Senyap Dalam Gege
Khairudin Zainudin Solo Exhibition
13 Sept - 4 Oct 2014
KHAIRUDIN ZAINUDIN-SENYAP DALAM GEGE
“Consciousness is only possible through change;
This 27 year old Kelantanese who graduated from UiTM in 2011 has been building a steady reputation for himself with his unique approach in documenting the quotidian and ordinary. At a cursory glance, one might even casually allude Khairudin’s drawings and paintings, with their many motion lines and overlapping sketches of his subject’s image to the influences of the Futurists, an advant garde art and social movement in Italy that was established a few years before the onset of the 1st World War. However, Khairudin who majored in Fine Art, was quick to clarify that his references are from contemporary sources. As an academically trained artist, he is aware of the similarities, with the Futurist painter Giacomo Balla’s ‘Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash’ mentioned in our conversation. However, while the Futurist painters were concern with the study of light and motion to express their vision of the future, Khairudin is interested instead in capturing the states of mind or restless dispositions of his subject matters.
He cites the works of renowned painters, illustrators and comic book artists Kent Williams, Jason Shawn Alexander, James Jean and Dryden Goodwin as some of the pivotal influences on his artistry. These painters share a similar approach, the depiction of the human condition in various states of undress or duress in a contemporary and stylish approach to realism and figurative art. These influences are discernible, though the setting and situations are clearly local, and less dramatic.
Khairudin’s previous works, featuring nameless workers commuting in public transports to the daily grind together with the ordinary people engaged in transactions of all kind, provides a refreshing take on a common and popular theme. He continues his keen observation of the behaviors of the different social stratas of society, regardless of age, gender and occupation in his inaugural solo exhibition at Gallery G13.
Titled ‘SENYAP DALAM GEGE’, this exhibition showcases eighteen pieces of Khairudin’s latest mixed media works on paper and canvases of various dimensions. The many facets of the ordinary folks presented in his signature strokes and minimal washes of colors are present but the change in location is evident. Since relocating back to his hometown to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city and to settle down, Khairudin wasted no time in reconnecting with the people and taking in the less hectic but no less boisterous surroundings of his childhood. As part of his daily routine, he spends much of his time in the earlier part of the day at coffee shops and the famed Siti Khadijah markets, which is named after the Prophet Muhammad’s first wife who was a successful business woman, as a complement to the mostly women-run markets there. Whether his subjects are at work, rest or play, Khairudin observes, sketches and documents the multitudes going about their plebeian existence and deftly captures their various gestures and movements. By presenting their assorted actions and reactions simultaneously, overlapping the main image of his subject like snapshots with multiple exposures, their restless dispositions, private preoccupations, nervous energies and bodily expressions are on full display, underscoring the unpredictability of human responses to situations and the complexities of human behaviour.
Perhaps that is the chief reason why Khairudin has chosen instead to draw or sketch his subjects with minimal use of colors and washes. More than just preliminary works to be completed in oils, acrylic or watercolors, drawing and sketching seems more direct, immediate and unembellished, able to capture the raw qualities of a person’s actions or lack of it at his/her most unguarded. Think of the sketches by van Gogh or Giacometti, or even the finished art by one of the more distinguished local painters of figurative art whom Khairudin admires, Amron Omar, who has taken to working mostly with oil pastels nowadays to produce his silat exponents in their eternal symbolic duels. Nirajan Rajah, new media theorist, academician and curator of the groundbreaking ‘Bara Hati, Bahang Jiwa: Expression and Expressionism in Contemporary Malaysian Art’ exhibition at the National Art Gallery in 2002, wrote this in the catalog regarding the inclusion of Amron in that exhibition”like the oil paint he uses, the figure is just his chosen medium and his true subject is abstract-the containment and release of energy and spirit. Indeed, the physical subject is only a point of departure. The true subject, addressed via representation of light and shade, of mass and weight and of tension and release is not the physical body but something of a much more spiritual or metaphysical orientation”(pg56).
By treating drawing and sketching as not just mere studies or preparatory work done with graphite, charcoal or any other dry media, Kharudin succinctly captures and present to us the movements and gestures of the psychic energy, which according to Jung is a basic life-force. In conclusion, Khairudin’s works celebrates life, for without movement-according to mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal “Our nature consist in motion, complete rest is death”.
By Tan Sei Hon
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