Each artist has produced works in isolation of each other and the gallery has brought all four artists together because of their common interest in material and nature. Stylistically they are different, however the message in their works is one of contemplation, and each artist has analyzed, assimilated and imagined to realize the essence and being of their subject, which results in works that are whimsical, provocative, realistic and sublime.
Helen Kim, of Korean origin, currently works and lives in Penang. Her works detail an emotional engagement of her subjects. She explains “When I portray a pond I focus on the feeling when I get from looking at the waves of the pond, and this unexpected situation becomes my theme. The pond no longer exists in my finished work once I have completed the process of selecting parts of the pond and transforming it several times. From the initial concrete image that I adopt, in this case a pond, I try to understand the object as a situation not as a material”. Helen works using oil on canvas, watercolours and ink on paper.
Mohd Haairi Yaakub , is an arts lecturer based in Kuala Lumpur. His works continues the use of collage and drawing, to portray the human mind, to explore the inner and outer consciousness of humanity. Superimposing decorative motifs, such as batik and patterns from wayang kulit (shadow puppets) onto images of the human skeletal, and upon portraits of his sitters, Haairi questions the profound, with a three dimensionality execution that is unique in his charcoal works. A catharsis of ideas and emotions, such as identity, mortality and morality come to question when looking at his works. He works using charcoal and mixed media on brown paper.
Suhaidi Razi, is an arts lecturer, currently working in Kelantan. Using found metal scraps, Suhaidi fashions the layered forms to create fossilized sculptured of birds and peculiar fish. “My studio is located on a 3 acre land used for goat farming. I call it the “Farm House Studio” and it is where I am surrounded by green pastures, clean air and birds chirping, and by the occasional visit by small reptiles. They all become a source of inspiration for my art. This condusive environment has a great impact on me and allows me to ponder on what is happening to nature and subsequently takes me to a higher spiritual level, and closer to the Creator.” Suhaidi works using metal, resin and crystals and is fasinated by the natural patina of his materials.
Yusman Aman is a forgotten pioneer in the art of batik. He was active in the early 70s with a gallery in the former Kuala Lumpur Hilton hotel. Today, almost 40 years later, his works have seemingly come back to being, having been well preserved in the treasure chest of an avid collector. Ten sublime works reminiscent of colourfield paintings of Rothko and the paper cutting forms of late Matisse are joyful expressions of the era. Executed in monochromes or in two tones, the batik works combines layering of tie dye techniques and marbling effects and champions the beauty of batik which is scarcely favoured today and almost forgotten as an artform.
The exhibition “ Three Men & a Lady “ opens on 16th January till 2nd February 2010.