Richard Koh Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur
Hasanul Isyraf Idris (b. 1978, Malaysia) was trained at Mara University of Technology (UiTM), in Perak. He has received a number of awards, including the Young Contemporary Arts Award in 2007 at the National Visual Arts Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, the Incentive Award at the Open Show held at the Shah Alam Gallery and the Consolation Prize for the Young Talent Art Exhibition at the Penang Art Gallery, Penang. Hasanul produces works in a variety of media, from paintings and meticulously crafted drawings to painted oven-baked clay sculptures. Mining inspiration from within and well as local folklore and regional myths, he articulates his personal struggles as an artist by personifying them as strange characters that inhabit his invented universes. Influenced by the graphics of underground comic books, 1960s science fiction, fast food, street art and fashion, he juggles pop culture references with a personal viewpoint. Recurring topics in his practice are the meaning of life and death, memories and fantasies, sin and reward.
My imagination is the realm I work in through creating a monologue in solitude. In this series, I create bioorganic realms that host mutating, mating and evolving creatures and it is a world where I have full autonomy over its activities. I use different materials sourced from varying sources from my trips around Asia to create this complex world. Religious symbols and local myths inform the characters of Para while they are also decorated with precious stones, beads and decorative elements sources from traditional costumes. One vital source of inspiration is from the Greek myth of Morpheus, who is the god of dreams and appeared in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Morpheus is blessed with the ability to mimic any human form and is able to appear in dreams. I find that the figures in my drawings could materialize into any form imagined by me, echoing Morpheus’shapeshifting ability.
— Hasanul Isyraf Idris, September 2014
Anne Samat (b. 1973, Malaysia) is a fibre textile artist who graduated in 1995 from Mara Institute of Technology, in Malaysia. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Art and Design (textile design) with a major in Weaving and a minor in Print and Resist. Anne is the first prize winner in the PNB/ National Art Gallery of Malaysia Contemporary Young Artist competition held in 1997. She was also selected by the National Art Gallery to represent Malaysia at the International Art and Craft Fair in Bangkok in 1999. Known to inject traditional Malaysian woven techniques and decorative designs with contemporary aesthetics and conceptual ideas, Anne’s work addresses issues of identity and nationhood by pushing the boundaries of weaving techniques infused with everyday materials.
Unlike most contemporary artists who reject traditional arts and crafts in favour of more conceptually driven works, I embrace both traditional crafts and decorative aesthetics. I use the classic songket shu le weaving techniques and unconventional materials to create densely coloured tapestries, which I describe as “ metaphors” for identity and nationhood. My work succeeds in piecing the supposedly rm boundaries between art and textile, contemporary and traditional, abstraction and pattern making. I am trying to elevate the art of weaving to the next level, transforming it from a two dimensional fabric to a three-dimensional art form.
— Anne Samat, November 2016
Yeoh Choo Kuan (b. 1988, Malaysia) lives and works in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His work constitutes a unique synthesis of disintegrating working method, known for his self-coined “ Fleshing Abstraction” , a process that focuses on the characteristics of color, texture, surface and construction materials. Choo Kuan works with imageries that both engage the hedonistic and disastrous, in which the results are sculptural whilst appearing painterly.
This series of painting is devoted to the manic manner of destructive mark-making in a torpid state. I believe the restlessness and the benumbed senses are evidence of violence smeared all over mass media. The dysfunctional tactile surface is a search for neutrality which transcends aestheticised violent experiences, a result of a wonder or concern for our troubled world.
— Yeoh Choo Kuan, 2017