Duration: 10 June – 17 July 2016
Location: Galeri Chandan, Publika
I knew Zaim a few years back when he was a student in Alor Gajah Campus, Malacca , UiTM pursuing a Diploma in Fine Arts . He began to seek art as a career at a young age even before he graduated, by opening his own studio in Puncak Alam. His artistic career may be early but his steps are at a great pace as a painter.
Zaim’s tendency towards religion is becoming more prominent in every stage of his learning process and knowledge. In an era where the local art scene is laden with new ideas on thoughts, the postmodern claims of human rights, Zaim goes back to grip on the purity of life, returning to the Islamic knowledge, where he seeks to unravel the way to love God. And of course, the way it should go is through the practice of law, methodology, and immersing the facts to convey the tomb of enlightenment. The journey is still early, but the desire to share his knowledge and experiences in his quest is a missionary.
A raised image of Islam seen in his works stays close to my heart. The result has indeed demand his audience to think through the image itself. A figure dressed in a movement moment in prayer, prayer mats, prayer beads and a background of a mosque interior is clearly the image of Islam. The imagery are conjured by the naturalistic so as it can be easily understood by the average audience whom is neither a scholar nor the ordinary. In fact, this is the goal, so that people can easily recognize and understand his love through the content of his storytelling, and thus it would be easier to share the mandate and mission.
Soft color selections are dominant in his artworks. No vibrant colors or dark tones are used to avoid a shocking appeal and stab the audience’s overview. His choice of colors are tint toned and soft and these are obtained through using a water based color. This softness portrays the beauty of the composition and thus makes it easily appreciated by the viewer. The tint applied also gives a lightweight visual expression that is secured as a transcendence in his work. And by itself it invites the audience to pass through all thoughts and transcendency.
Spiritual and self-expression revolves around his art works. In his earlier pieces, he lifted a prayer as a subject of conversation because it is the closest an act to one becoming a Muslim. At the same time, praying is seen as the most complicated to understand. Praying is not just a matter of an act, it is a harmony and harmonious flow of ‘ Qauli ‘ and ‘Fi’li’. Zaim has passed a solemn demand for ‘Tawadhuk’ through the ‘Roh’ or spirit. He raises the moments of ‘Solat’ or prayer as the most important pillars of understanding the nature of the ‘Shari’at’ and the movement of Solat itself. Without this understanding our prayers will be in vain, for not demanding the perfect ‘Qalbi’ harmony. Whilst standing and reading the ‘Al-Fatihah’, it draws us closer to God. Each sitting position in ‘Tasyahud’ and all its blessings, puts our trust in God, begging for His blessings to unite, and not be separated. Everything is uttered in a prayer and the sweetness of the ‘Hadhrah ‘ in a prayer is a moment he has successfully portrayed.
Faces are hidden in his work. He only paints a headless figure in prayer done deliberately to avoid recognition. In existence of the prayer itself, one is doing the ‘ Tawajjuh’ in the existence of Allah, and they no longer face themselves, nor their ego. One exist as a whole, and once the whole is diminished, one shall give remorse as a mortal self to Allah. As such, the figure of a Muslim praying facing towards the light is created by him. The Quran itself denotes it as ‘Nur’ or light, and the meaning of the light is what he portrays in his artworks.
Zaim’s journey is still early, as early as his 24 years of youth. This journey is still considerably far, endless even. Allah’s knowledge is too wide, even the 7 oceans still cannot unlock the knowledge of Allah. But Allah gives more and double His blessings, mercy and favor throughout our life course. Of course religion itself is a beauty because it is with God’s blessings and favor. The beauty of this is that you want it to be shared and partnerships to be a missionary by itself, honestly and sincerely.
Associate Professor Dr. Ahmadrashidi Bin Hasan
Senior Lecturer, School of Visual Culture
Faculty of Art and Design