15 - 30 May 2015
- G13 proudly presents `Medium-Weight’, a collective expression of contemporary paintings that features five artists, Nizam Rahmat, Azrin Mohd, Zaim Durulaman, Fairuz Paisan and Yusri Sulaiman.
- The works by the five artists explore a range of realities, memories, current issues & response towards local & global concerns of our age today.
- `Medium-Weight’ is a collective humble ideas that came through when the group members agreed that they represents the middle –aged/career group of artists who initially were graphic designer, builders, set designer and lecturer. With their wide-ranging experiences, they associate themselves as `medium-weight painting athelete’ that dares to explore variety kind of painting medium rigorously for their new ideations to filled up the local `visual art-courts’.
From semi –realistic approaches, collage & assemblage, their artworks resemble fragments of visual notations in response to self, war and current cultural landscape in our contemporary living. The metaphorical imageries of animals explored in some works hints their complex desires yet common male-notions that reflect on local and global cultural concerns.
Zaim Durulaman renders his sepia-toned paintings at speed and impulsive quality, as if to grasp a train of momentary associations. Intoxicated with his `bitumen’ medium he gathered children images that symbolically reminiscences of his childhood memories. This new series of paintings not just demonstrates Zaim’s strength in painting kids characters but also include his recent detail observations on domestic farm animals such as goat and cattle, which also known as the common sacrificial animals in Muslim life and culture- “Qurban”.
“Talking with a Cattle’ and `Truthful Cattle” are two core ideas that revolves on evoking the Qurban event during Eidul-Adha. Literally, a boy and cattle been painted sitting closely together between a vertical gap that symbolically reads as a `door’ to a mountain scape with a river that can be associated perhaps to a paradise landscape.
It is common among Malay kids to get their `oral tradition’ (Osman M.T,1982) and word of wisdom from old-folks and grandparents. Usually those memories will stay in mind as we grew up which nevertheless fine-artists would typically used it back as ideas when `memories’ became their nostalgic recurring symbols in mind.
`The way that memory is valued, then, has shifted enormously from the idea of it being in a storehouse of data which, given the right techniques, is recoverable in an ordered manner to the notion that it is a key to our emotional understanding of ourselves and the world’ Gibbons.J (2007,p 9)
Resuming his collections of memories, he produced ‘Ahmad Albab’, another title that locally recognized by all through the well-known Tan Sri P.Ramlee’s film storyline. In the story Ahmad Albab was the name of the shepherd’s son that been accepted by the genie’s family which later on reward the shepherd with the treasure in the cave.
It is based on a story of patience and honesty that brought luck to a modest shepherd. Relatively, instead of shepherd, Zaim repeatedly used children images, two boys in a cave and a goat at the cave door metaphorically extended the P.Ramlee’s version of storyline to personal symbol or childhood memories of Zaim’s himself.
The interplay of his personal memory and public memory has strengthened his ideas in gathering his `children-images’ and its visual narrative. It also represents the identity and culture that obviously associated to his background as a Malay Muslim. The sepia nostalgic tone and chiaroscuro techniques on his desired theme-`children scenes’ that the artist developed in his recent series of paintings clearly marked Zaim as a skillful contemporary figurative artist of this time.
Nizam Rahmat impetus of ideation was actually derived from his favorite music. It is common that songs usually inspired particular pieces for artists (and vice versa for musicians). Music can sometimes carry a specific `mood’, where one way or another the very sonic neutrons emanating from the songs activated and extended the art coiled there in the ether.
For this series of recent works, Nizam extended his painting format to box-up wooden cases construction (formerly flight-case). It signifies the idea of travel and preserved item. In this case Nizam is referring to his music idols. Among musical track that accompanies his artistic drive is `Stairways to Heaven’ by Led Zappelin. As he himself used to design cover album for local singers, Nizam narcissistic imageries personify him wearing Led Zappelin shirts, painted the rock band members and their cover album design which transformed his imaginations to an underwater metaphors that culturally relates to social issues of our cross-cultural influences in a universal context.
Fairuz Paisan (Po’oi) is known with his carpentry skills and heavy craftsmanship. Applying his preferred materials and medium, woodworking through assemblage method, `Boyo’:Isi & Tulang,(crocodile as in N.Sembilan dialect)-flesh & bones,2015 is his largest work that draw upon the everyday routines of his kampung life. The symbol of crocodile carries his correlation to man-notions of strength, bravery, dependability and resilience. Similar with Nizam, Pooi “narcissism’ was translated through `Me & Myself’,half skull/half human, portraiture of himself like an `x-ray’ that suggest the inner and outer, physical and spiritual. `Si Ayam +Jantan’, (Rooster)is another resemblance of cultural connotations to rural life and resonate gender analogy over a playful approach. The skeletal series of `discarded wooden assemblage’ reveals his personal dialogue between self, his surrounding and perhaps Malay cultural context.
`Artists whose art fuses the past and present, the traditional and the transcultural have helped us define a broader, emerging conception of Internationalism without a “Western” prefix.(O’Riley,2002,p 308)
The latest assemblage works from Azrin Mohd revolves around his global concerned on the war and conflict between America and Muslim countries. As a result of his conceptual expression, Azrin transformed his visual imageries in ABS 3 dimensional printing techniques that created panels of plastic components of war objects such as missile, rifle, knives, bomb and etc., imitating the modeling-kit or DIY toy set. He created this cynical symbol to epitomize and reveal the USA as the major player in manipulating the recent war games among Muslims countries. Azrin’s assemblage investigates how artists nowadays with the benefit of current technology could use their chosen medium to express their reactions to war. Azrin’s latest method of fabricating his assemblage indicates great potential for his future ideation.
Hasnol Jamal Saidon stated in his essay,
` The comfortable cocoon or shell of a dogmatic national cultural identity has to officially acknowledge the pervasive intrusion of I.T in the formation of cultural experience’ (J.Saidon, 2000 p 48)
Finally, the contemporary collage artist Yusri Sulaiman used images of `dogs’ for his recent works. He uses layers of discarded colored fabrics to meticulously compose his images. He mixed fabric textures with text to denote the clue for his message. In a larger and universal context, `Dalmatian’ and `Bulldog’ are species that exemplify European breed, or as a symbol of Britain and known for determination and their fighting ability. In a local context, Yusri might have his personal connotations to his personal compassion that made him choose `dog’ as his symbols.
As Sulaiman Esa avers in Young Contemporary Art Competition 2010;
`However, since art is often regarded as a form of self-expression, it is through the sublimation of this eccentric and idiosyncratic self the artist will be able to produce great masterpieces whose styles, ideas and vision surpassed the limit and standard of achievement of ordinary mortals’.
( Esa,2010 p132)
Thus, the vision and ideas of the five artists in this group are gathered exuberantly for this exhibition, enriching another contemporary art evidences, conveying a current forms of relevant visual imageries that represent the state of interest of our artists with their weightage on local aspirations but yet increasingly globalized conception.
By Dr Sharmiza
- Azrin Mohd
- Fairuz Paisan (Pooi)
- Nizam Rahmat
- Yusri Sulaiman
- Zaim Durulaman