KUALA LUMPUR, May 2015 – The exhibition titled “Painting a Poem: Visual Representations of Pyanhabib’s Poems” brings together 30 of Malaysia’s top, mid-career and upcoming contemporary visual artists whose works in both two- and three-dimensions are based on their readings and interpretations of and reactions towards the poems selected from the anthology Balada Pyanhabib published by Institut Terjemahan & Buku Malaysia (ITBM) in 2012. Two main aims of this project are to highlight the cross-disciplinarity between visual and literary artists, and to enhance visual artists’ capability in reading literary texts and transforming them into visual images.

On this coming 27th May 2015, HOM Art Trans is proud to present a special tribute exhibition to a renowned contemporary Malaysian poet and writer, Pyanhabib (his birthday coincidentally falls on the same date as the launching of the exhibition). Sharp and witty though never pedantic, and presented in his own characteristic way, Pyan’s poetry and writing explore various issues related to social, political and environmental concerns as well as the arts. A highly respected figure whose career has spanned more than four decades, Pyan, who was also affiliated with Malaysia’s famous Anak Alam collective, has not only endeared many with his idiosyncratic delivery of his wry poems and enlightened others with his penetrating insights through his writings, but is also an inspiring man of letters who has lived his life with pride, optimism and integrity.

The launching of the exhibition will be officiated by the Chief Executive Officer of ITBM, Mr. Mohd Khair Ngadiron. Additionally, in between speeches there will be a performance by Hasnul Rahmat, an award winning actor and a poet, together with Hakim, also known as Awang Ketut, who will recite poems in a conversational manner. Rahmat Haron, an activist and a poet, will be performing as well. Aside from that, members of the audience also will have an opportunity to perform as there will be an open mic session on that night. “This project is a very special event for HOM this year. The main purposes of this show are to celebrate different fields of the arts, and to serve as a cross-disciplinary project between visual and literary artists,” explained Bayu Utomo Radjikin, the director of HOM Art Trans who just came back from overseas in order to ensure the smooth progress of the exhibition.

The artists selected for this special exhibition represent some of the best and well-known artists in the local contemporary art scene today. They include Jalaini Abu Hassan, a senior painter and educator who was also one of Pyan’s close friends during his time with Anak Alam, and Aznan Omar, a veteran contemporary sculptor and educator whose work is normally imbued with observations and symbolisms rooted in Malay proverbs and sayings. Other noteworthy participants include two prominent self-taught artists, namely, Adeputra Masri, who is noted for his mixed media paintings on politics and everyday realities of the common people, as well as Latif Maulan, one of the country’s top photorealist figurative painters whose private visual metaphors and complex compositions have placed him ahead of many other trained figurative painters. Also featured in this tribute exhibition is Samsuddin Wahab @ Buden, one of the most recognisable young artists vastly known for his sharp and satirical takes on local politics through his paintings, prints and sculptures.

The prestigious Saatchi exhibition in the UK in 2014 featured many top and emerging Malaysian artists, including Azrin Mohd and Anne Samat. Both artists, who are steadily building a reputation with their uncommon mixed media sculptures and installations, are in this show too. Anne, together with another mixed media artist participating in the exhibition, Annisa Abdullah, are among the top ten upcoming woman artists in the country. Recent winners of the Malaysian Emerging Artist Award (MEAA), Shafiq Nordin and Sabihis Md Pandi, will also be lending their artistry to making this wonderful tribute show an unusual affair. Shafiq, whose paintings combine the popular and the absurd rendered in the style to imitate woodcut images as a way to express his indignation at the various nefarious players of geopolitics, and Sabihis, whose fresh approach to printmaking includes engaging with the games that individuals with vested interests play, will find much inspiration from Pyan’s poems. One final note, a book accompanying this exhibition, especially published for this occasion, will include several latest poems by Pyanhabib and is available for sale.

Painting a Poem: Visual Representations of Pyanhabib’s Poems” is the first in a series of exhibitions organised by HOM Art Trans as part of a project aimed at creating visual representations of literary texts by prominent poets and writers.


HOM is an independent art space that seeks to assist and support the development of visual art in Malaysia, whilst facilitating networking and exhibition-related opportunities with Southeast Asian counterparts.

HOM’s core objective is to promote and nurture young artists through its key programmes: The Residency, the Art Fund and the Art Award.

Founded in 2007, the space comprises a gallery, a studio and an art archive.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Mimie Baharuddin
+603 9286 7004 (Office) / +6012 373 6004 (Mobile)