Malaysian artists and poets blur the lines in 'Garis Puisi' exhibition


A couple admire Faizal Suhif's 'Landskap Merak' painting along with the poetry of Hafiz Hamzah titled 'Terendak Mayangku' at Hom Art Trans' exhibition 'Garis Puisi'. Photo: The Star/Yap Chee Hong

Garis Puisi, a rare collaborative exhibition between visual artists and poets looks to find common ground between the two mediums.

Over the past few weekends, the show at Hom Art Trans gallery in Ampang, Selangor has attracted a fair amount of attention among art lovers and literary fans.

Every work produced (40 in total), whether visual (painting, sculpture or installation) or text (poetry) showcases how the line-up of artists and poets managed to meet each other in the middle, delivering engaging collaborations.

Organised by Hom Art Trans, Garis Puisi, which ends this tomorrow (Nov 12), features 10 contemporary artists and 10 poets.

Zaim Durulaman's artwork 'Kumbang (Bukan) Badak' seen at the exhibition. It is accompanied by a Jack Malik poem. Photo: The Star/Yap Chee HongZaim Durulaman's artwork 'Kumbang (Bukan) Badak' seen at the exhibition. It is accompanied by a Jack Malik poem. Photo: The Star/Yap Chee Hong

For the show, each artist and poet produced two works each in a creative process involving two phases - the early meet-ups to plan and the final exhibition.

On the curatorial front, this show is also Hom Art Trans' collaboration with Studio Kaukab, an independent publisher managed by M. Farez Karim. It has published more than 10 books since 2013 mostly in the literary/poetry genres.

The painters and poets of this exhibition include Zaim Durulaman, Fadli Mokhtar, Haslin Ismail, Suddin Lappo, Khairudin Zainudin, Arik Wibowo, Ajim Juxta, Edroger Rosili, Hisyamuddin Abdullah, Faizal Suhif, Jack Malik, Karim Mohd, Jaymani Sevanathan, Affendi Salleh, Cahaya Jais, Qurratul ‘ain, Abdullah Hussaini, Petak Daud, Rasydan, Fitri and Hafiz Hamzah.

While the two mediums don’t often meet in an art gallery setting these days, the end result in Garis Puisi underlines how both scenes can complement each other, without compromising the individual creative process.

A general view of the 'Garis Puisi' exhibition at Hom Art Trans gallery in Ampang, Selangor. Photo: The Star/Yap Chee HongA general view of the 'Garis Puisi' exhibition at Hom Art Trans gallery in Ampang, Selangor. Photo: The Star/Yap Chee Hong

The idea of how the art pieces can be enhanced with new interpretations is an enticing one. Take for example the collaboration between Zaim and Jack Malik.

Zaim, an artist from Perak, highlights political and societal issues in his works. Combining realism with abstraction, he often works with the medium of acrylic, watercolor, oil and collage on canvas.

“Literature is beautiful. The verses are unexpected. To unravel it requires a sharp mind. The interpretation is also different according to one's understanding. My words are through my paintings. Meeting with the poet (Jack Malik) gave my work a fresh look,” says Zaim about the Garis Puisi show.

Meanwhile, Jack Malik, a published poet, enjoyed the challenges that came with this cross-discipline project.

“Zaim answered each of my questions carefully about his work first," says Jack Malik, who got to know Zaim's painting series first before penning his poems - Basmallah, Titik and Tapi Ini Juga Puisi - for this exhibition.

"It is always a good thing to get to know the context of the work. But then there’s the concept of 'Death of the Author', a literary theory that argues that the meaning of a text is not determined by the author's intention, but rather by the reader's interpretation. However, in collaborative work, it’s best to feed on each other’s energy and wavelength," he adds.

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