Venue: Galeri Chandan @ Publika
Duration: 13 June until 13 July 2014
PULPA : AT THE CUTTING EDGE
by: Nadia Zawani Hussin
“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun” -Pablo Picasso
Intellectual, coordination, manipulation, dexterity, grace, strength, speed and diversity are the lists of what an artist need to posses in creating art. Pulpa: at the Cutting Edge is an experimental exhibition that seeks to explore the unconventional use of paper as a medium.
A selection of 21 artists from a diverse art background and discipline such as painters, sculptors, cartoonists, animators, designers and illustrators; come together to take part and challenge themselves in creating something out of their comfort zone. An intriguing attempt for each artists to think and create something atypical (from what they usually practice) which leads to a fascinating visual and tactile results. These contemporary young artists work with unknown possibilities by using paper and transforming this humble scrap through cutting, folding and sculpting, into an amazingly powerful creation in delivering their messages.
For an artist, research and documentation plays a vital part in stimulating creativity to generate ideas. Haslin Ismail’s early data gathering comes in the form of newspaper cuttings since 1999 to 2003. At that particular time there was no such thing as the Internet at home. According to Haslin, his compilation research of ‘Jiwa dan Seni’ is a sentimental value of his early studies in art and its industry, which began from newspaper cuttings.
Meor Saifulah Lulaed has carefully selected an inspiring variety of quotes from famous personalities from artists, musicians, scientists, activists, politicians and world leaders whom had very much influenced him as a creative person. A mixture of drawings, handwritten texts, and newspaper cuttings are collaged together to form a stimulating ‘Behind the Words’ installation.
Ahmad Latif Padzali, Ahmad Syakir, Edroger Cassidy and Radin Erus are known for their minimalist body of work. Latif’s crafty ‘Paperworks’ attempts to imitate nature such as a leaf, presenting it sandwiched in between semi transparent sheets, as though it appears to be alive and growing inside. Paper is usually seen as a premature surface for an artist to throw, capture and plan his or her ideas. But for Syakir, Edroger and Radin; paper is a medium to interact with the viewer using merely text to questioning, re-assessing and re-thinking as part of its participatory intention.
Biomorphic soft sculpture ‘Dunia Dia’ (Her World) by Anissa Aziz and structured mixed media sculpture ‘Chair: Ambition’ by Ahmad Muhammad share a similar idea to childhood memories. Anissa’s participatory installation invites the audience to take part in her textual puzzle work. As for Ahmad Muhammad, the image of a school chair was chosen as a metaphor to describe his early education where hobbies and ambitions are so often asked by teachers in school. Normally students will choose an ideal ambition of the norms as an answer but never thought of professions such as an artist or a designer, which could lead to a thousand creative opportunities.
Cartoons has become a part of Ishak Jamaluddin and Mohd Alif’s creative life since they began to endeavor into art and design. Ishak presents a 360-panorama installation of an alien spaceship base camp creating a busy and fun space shuttle environment where biomorphic space ships are ready to take off or is still under maintenance. Complimented with an excerpt dialogue created by Ishak, has made me created my own dialogue for each playful looking characters.
“Hey little buddy! Quit playing around, this is no place for a child! You might bumped into something!” a harsh voice shouted from a tall tower. The man has a point. But how could a little one like him understand what situation they are really in?’
For Mohd Alif, ‘Prototype’ is a robot character created from his comic series Spender Boy. Building it from 2D to 3D is quite a fascinating process for the artist. Assembling part-by-part and constructing a complex body structure inside out by using only recycled material is not an easy task for him; which requires many experiments and tryouts.
Vivid colorful paper buildings will capture the spectators’ eyes on Anniketyni Madian’s ‘Spanderal’ wall installation. She is well known for her massive wooden sculpture – a rough working process therefore according to the artist, Pulpa’s objective is considered intriguing. Anniketyni’s working mode changes from rough to prim and proper. Her persistence in detailing to perfection is the strength in Anniketyni’s piece. As for Anisa Abdullah, her process is much more driven by a spontaneous action through random magazine cuttings, and collages of paper mask mounted on canvas. Enjoying each process of her first attempt to make a form without referring to any sketches or images and she finds it mesmerizing to just explore, until she feels the urge to stop.
Muhamad Nazri Tahir finds his collage work is much inspired by Damien Hirst. Nazri’s ‘All in the Living and Death in this Beautiful World ‘ piece engages in a recreation of an optical presentation through his wall-mounted frame. Azizi Latif’s elegant paper collages gives a new breath to his creative process. He tries to capture lines and wrinkles from a photograph of an old man, and hence a fruitful new found idea in art making is discovered.
Liu Cheng Hua’s 3D work entices the historical elements. His interest in past research produces a strong body of work in its content. By using bamboo as an alternate main medium besides paper, Liu effectively delivers his message through “Gold Shaft 5” as an abstraction form of gold mining techniques in Raub during the early 20th century.
Husin Othman took paper as a serious attempt in taking a 2D surface to another level and effectively constructs a 3D sculpture using different types of paper, tackling clean technical aspects in cutting each paper texture. Making an effort to differentiate surface and character reassembled in water meter as a metaphor to monetary modern day dilemma.
Megat Zaim Zarif and Mursyidah Zainal Abidin’s works have one thing in common – 100% recycled paper pulp. Execution for each piece requires a high discipline due to its complicated process. Megat Zaim’s ‘Syahadah’ wall mounted 3D work is a discourse on the notion of God, where there is only one god seen here, fingers pointing up, as an essential action performed in Muslim prayers. Mursyidah’s enthusiasm in experimenting with her pulp work using shapes and only natural sources, leads to the creation of a graceful installation. Using woodcut technique, Sabihis Md Pandi combined the process and final work side by side; giving a whole idea of development in printmaking technique. He uses an image of a calf in black and red as subject matter.
Arikwibowo Amril and Hisyamuddin Abdullah uses charcoal, graphite and retractable pencils for drawing. These artists skillfully create a quick, dramatic sketch, which can be smudged to achieve a blur effect using the fingertip or sharper tools. They emphasize on charcoal and graphite quality as an expressive medium with a good range of light to dark in order to achieve a fine drawings on paper.
Each artist in this exhibition has their own ideas and distinct touches in presenting their work; following Pulpa’s objective, which is to produce artwork that goes beyond the artists’ comfort zone. Few artists has successfully captured the exhibition’s intention and hopefully these artists will take a step further in enhancing their creative process thus broadening their capabilities and possibilities. Comfort zone is a great enemy to creativity; to move beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears, and “Pulpa: at the Cutting Edge” intend to inspire young artists to be adventurous and critical.