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Saturday January 12, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday April 22, 2013 MYT 5:31:58 PM
by muhammad zahir zamani
AT FIRST glance, Zaman Batu Contemporary (Contempo-rary Stone Age) seems to be an art concept, but it is much more than that.
For five Malaysian artists, it is the world itself captured and expressed through different mediums and forms of art.
The exhibition, put together by Core Design Gallery, showcases the conceptualising skills, technical research and passion of the five artists.
The exhibit’s main focus is to give these emerging artists a chance to develop their art and become “mid-career” artists.
The artists began developing their ideas in March 2012 and held various discussions to see how they could help take Malaysian art to another level.
Ali Bebit, 28, started his artistic career four years ago and is still improving in terms of technicality and conceptualising his works.
Hailed as one of the rare young contemporaries who brilliantly transforms junk into sleek, robot-like installation pieces.
“If you notice, most of my works combine animals with mechanical elements and, most of the time, wings. Wings represent freedom, which is basically the underlying message of my artistic works,” said Ali.
He uses nuts, bolts and left-over metals to create a surreal form of “animal imagination”, often incorporating serious topics such as violence and war.
Black-and-white art, on the other hand, has always been known to be smooth and sleek, but 26-year-old Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) graduate, Ashriq Suddin, seems to be able to ‘roughen’ the textures.
He does this by transforming aluminium foil and resin and turning it into his own form of canvas.
Ashriq, who began his artistic journey after graduating, loves to use materials such as air-conditiong containers and gas tanks. He adds his own element to transform them into unique black-and-white artistic objects.
Coming from the same Warna Group as Ali Bebit, Azli Wahid, 28, has also dabbled in the Malaysian contemporary art scene for the past five years.
“My work encompasses the state of the planet. Past civilisations left us fossils and artefacts, my art poses the question of what we will leave behind for the people of the future to find,” said Wahid, who is responsible for Drawing X, a “fossilised” planet measuring seven-foot in diameter.
His understanding and use of bitumen often gives a very finished look to his presentations. After spending six months on Drawing X, Azli is determined to make this series a monumental installation set of seven spheres that will transform from a badly polluted earth to untouched green nature.
Jamil Zakaria, 26, is the only fine art artist using wire to weave his installations and sculptures in Malaysia.
Jamil went through the painstaking process of creating moulds then weaving the wires into textures to become a solid form to create his work. His new installation piece, Rintik-Rintik Hujan Batu, is a formation of 200 bricks which took him six months to weave and turn into a 3m arch with illusory floating bricks.
“I was inspired by an old Malay proverb that goes ‘Hujan emas di negeri orang, hujan batu di negeri sendiri, lebih baik negeri sendiri’ (If gold rains in a foreign country and stone rains in our own, it is better in our own),” said Zakaria.
Haafiz Shahimi’s rebellious personality emerges in his art.
Haafiz, who graduated in early 2011, is a pioneer of an artistic technique he calls “pyrography prints”, which is basically the process of using heat to transfer images onto PVC or canvas. Before this, art incorporating heat are created only by using burners to draw on wood.
Haafiz took this old form of art and turned it into his own by making metal pieces in the shape of koi that he heats up and ‘transfers’ onto canvas. This technique is quite possibly the first of its kind in Malaysia.
His work incorporating pyrography print comes in the form of a surreal psychedelic imagery of koi encircling human arms and a female figure.
“I was quite angry when I made this piece. Rejection of my art and my technique came as quite a blow for me personally. And as an artist, it is never good to feel so bad about something you work really hard for. I made this piece to symbolise a second chance,” said Haafiz, who has done extensive research and experimentation to refine his new-found artistic technique.
Core Design Gallery is located at number 87, Jalan SS15/2A, Subang Jaya, Selangor.
The exhibition ends Jan 31.
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