night sky, “The Hot Seat” was a searing insight into Malaysian politics. Linking international events such as America’s pivot to Asia, the war in Gaza and the Russian and Ukrainian crisis with the unprecedented aviation disasters of MH 370 and MH 17, Hamir outlined 2014 as a year that saw Malaysia in a precarious political position. Often, these kinds of local struggles and superpower manoeuvres can lead to external and internal forces inciting unrest, resulting in colour-coded revolutions, as Thailand and Ukraine can testify to. The key to surmounting such issues, and making the choices that will lead the country to greatness lies with the leader, commented Hamir, as he has the final say on governance, diplomatic and economic policies. A cherry-red saddle seat acts as a metaphor for the desirable position of Prime Minister of a country that is literally made of gold, due to its abundant natural resources and a strategic geographical position. In a humorous play on the title and local political stratagems the ‘hot’ seat is twisted and warped from the heat it emanates, acting as a caution to approach the seat of power with care and respect.
Over the last year, Hamir has expanded on the ideas founded in “The Hot Seat”. He observes the split factions within society – political, social, racial and economic – attempting to articulate the cause of their emergence. “Beban”, “Wasted Energy I” and “Wasted Energy II”, are a direct visual response to ongoing socio-political issues the artist observes. Painted in a flawless realist style, these three works feature protective symbolisms, in the form of a metal diving suit, life raft and life vest respectively. However there is a twist in each visual, gently unsettling the canvases and sparking off points of discourse.
In “Beban”, the deep-sea diver is on land, with flames licking the edges of his metallic suit. A freshwater fish is detailed swimming in the diver’s helmet, which jars against the saltwater ocean depths where divers require such suits. There is a sense that the diver is in the wrong place, an idea carried over in “Wasted Energy II”. The perfectly detailed life vest, with long straps and a whistle, looks functioning. However, it is shown submerged underwater, where it is rendered useless, much like the raft in “Wasted Energy I”. At first glance, it appears to be an attractive, realist depiction of an object. Closer inspection reveals the raft has been nailed down at the top. The inclusion of the tiny nail completely transforms the boat’s functionality, explaining the slight sense of unease viewers feel despite the piece’s perfect finish. By achieving his aim to unsettle his audience, Hamir raises the issue of angst swirling around Malaysian society today, gently prompting viewers to reassess preconceived notions of the relationships between the individual, society and government. He questions, if society wants to continue on the paternalistic political path they are used to, where they place heavy expectations on the government, or if citizens are instead ready to begin accepting increased responsibility for themselves and contributing back to society at large for the greater good of all?
The works presented here are reflective of the skills Hamir has been developing over the last five years. “Beban” is a continued experimentation of his metallurgy paintings, as has been most recently seen in “The Hot Seat”, while “Wasted Energy I” and “Wasted Energy II” are a follow on of the perfect detailing from the Polo series. It is in “The Gatekeeper” however that viewers are shown several of Hamir’s signature styles in a single canvas. A large-scale work, it incorporates several of his most well known elements. Painted in bitumen, a notoriously difficult medium of which Hamir is considered the undisputed master, it involves intensive layering, resulting in the hidden images that emerge throughout, leading to a dreamy, gothic narrative on ideas of cultural gatekeeping.
Conceptually, “The Gatekeeper” mixes personal and wider social undertones. Hamir points out that as one aims for success on any front, there are members of the old guard jealously guarding the established status quo that need to be bypassed. By passing the gatekeeper is next to impossible, and often times they try to press others down in order to retain a dominant position. This can be linked back to the Malaysian art industry and the early years of Hamir’s career. In the 1990’s there was a strong focus on modernist artworks, with a general penchant for abstract pieces in four foot squared dimensions. Hamir broke out of this mould with his monolithic canvases filled with figurative visuals, often underscored by darkly humorous connotations. Despite his unquestionable talent, he struggled for several years within the conventional confines of the art world, which was reluctant to allow for such a dynamic, and drastic new movement. The gatekeeper is not pictured as triumphant however; here he is shown crouched on all fours, clutching a large sack as he slinks along with termites crawling around him. Audiences are left with the impression that no matter how hard he tries, he is unable to stem the march of progress, and is thus left behind in a bitter, twisted position. This parallels the local art industry, which through the emergence of private galleries and collectors, has embraced both Hamir and the critical contemporary movement, leaving archaic institutions far behind.
Rounding off this new collective of works is “Al-Fatihah”, Hamir’s largest in-depth calligraphy painting to date. Spanning an impressive sixteen feet in length, “Al-Fatihah” again deals with dual issues, personal and social. Hamir has spent a large portion of the last few years developing a strong contemporary calligraphy portfolio, commenting that his calligraphic works mark a personal journey into understanding the tenants of his religion and spirituality. At the same time, “Al-Fatihah” continues his commentary on the socio-political landscape of Malaysia today. As the country progresses and becomes richer, so has religion emerged as an increasingly potent force. Due to the advent of social media platforms, the masses are able to witness firsthand the opulent life lived by those who benefitted economically from Malaysia’s rapid development. Naturally this leads into questions of materialism versus spirituality, leading to an increased prominence of the role of religion in society. “Al-Fatihah” is imbibed with a talismanic quality, which neatly ties it in with the iconography present in “Beban”, “Wasted Energy I” and “Wasted Energy II”. The appearance of the phrase “Ihdina’s-sirata’l-mustaqim” (Guide us on the straight path) bisecting the expansive emerald green canvas clearly identifies the prayer. The remaining six lines from the prayer have been painted in layers over the canvas, one at a time, in an amazing display of technical prowess.
It is interesting to note that in an art industry largely dominated by talented and successful multi-disciplinary artists, Hamir has emerged as the favourite talent of a generation, with a portfolio devoted exclusively to painting. This speaks volumes to his mastery over his medium, as well as the experimentations and new developments within painting in Malaysia he has been crucial in developing. Through his immeasurable depth of concept and imagination, coupled with this bold, innovative handling of paint, audiences are able to understand how Hamir single-handedly captures the attention of the entire art industry, while providing a model for artists of later generations. As such, this rare collective of works are certain to go down in the canons of Malaysian art history as an exciting moment in the progression of the local art industry.
Masnoor Ramli Mahmud
Masnoor Ramli’s series Moulding The History is probably best described as a continuous examination on notions of politics, myths and events that personally fascinate the artist himself. By examining such ideas and framing them within a distinctly Malaysian context, Masnoor has demonstrated time and again his position as a key intellectual of our contemporary times. He reinforces this position with his latest piece from this important series, “Moulding The History – Mother Earth Mother Love”.
A long work measuring approximately eight feet by two feet “Moulding The History – Mother Earth Mother Love” is produced in Masnoor’s inventive photo print on aluminium style. The artist first unveiled this new medium in his celebrated 2014 solo Aviation, and has since gone on to rework and refine what is becoming a signature style in his multi-disciplinary practice. Printing images and photographs on a matte finished aluminium, he achieves an almost mythical quality through an experimental process. Usually the printing of images requires four base colours, but Masnoor cuts this down to three. By using the natural grey of the aluminium as a substitute for white, he lessens the intensity of his palette, while retaining the aluminium’s textural quality. As such, “Moulding The History – Mother Earth Mother Love” is imbibed with a dream-like quality that perfectly communicates Masnoor’s melodic, philosophical character.
Masnoor communicates a fascination between Heaven and Earth, or the tangible and intangible, using a NASA photoprint of the landscape on Mars as a starting point. Born in the 1960’s, Masnoor grew up in a generation where space exploration was a new and exciting phenomenon. The galaxy and other planets held an inexplicable, mysterious quality that has not lessened for the artist through scientific discoveries and new developments. Rather, he feels confronted by ever increasing questions, theories and possibilities. Recognising the photoprint sent by Viking 1, when it first landed on Mars as a milestone in scientific advancement, he investigates the reasons behind mankind’s unending desire to conquer new spaces, linking it to historic discoveries of New Lands by explorers such as Christopher Columbus. In doing so, he uncovers an inherent colonial tendency within mankind, situated alongside a desire for possibility and hope. As such, he blurs the dualities present within humans, much as the dualities between Heaven and Earth are increasingly blurred, in a commentary on the often-oppositional elements within a single existence.
In his essay Fascination From The Beginning Of Mankind, Alexander Soucek theories that astronomy and space travel are crucial cultural achievements, due to its demonstration of technological advancements and ability to feed intangible fascinations inherent in mankind. Certainly, the unknown realms of the universe hold an allure that navigates all cultures and generations. As such, “Moulding The History – Mother Earth Mother Love” can be seen as marrying together, highly current content with a technical finesse to reaffirm Masnoor’s position as a favourite within the Malaysian contemporary art world today.
In art, symbols are incorporated as solid visual representations of ideas or concepts that would otherwise be tricky to characterize. In contemporary art, symbols included from both popular culture as well as traditional icons easily categorize an artist’s heritage, his views and attitude and immediately open up forums for debate on their hypothesis of contemporary society. Noted international artists with this ability include Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Keith Haring, while in Malaysia, one of the most popular contemporary artists who incorporate vivid cultural iconography and symbolism, is the celebrated Zulkifli Yusoff.
An eminent artist who successfully works across the mediums of painting, sculpture and installation, Zulkifli has won many major awards. In both 1988 and 1989, he was presented with the Major Award for Young Contemporaries at the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, and in 1992 he gathered three prizes at the third Salon, the Grand Minister’s Prize, Major Award and Consolation Prize for sculpture, and also won an Honourable Mention in Painting in 1995 at the Philip Morris Awards. Zulkifli has been invited to participate in several important international exhibitions, most notably at the Venice Biennale in 1997. He has also shown at the Biennale of Visual Arts in Seychelles, the Fukuoka Asian Art Exhibition in Japan, Immunity 11 show at Art Space, Sydney and the First Asia-Pacific Triennale in Brisbane, Australia. Major international institutions, including the Fukuoka Museum of Art, and Hiroshima Art Museum in Japan and the Singapore Museum and Gallery, as well as local institutions such as Bank Negara Malaysia and the Kedah State Gallery, collect his work.
Referencing his ever-changing environment and issues, through an intense research-based practice, is the cornerstone of Zulkifli’s practice, as is evident in his Green Book series. This series is a continued exploration on the rhetoric and policies of Malaysia’s second Prime Minister, Tun Razak, which began with the series Tun Razak Speeches. His new works “Mari Kita Ke Ladang (Buku Hijau Series)” and “Berbakti Kepada Bumi (Buku Hijau Series)” follow on from 2014’s installation “Tun Razak Speech Series – The Green Book” in producing a contemporary narrative on the Green Book policies implemented by Tun Razak in the 1970’s. At the time, Malaysia’s economy was heavily dependent on the rubber industry, which was faced with an international price depression. Tun Razak recognized the need to create new economic avenues, and the agricultural initiative of The Green Book was launched. Zulkifli speaks to this historic precedent of economic diversification, which is a highly relevant conversation today. Under the stewardship of prime minister Najib Razak, Malaysia has again been seeing the implementation of several policies to ensure a sustainable and inclusive growth. As such, these works act as prime example of Zulkifli’s penchant for reinterpreting historical texts and events within a contemporary framework, so as to encourage intellectual discourse within society.
Technically, “Mari Kita Ke Ladang (Buku Hijau Series)” and “Berbakti Kepada Bumi (Buku Hijau Series)” are a refinement of the strip collage technique Zulkifli began developing with his seminal installation “Pendita”. This pair of mixed media triptychs is made up of fiberglass and epoxy resin, laid over fabric and canvas. While monochromatic palettes and neat linear compositions demarcate Zulkifli’s early strip canvas works, “Mari Kita Ke Ladang (Buku Hijau Series)” and “Berbakti Kepada Bumi (Buku Hijau Series)” feature intricate grid-based compositions and increasingly vibrant colours. The central panel of each work features a sculpted resin dome, inset with images of livestock and agriculture, while the borders on each panel, feature further such collaged images and texts such as jagung and ikan. This stark symbolism directly ties the two works in to the policies, texts and visions of The Green Book, seamlessly merging Zulkifli’s concepts and aesthetics.
Zulkifli strives to use his position as an acclaimed artist to propagate the values he holds in high regard such as patriotism and social awareness, as well as awareness on current and historical issues. His practice has evolved over the last two decades from a raw, slightly loose application, to a super-refined and intricately-detailed practice, mirroring his growing confidence and recognition both internationally and locally, as a vital component in Malaysia for the resonance of his creative practice within society, as is demonstrated here in “Mari Kita Ke Ladang (Buku Hijau Series)” and “Berbakti Kepada Bumi (Buku Hijau Series)”.
“Cakap Pasal Outside” and “Patriot Tak Reti Bahasa” are two new paintings by the Malaysian contemporary painter Abdullah Jones. Measuring five feet by six and a half feet each, these brightly coloured acrylic on canvas pieces are a wonderful mix of solemnity and humor. Worked in the artist’s signature expressive style, they form the basis of a new series for the artist, with sock puppets as a central icon.
Born in April 1964, Abdullah lives and works in Kuantan, Pahang. His place in the critical sphere of Malaysian contemporary is evident through his key involvement in the artist-run space Rajawali Art Studio, as well as his participation in several exhibitions. Abdullah has presented work not only locally, at exhibitions such as Gabung at Pahang State Art Gallery and Saudagar Cinta at Pahang State Art Museum, but also internationally in shows such as Un-Cut at Gallery Shambala in Copenhagen, and The Outsider Art at Octane Photographic Studio/Gallery in Ferndale, Minnesota. The attention Abdullah receives is in large part due to the critically questioning nature behind his paintings, presented in highly attractive, expressive aesthetics, as seen here in “Cakap Pasal Outside” and “Patriot Tak Reti Bahasa”.
With these new works, Abdullah aims to examine a series of current issues he observes affecting contemporary society. It is interesting to note that by living and working in the East Coast, he chooses to base himself in the heartland of Malay culture. In a post-colonialist environment such as Malaysia, he thus demonstrates an awareness of valuing one’s own culture as society re-establishes identity in the post-colonial era. This subject is strongly hinted at in “Patriot Tak Reti Bahasa”, whose title translates into “A patriot not understanding Bahasa (Malay)”. Language is central in uniting a nation and providing national identity, particularly in a multi-ethnic environment. Additionally, establishing Malay as the national language restores a sense of dignity to Malaysian citizens after a long period of being ruled by the British, who used English as a tool in suppressing the indigenous during colonization. In comprehending the role of language to patriotism, Abdullah thus questions the validity of identifying as a Malaysian, should one be unable to communicate in Malaysia’s national language.
Part of Abdullah’s success in establishing a strong rapport with his audience lays in the humorous tone his aesthetic offers. He softens the potentially sharp, stinging message of his paintings by incorporating a playful icon, that of the sock puppet. The inclusion of a childlike element is reminiscent of the works of pioneering Malaysian artist Zulkifli Dahlan. A strong influence on Abdullah, Zulkifli was fond of exploring social issues through cartoons and caricatures in works such as “Kedai-Kedai” (1973). Abdullah recognized the tension that results from merging contrasting whimsical and somber elements as being highly reflective of the issues swirling throughout contemporary society, resulting in these satirical, self-deprecating paintings.
“Cakap Pasal Outside” and “Patriot Tak Reti Bahasa” form the basis of a new series for Abdullah, as the artist continues to explore the state of contemporary society through a highly critical lens. Brightly coloured, thought provoking, expressive and filled with humor, they are an accurate reflection both of Abdullah himself, as well as his inspired artistic practice.
One of the assets of mixed media art is the versatility and beauty that can be achieved through the intense layering necessary in its production. In bringing together several mediums, textures and layers, this genre is a favourite for contemporary artists to visually communicate complex conceptual thoughts, particularly those of a socio-political nature. Pahang-based artist Abdullah Hamdan, who is part of the Rajawali artist collective, beautifully exemplifies this with his latest piece, “Golden Hearts”.A long work that measures three feet by twelve feet, “Golden Hearts” represents a new and experimental technical direction for Abdullah. While the artist is known for his carefully composed realist paintings, this triptych branches out into new territories, with the use of plastic toys, collage, acrylic and aerosol spray on canvas. While there is still a prominent painted element, in the form of the Malaysian flag that covers the centre panel, it differs from his usual practice of painting figures. The flag is flanked on either side by homochromatic white canvases swarming with tiny toy soldiers. Despite the vastly different aesthetic of this new piece, audiences familiar with Abdullah’s work can draw parallels between the artist’s previous painting-based practice and “Golden Hearts”, through his skilled compositional skills. The careful consideration with which Abdullah places the figure in his paintings has resulted in a training of composition, that is vital in mixed media art. As mixed media works are the result of a careful buildup of layers, the decision of each structural element’ placement is key in achieving a successful work. By branching out into this new genre, Abdullah builds on his existing skills to challenge his own creativity, while expanding his repertoire.
Abdullah’s progression into a new medium stems from his observations of the relationship between medium and message in contemporary art. Placing value on both aesthetic as well as content, he has investigated new ways of communicating visually with his audience. As is suggested by the prominence of the Malaysian flag, “Golden Hearts” explores themes of nationalism and patriotism. By placing the flag between swarms of white soldiers, Abdullah speaks about the two key elements he feels are central to the existence of patriotism. The first is the subject that generates such emotion, such as the national flag, and the second is the individuals who respond to the rallying symbol. The staff numbers of Malaysian policemen killed during the Bukit Kepong Incident stamped horizontally across the flag, further represents these patriotic ideals. A confrontation with the Malayan Communist Party during the Malayan Emergency in 1950, the Bukit Kepong Incident was seen as a rallying point that strengthened the resolve of the Malayan government and people in the fight against communist insurgency. It is interesting to note that much as in the style of “Flag” by Jasper Johns, Abdullah seemingly wraps the center canvas in the image of his flag, presenting his audience with the choice to view it as either a flag or a painting. By changing the presentation of such a familiar symbol central to Malaysian identity, Abdullah gently raises the question of patriotism and nationalism within society at large today.
It is interesting to note that the two Rajawali artists presented h
Invalid Displayed Gallery
Bacalah is the first exhibition by Mohd Noor Mahmud, popularly known as Mat Nor, since the presentation of his seminal 2014 series, Siri Rasa Bertuhan. The exhibition features two multi-panel mixed media paintings based on two Muslim prayers: Surah Al-Alaq (Iqra’) and Surah Al-Fatihah. Translating into ‘read’, Bacalah is an apt title for an exhibition centered on the presentation of text-based works. With these contemporary calligraphy pieces, Mat Nor continues to redefine the shifting constructs of Malay-Muslim identity, packaging it in a way that resonates with a new generation of Malaysians entering the twenty-first century.
A LOOK BACK
A Kelantanese artist, Mat Nor has long drawn on his cultural identity for inspiration in his mixed media practice. From the beginning of his artistic career, he has looked at the craft traditions of Malaysia’s East Coast as a springboard into exploring ideas of the effects of globalization and contemporizing heritage. The symbol he turns most often to in this effort is batik, as has been seen since his inaugural series Siri Imajan. A key body of works in the development of Malaysian contemporary art, Siri Imajan explored the effect of globalization and an increasingly homogenous Western identity on cultural strongholds such as Kelantan. Showcasing a switch in the daily uniform from batik to denim jeans, Mat Nor spoke about the anthropological role textile traditions have in documenting history. In the process, he introduced batik as a key part of his visual vocabulary, setting the stage for a career-spanning signature.
Another signature developed during the Siri Imajan period was that of Mat Nor’s highly textured canvases. During the artist’s early period, he achieved texture mostly through the use of paper mache, pasted over large areas of canvas. However, in the vein of all successful mixed media artists, Mat Nor consistently conducts extensive investigations into the effects of various mediums. Such innovative research has always allowed the artist to set himself apart from his peers visually, and led to the textural sawdust, acrylic and glue compositions that make up the foundation of the works presented here at Bacalah.
A technique first explored during the production of his Siri Gua series, Mat Nor’s highly-textured, sawdust-based aesthetic gained prominence with Siri Rasa Bertuhan. Audiences were enthralled by the finely detailed, multi-coloured facades bearing the Divine Names of Allah. In Iqra’ and Al-Fatihah, Mat Nor continues working with this relief-like base, beginning with a gummy blend of sawdust and glue, slathered over a primed surface. At the end, he adds paint, until a thick, marbled layer is achieved. The result is a soft foundation, similar to a viscous paste, which is easily impressionable. Mat Nor imprints batik patterns into this wet surface using antique copper batik ‘chops’ from his personal archive, in a process mirroring the batik textile production that is a crucial cottage industry for Kelantan.
By drawing a parallel between the traditional batik production method and his contemporary process, Mat Nor encourages his audience to view traditional craft through the lens of postmodern thinking. As such, this examination creates an engagement of heritage and contemporary creativity, and in the process enriches a national cultural artifact with a sense of belonging to current audiences. Mat Nor understands the importance of this linkage in documenting Malay-Muslim culture today, and achieves it through the use of his antique batik chops. The stamps themselves are made up of pretty floral patterns in copper, yet the artist utilizes them in a novel way, so that their appearance is almost abstract. Through cropping and the creation of new compositions, he imbibes the well-known floral representations with a quality viewers are not accustomed to. A resulting visual conflict is instrumental in drawing the audience in for a closer look, causing the reconsideration of a once familiar image and the position of heritage in current times.
IQRA’ AND AL-FATIHAH
Mat Nor’s exploration of Malay identity has recently been extended to include the community’s ethno-religious characteristics with the introduction of calligraphy. Calligraphy is a popular icon in infusing an Islamic identity into art. After all, the written word has always been at the center of Islamic visual culture. Arabic text first appeared in Mat Nor’s portfolio with the series Siri Rasa Bertuhan, and since then he has quickly established himself as a forerunner of the contemporary calligraphy genre in Malaysia. Malaysian artists are unique internationally, in their ability to extend the artistic potential of calligraphy beyond that of a legible word; rather they use it as a pictorial element to reference a multitude of issues. Mat Nor demonstrated this beautifully in Siri Rasa Bertuhan, using the Asmaul Husna (the Divine Names of Allah) to study religion and gratitude, as well as the dynamics of Islam and Malay culture. He resumes this thread now with the production of the two new body of works shown at Bacalah: Iqra’ and Al-Fatihah.
As a continuation of an earlier concept, there are some familiarities within these two new pieces for those acquainted with Mat Nor’s practice. However, having perfected his calligraphic technique through the five-year production of the 101 works embodying Siri Rasa Bertuhan, he now pushes himself to work in a more complex technical, and conceptual vein. Each of the two titles consists of several canvases; Iqra’ is made up of five and Al-Fatihah is made up of seven. The number of panels corresponds directly to the number of lines within the two prayers that inspired this body of work. Whereas his earlier calligraphy works simply featured a single name inscribed across their center, Mat Nor now writes out entire sentences in challenging compositions. It is crucial at this junction to remember that Mat Nor declares himself to be a painter, not a calligrapher, pointing to his method to substantiate this differentiate. Calligraphy tends to be written in a fluid, free-hand stroke. Mat Nor deviates from this by painting his text with the use of large stencils, handmade from thick cardboards. As his confidence has grown, so have his compositions become increasingly decorative and complex, demonstrating a mastery over his self-developed calligraphic process.
Each of the two prayers the artist has chosen plays an integral role in the history and practice of Islam. Iqra’ features the first five lines from Surah Al-Alaq. Beginning with the command “Iqra!” or “Read!”, they form the first of the Divine Revelations received by Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) as he meditated in Cave Hira’ during the month of Ramadan. These five lines contain several valuable pieces of information for Muslims, beginning with the commandment from which Islam is established. These lines give the cognizance of Allah, as the single Creator and Lord, who granted the power of thought and sense to mankind. Coupling this information with the fact that the first word revealed is ‘read’, further determines the value on knowledge and educating oneself in Islam, verifying the religion as an enlightened one.
Al-Fatihah, as its title suggests is based on the Al-Fatihah prayer. A succinct seven sentences, it is the first chapter of the Quran and often referred to as “The Opening”. Indeed, on a practical level this is an apt description, as the Al-Fatihah serves as the opening prayer of the Quran, the first prayer recited in each raka’at (cycle) of the daily prayers, as well as several other everyday occurrences in a Muslim’s life. There is a deeper meaning to the epithet however, as the Al-Fatihah is also viewed as a conversation between a believer and Allah, an idea Mat Nor alludes to, by inscribing each line on a separate canvas.
The practice of keeping calligraphy in the home by Muslims, traditionally serves both decorative, as well as talismanic purposes. There is a belief that seeing, touching or reading the word of Allah will protect a person from evil, and act as a conduit for good fortune and blessings. Talismans are sometimes also charged with not only shielding, but also guiding. Mat Nor explores this aspect by choosing two key prayers that reinforce opening oneself up to accept faith. Indeed, Muslims are often reminded of their ability to make conscious decisions, such as accepting Allah, and deciding to practice their religion, and this is an underlying concept in both Surah Al-Alaq and Al-Fatihah. In depicting these two verses over a series of canvases, the artist encourages his viewer to stop and reflect, on the meaning and intent behind each individual sentence, thus fulfilling the spiritual obligation set to calligraphers.
Mat Nor presents to his audience, two of the most famous Islamic phrases in a recognizably Malay context, through the use of colour, texture and pattern, via a highly contemporary technical process. In creating his signature batik-infused textural surfaces, he endows each panel with an individual identity due. Mat Nor chooses vivid shades for his backgrounds, that wouldn’t typically be selected to sit together when using the scholastic fundamentals of colour theory. This colour clash comes together beautifully, representing a typically Kelantanese attitude to colour. By merging his conventional craft techniques and religious identity, and then juxtaposing it against a contemporary artistic practice, Mat Nor articulates the ethno-religious identification of the Malays, and their position in an increasingly borderless world.
And that is all that is included.
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Bacalah by Mohd Noor Mahmud.
The Malaysian contemporary art market is booming as never before. Malaysian contemporary artists have always been quick to achieve fantastic critical success, both locally and internationally, and this has steadily been translating into immense commercial success. Following the laws of economics, the primary market is becoming tighter as works by major bankable artists such as Ahmad Shukri, Husin Hourmain, Tan Chin Kuan, Eng Hwee Chu or Zulkifli Yusoff are scarce due to the increasing clamor from collectors both private and institutional. Currently, collectors are looking to fill the gaps in their collections with key pieces, giving rise to a secondary market. It is here Artcube looks to step in and expertly guide the public via thoroughly researched and documented exhibitions and sales devoted to the development of a strong secondary market for Malaysian contemporary art.
In the short space of time since their 2013 launch, Artcube has been garnering a reputation as the dominant gallery for high end, critically acclaimed contemporary art. Artists they have represented such as Shooshie Sulaiman and Hamir Soib are seeing a dramatic increase in the value of their works, aided by recognition from international galleries, museums and collections. The access Artcube has to both artists and collectors gives them a keen insight into the values and trends dominating the market. Currently, fledgling auction houses cover Malaysia’s secondary art market. Artcube now looks to utilize their knowledge on the artists themselves coupled with a finely honed foresight into bolstering this new branch of the industry. The precise valuations from the gallery’s operational advantage act as a source of comfort for participants of this new market segment.
The insatiable demand for contemporary art presents an interesting dilemma to collectors both new and established. Access to pieces by established artists is difficult, often the works are snapped up shortly after entering the market. Even when new works become available, collectors are faced with the challenge of rounding off their collections with past major works, which are already out of circulation on the primary market. To counter this, Artcube aims to host one to two expertly curated secondary sales a year.
This first sale features several pieces that are deemed museum-quality. Amongst them are Ahmad Shukri’s mixed media work Wasiat For Sale Or Rent Series II. The rarity of this large 2008 piece from one of Shukri’s most acclaimed series, coupled with the artist’s current popularity, mark it out as a great addition to any Shukri collection. Excitingly, the gallery shows two early paintings by Eng Hwee Chu. 1991’s Black Moon 11 is from her game-changing series Black Moon, which has been extensively collected by major art institutions, and 1997’s Christ In My Life is widely regarded as one of Hwee Chu’s most significant paintings. Audiences are treated to Blue Night 7-Reborn by Tan Chin Kuan, whose other pieces from the Blue Night series hang in major institutions in Malaysia, Japan and Singapore. Another important find by Artcube is Layer Series Luminosity – Reproducing by the father of contemporary Malaysian art, Fauzan Omar. Not only are Fauzan’s early works scarce, paintings from the Luminosity series are almost impossible to come by. Considering the influence Fauzan has exerted over the contemporary art scene, not only through his ground breaking efforts in the field of mixed media but also as mentor to successful artists such as Shukri and Mohd Noor Mahmud, the appearance of Layer Series Luminosity – Reproducing is unquestionably attractive for serious collectors and institutions. Other paintings that hold great value to collectors are Husin Hourmain’s calligraphies from his stunning sell-out solo Awal Hurouf, Asal Hurouf, Heavenly Smoker by Ali Nurazmal and Zulkifli Yusoff’s trio of paintings from New Negaraku series. Alongside Wasiat For Sale Or Rent Series II hang works by the three other members of Matahati who have gone on to mass critical and commercial acclaim, the hauntingly beautiful Frozen by Hamir Soib, SCREAM!… and KEEP SCREAMING!! by Masnoor Ramli Mahmud and the audience delighting Leap of Faith by Ahmad Fuad Osman.
Studying trends it seems art markets operate on economic models that consider factors other than supply and demand. Art is bought and sold for values based on its cultural value, past monetary value and predicted future value. A thorough understanding of where each artist sits in the industry plus in depth knowledge on rapid developments are important for both buyers and sellers to be confident when entering the relatively new secondary market. Artcube’s abilities to identify, source and accurately value paintings such as the ones in this exhibit proves their dedication to developing the portfolios of their client base and affords them the reputation of being the dominant force in the secondary market for acquiring works of true value. Given the impeccable quality and pedigree of this first secondary sale, they are truly the new benchmark for Malaysia’s exploding secondary contemporary art market.
written by Zena Khan
Siri Rasa Bertuhan
Karya seni pelukis Mohd Noor Mahmud berkait rapat dengan tradisi kraf Kelantan. Seni Kelantan memberi pengaruh kuat kepada kebudayaan Malaysia seperti batik, kain songket, pertukangan perak dan ukiran kayu. Pengaruh budaya kraf ini telah menajdi sebati digunakan oleh Mohd Noor dalam kerjayanya. Bermula dengan karya seni pertama beliau iaitu Siri Imaian (1988), Sekebun Bunga III (2013), Alun III (2013) dan karya terbaru, Siri Rasa Bertuhan yang mempersembahkan 99 nama Allah SWT.
Pameran ini dijangka akan diadakan pada Mac nanti di Galeri Artcube, The Intermark, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.
Jumlah karya yang dihasilkan kali ini adalah sebanyak 99 buah. Mohd Noor menghasilkan setiap satu nama Allah ke atas setiap helaian kanvas yang berukuran 5 x 5 kaki. Karya ini telah dimulakan prosesnya pada 2008 dan kerja yang memakan masa lima tahun ini akhirnya siap sepenuhnya pada tahun lalu.
Mohd Noor telah meneroka penggunaan teknik kraf tradisional unutk membawa satu seni bertema kontemporari. Justeru beliau telah menggunakan campuran akrilik bersama habuk papan yang diletakkan keatas helaian kanvas.
Teknik ini digunakan bertujuan untuk memberi kesan yang lebih lembut ke atas karya serta dapat meggantikan teknik ukiran kayu yang lebih sukar.
Mohd Noor pertama kali menyedari teknik ini dalam karya Siri Gua yang merujuk kepada Gua Cha di Ulu Kelantan. Gua tersebut merupakan tapak arkeologi paling aktif dikaji di Semenanjung Malaysia dan peninggalan bahan-bahan artifak zaman Hoabhonians dan Neolitik telah ditemui di situ.
Tapak arkeologi paling aktif adalah tempat mayat Hoabhonians dan Neolitik ditemui dengan artifak mereka. Objek-objek yang terdapat dalam pengebumian kubur manusia seperti barang kemas, tembikar dan peralatan batu telah memberi ilham kepada artis ini untuk mengkaji bahan-bahan kasar seperti serbuk kayu untuk menjadi sebahagian bahan mentah karyanya.
Serbuk ini dicampur dengan gam untuk mendapat satu tekstur yang kasar dan mencapai kesan lapisan yang cantik.
Keajaiban teknik ini telah memberi satu hasil karya yang berkualiti kepada arca kanvas itu sendiri. Jika dilihat dari sudut tepi, jelas kelihatan beliau betul-betul teliti dalam penghasilan kerjanya kerana kerana helian kanvas diregang kemas dan permukaan elemen tiga dimensi menampakkan karya seni ini seperti bercahaya.
“Andai aku Tuah…”
Merupakan sebuah karya lukisan yang telah dihasilkan oleh seorang pelukis terkenal pada tahun 2013. Lukisan itu telah dipamerkan di Artcube bersempena dengan pembukaan galeri tersebut pada 28 November lalu.
Lukisan tersebut diinspirasikan daripada sebuah pantun melambangkan falsafah melayu dalam mencapai kejayaan tanpa menyinggung perasaan orang lain. Selain itu, ia melambangkan corak keamanan yang infiniti.
Melalui karya tersebut, pelukis telah memaparkan potret seorang pahlawan yang menjadi simbol kebanggaan bangsa Melayu iaitu hang Tuah sebagai watak utama dalam lukisan tersebut. Yang menariknya, pelukis telah menggunakan konsep media campuran yang dihasilkan diatas kertas kanvas.
Pelukis juga telah menggabungkan beberapa elemen seperti kraf tradisional dan teknik-teknik seni akademik dengan unsur-unsur moden dimana beliau menggunakan kedua-dua keping ukiran asli dan cetakan pada kayu sebagai metafora kewujudan realiti dan ilusi. Ia merupakan satu usaha yang mengagumkan kerana bukan senang untuk menghasilkan sekeping naskah kontemporari yang sarat dengan nilai kemelayuan.
Berbicara lagi tentang idea untuk menghasilkan lukisan tersebut, sebelum melukis potret Hang Tuah, pelukis terlebih dahulu mengkaji mengenai sifat dan jati diri yang ada pada pahlawan tersebut.
Sebagaimana yang kita tahu, Hang Tuah memang cukup terkenal dalam dunia Melayu. Ini kerana sifat yang ada pada Hang Tuah itu sendiri telah menjadikan bangsa melayu dipandang tinggi dan dihormati oleh bangsa-bangsa lain.
Antara sifat yang ada pada dirinya adalah setia kepada negara dan pemimpin, bertolak ansur, dalam ketegasan ada santunnya, mempunyai semangat setiakawan yang tinggi serta mempunyai kemahiran berdiplomasi.
Sebab itu jugalah pelukis memilih Hang Tuah sebagai ikon penyatuan masyarakat di Malaysia. Padanya, semua rakyat Malaysia perlu mempunyai pertalian dan sentimen positif terhadap pahlawan mereka tanpa perlu dibuat-buat dan mengetepikan sentimen-sentimen negatif dalam hidup bermasyarakat.
Tambah pelukis itu lagi, seni seharusnya dapat menyatukan orang ramai. Malah, karyanya ini menunjukkan dengan jelas bahawa beliau tidak secara amnya membawa kearah unsur-unsur kiasan dalam karyanya, tetapi lebih mentakrifkan ajarannya seperti yang ada dalam “Andai Aku Tuah…”
Bagi menghasilkan potret tokoh pahlawan Melayu tersebut, beliau menjadikan arca Hang Tuah yang dipaparkan di Muzium Negara, Kuala Lumpur sebagai sumber rujukan visual. Pada karya yang dihasilkan olehnya, tertulis juga tulisan jawi dengan perkataan ‘Tuah’ dan ‘Jebat’ yang merujuk pada pahlawan, sahabat dan lawan.
Ia juga menjadi lambang metafora bagi memaksudkan unsur-unsur positif dan negataif yang wujud dalam masyarakat. Satu lagi simbol keharmonian yang seimbang boleh didapati pada corak ukiran kayu di sepanjang sempadan atas dan bawah lukisan tersebut.
Anda hendak tahu siapa gerangan pelukis diatas? Pelukis yang dimaksudkan ialah Fauzin Mustafa, 47. Beliau merupakan seorang artis kontemporari yang sangat berpengalaman dan terkenal di Malaysia mahupun dunia. Banyak hasil seninya telah dibeli oleh syarikat-syarikat besar didalam mahupun luar negara. Antaranya ialah syarikat dari Jepun, Amerika Syarikat, Denmark dan banyak lagi.
Beliau juga cukup terkenal dengan hasil lukisannya yang berunsur kemelayuan. Malah setiap hasil seninya mengandungi unsur kemelayuan. Walaupun lukisan tersebut bertaraf universal. Karya “Andai Aku Tuah…” juga merupakan satu lambang kehormatan kepadanya sebagai orang Melayu.
Sepanjang penglibatan beliau dalam dunia lukisan, pelbagai anugerah telah dirangkul. Antaranya ialah memperoleh tempat pertama dalam pertandingan melukis mural 1Malaysia di Balai Seni Negara di Kuala Lumpur pada tahun 2010, mewakili Malaysia dalam pameran-pameran lukisan yang berlangsung di Conpengahen, Denmark, Brunei dan juga Singapura.
Sebenarnya, bakat Fauzin dalam dunia lukisan ini telah dicungkil sejak kecil lagi. Disebabkan minatnya yang mendalam, beliau melanjutkan pelajaran dalam bidang Fine Art dan Design di Universiti Teknologi Mara sehingga ke peringkat Sarjana.
Berbicara tentang dunia lukisan, Fauzin menyatakan bahawa tidak ramai yang berminat untuk menjadikannya sebagai bidang pekerjaan. Ini kerana, ramai yang berpendapat bahawa kerjaya ini sangat susah serta memerlukan bakat dan kemahiran yang tinggi.
Tetapi, mereka tidak sedar sebenarnya hasil lukisan akan meningkat seiring bersama-sama pelukis. Ini kerana, masyarakat kini yang semakin menghargai nilai sebuah lukisan secara tidak langsung memberi penghargaan kepada pelukisnya juga.
Kebiasaanya, pelukis akan menghasilkan satu jenis lukisan sahaja. Disebabkan itu, nilai sesebuah lukisan ada yang mencecah sehingga puluhan ribu. Malah, ada juga mencecah hingga jutaan ringgit.
Ini menyebabkan beratus-ratus peminat lukisan akan berebut satu lukisan tersebut untuk dijadikan koleksi mereka. Mereka akan saling membida harga sehinggalah lukisan tersebut menjadi milik mereka.
Gabungan pelukis hebat
Bagi meluaskan keterbukaan masyarakat terhadap dunia seni Malaysia, Galeri Artcube merevolusikan industri ini menerusi pameran pertama sempena pembukaan galeri itu di The Intermark, Jalan Tun Razak.
Pameran ‘Making The Mark’ adalah gabungan hebat pelukis berpengalaman dan muda dalam pelbagai campuran media.
Gabungan dua tenaga kerja pemilik bersama galeri terbabit, Azhar Ahmad dan Fuad Salleh mengetengahkan 17 pelukis terkenal bersama 24 karya.
Pameran itu berlangsung sehingga 20 Disember ini.
Hamir Soib menerusi The Will menggunakan akrilik dan bitumen di atas kanvas membawa frasa ‘Fabi-ayyi ala-i rabbikuma tukaththibani’ yang diambil daripada surah Ar-Rahman.
Kaligrafi Arab mengingatkan diri Hamir pada amanat arwah bapanya.
Shooshie Sulaiman yang popular di peringkat antarabangsa membawa karya tahun ini yang berjudul Purely Love: Leman & Meriam yang dihasilkannya ketika mengadakan siri pameran Sulaiman itu Melayu.
Karya ini sebagai penghormatan kepada arwah bapanya yang menjadi inspirasi sepanjang pengamatan Shooshie terhadap dunia sekeliling.
Karya Hello! Obama Speaking… memaparkan dua elemen yang ditonjolkan Ahmad Shukri Mohamed. Panel pertama menggambarkan situasi Obama bercakap di telefon namun dalam keadaan telinganya merah umpama Obama menahan diri daripada memarahi atau dimarahi.
Mohd Noor Mahmud menerusi karya Sekebun Bunga III dan Alun III mendekati seni tradisi kraf Kelantan. Bermula dengan Siri Imajan (1988) dan dua karya terbarunya membabitkan penggunaan habuk kayu.
Iqra’ antara hasil seni teragung Husin Hourmain yang membawa maksud ‘Bacalah!’.
Husin memang terkenal dalam seni kaligrafi Jawi.
Pameran ini turut membawa karya artis Fauzan Omar, Umibaizurah Mahir Ismail, Daud Rahim, Azad Daniel, Azrin Mohd, Mohd Fazli Othman, Dhavinder Singh, Fauzin Mustafa, Haslin Ismail, Masnoor Ramli, Suhaimi Fadzir dan artis patriotik, Zulkifli Yusof.
INFO Lokasi: Artcube Gallery, 3-10 & 3-13, Intermark Mall, The Intermark, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur
Tarikh: Sehingga 20 Disember ini
Masa: 11 pagi hingga 7 petang
Telefon: +603-2181 1787
Local Contemporary Art Goes Global
Malaysia’s latest gallery focus on high-value works by criticcaly- acclaimed Malaysian artist.
New gallery Artcube is set to make its mark in the Malaysian art scene by revolutionizing the way it is presented on the global platform. Joint gallery directors Azhar Ahmad and Fuad Salleh who are art enthusiasts themselves believe that Malaysia already has a strong cast of highly conceptual artist whose technical and experimental abilities have set an international benchmark.
“With the global shift towards preference for art that not only possesses intelectuall depth but also crucially involves great artistic skill, Malaysian contemporary art has all the ingredients to take its rightful place as one of the major art industries in the world, “ said Azhar at the gallery opening at Intermark recently
Artcube features artists like expert handler of acrylic and sawdust on canvas mat Nor Mahmud; veteran painter Hamir Soib; and calligraphy expert Husin Hourmain. Also featured Artcube is Ahmad Shukri Mohamed’s ‘Hello! Obama Speaking…’.
The gallery aims to portray a new environment with new collectors and art lovers, completely different from the set of gallery going people. “ To me, it is great that my work will be seen by a new set of people. It is very interesting to see their reaction,” explained Hamir.
Besides showcasing paintings, sculptures, installations, large scale assemblage and experimental mixed media Artcube will also assist collectors in amassing artworks of significance and act as consultants to serious corporate and private collectors of Malaysian arts.