It is often said with great conviction that young people today are the leaders of tomorrow. Similarly, our emerging artists are the building blocks for the future of the Malaysian art scene. While we owe the foundation of the history and development of the art scene to our forefathers and senior art professionals, we can still look forward to the prospective of what lies ahead. With every passing year, there is a growing number of enthusiastic and passionate emerging talents in our industry. It is vital for them to have spaces for their stories to be told, and platforms for their artistic careers to be shaped.
An acronym for the term ‘point of view’, POV, is concerned with highlighting the different perspectives and views of the collective line-up of four emerging artists. They are Atiqah Khairul, Clara Wong Pei San, Heidhir Hamdan, and Wong Hui Lynn. Selected for their enthusiasm, passion, and potential, their body of works consist of a diverse set of stories, musings, and experiences from their point of view.
Atiqah Khairul's paintings are effectively a visual diary of her time during the MCO 3.0. Known for her hyperrealistic technique, documentation has remained an important aspect of her work since her MA. A set of seven canvases, ‘Tujuh Hari’, which translates to ‘seven days’, represents the seven days of the week. Each canvas has been painted to create the illusion of a square opening that has been neatly cut out from the centre. What appears to be left of the canvas, frames the mundane, everyday objects in Atiqah’s studio. Featuring her paint rag, colour pencils, and tools, among other things, every subject accompanied with a painted yellow sticky note. Each sticky note is marked with four to five date stamps, all of which are a week apart from each other, collectively making up the month of July.
Evidently, she has taken elements from her days in lockdown to create a calendar of her own. Channeling her long-time fascination towards dates, she has utilized her surroundings to tell her story and experience. Underlining the side-effects of the lockdown fatigue with subtlety, her work is essentially a quiet contemplation and introspection towards the passing of her time at home.
Clara Wong Pei San's body of work comprises still life of stones arranged in a delicate balance. Pertaining to the perplexing dubieties of our existence, religion, and relationships, she has expressed her search for the “truth of life” through her creative practice. Her use of colour palette in this body of work, though muted, are evidently associated with nature. While the background is vague, with no clear insight to its location, the position of the distinctive shadows and play with light allows a clue to the time. The quiet environment of the background and the chosen subject creates a peaceful setting free of distractions.
The composition of the painting ‘Persistence’, is made out of seven stones. With hues of green, which she associates with life and energy, Clara has created a structure that is evidently true to its name. Against the odds of its precarious display, there is a spirit of resilience and resolve in the way its posture is maintained. Regardless, without the promise of stability, there is boldness in the chosen arrangement. Each stone is not without its purpose, and role. ‘Persistence’, is not unlike the rest of Clara’s paintings; it demonstrates her perception towards life. It is a peaceful acknowledgement towards the infinite questions one may have.
Heidhir Hamdan describes his work as a visual commentary towards topics of the digital age, technology advancement, and modernisation, from the shoes of a middle class citizen. Elements of high technology and influences of science fiction are juxtaposed against paintings that appear as images from an old photo album. A sense of nostalgia is evoked by the effect of the faded imagery; this perhaps further emphasizes on the delayed introduction of certain technologies within the middle to lower class groups. There are clear influences of western movies, with notable characters such as Yoda from the Star Wars universe, and the fictional kaiju character, Godzilla. These characters make an impressive appearance in the surreal landscapes which were realised by the boundless imaginative mind of the artist.
The painting, ‘Simulation Rift’ stands out from the others, as it is set in the home of the artist. Describing it as “a typical, traditional home of a middle-class Malay family”, the environment is contrasted against the simulation created by a virtual reality (VR) machine worn by the figure in the artwork. The illustrative scene of action depicted is strikingly foreign in this setting, a poetic expression of the distinct gap and barriers between the different social class groups.
Wong Hui Lynn's body of work observes the quiet, mysterious nature of introverts. Drawing inspiration from her own personality, it is fitting that self-portraiture is consistently present within her paintings. Her study towards the character traits of introverts was prompted by her own experience of feeling misunderstood and struggles in expressing herself. In embracing this aspect of her nature, she has channeled her perspective towards expressing the pressures she has faced from being an introvert through her work.
'Should I Get A Haircut?', illustrates two identical faces framed by a stormy sea of hair. There is a perception of emotional chaos manifested within the curly and wild waves that dominate a large area of the work. This is a stark comparison to the passive expression of the subjects that seem to be physically overwhelmed by its surroundings. Despite hands that reach out to fight against the volume and weight of the mane, the figures appear to be in the deep end of their internal turmoil; they are unfazed by the colourful marbles found scattered throughout the painting. Evidently, what Hui Lynn has depicted is an introvert's need for space to digest their emotions. Her surreal and bold compositions convey the personal emotions and experiences that she is unable to find the words for.
Atiqah Khairul Anuar
My subject matters are most often mundane objects that exist around me and that I come in contact with. I acknowledge the power and significance behind our environment and surroundings in shaping us to the person we are today. I believe that this is applicable to everyone, whether they are conscious of it or not.
Home used to be a place of both comfort and control. It is a sacred and safe space of our own which we associate with rest. That changed when the pandemic hit; confined to our homes indefinitely more than once, the divide of space between work, leisure, and rest started to merge. Is home still a place of comfort? The luxury we once had to switch up our routine, or seek a change of environment is now controlled. For most of us, every day is the same, with little to distinguish between one another.
This series of paintings documents my time at home during the pandemic. With the routine of each day appearing the same as before, my creative practice is utilised as an unconventional exercise in recording and documenting the days. Using the hyperrealist technique, I intend to beguile the reality of my subject. While the presence of the subject of my painting may appear real to the eyes, it is not to the sense of touch.
Atiqah Khairul Anuar
Atiqah Khairul Anuar (b.1995) received her formal art education from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) with an MA in Fine Arts and Technology. Inspired by everyday objects that are often overlooked, her subject matters usually explore notions of time and self, and tend to also concern current issue. Through her use of the hyper realistic technique in her paintings, she creates a game of illusion in her artworks.
Having recently completed her residency programme with Rumah Seni Selangor (Russel), Atiqah was involved in group exhibition ‘ANGAN BAROK’ at the end of 2020 with two other resident artists. In 2017, she was also selected got for an artist residency programme at Saung Banon Arts, Yogyakarta where she participated in a few group exhibitions locally.
Recent showcases including Pameran Seni Amal Cov-Art19 (Rumah Seni Selangor), WRWT (Segaris), OEUVRE (Galeri Prima),KICK START (Segaris). Atiqah has also received awards such as Jury’s Pick, Art Against AIDS (2017) and Best Interpretation of The Theme, Energy – Present & Future (Petronas Competition), Petronas Gallery (2015).
In my interest and study of philosophy and metaphysics, I have developed many questions about life. My observation of my relationships, various religions, and the world around me has raised a sense of curiousity within me. In search of the truth of life, my paintings have ultimately become an expression of these questions. I hope that through my work, I am able to balance these questions with achieving inner peace.
My choice of pigment is unique to my work; a mixture of cement and acrylic, the medium influences the colour, texture, brushstrokes, and ambience of my paintings. In a time where we are in a time where we are surrounded by so many distractions, we often forget to take in the environment we occupy. Through my use of a medium (cement), that is born from the earth, such as sand, clay, and leaves, I would like to invite the audience to observe the nature around us. Stones being a very natural product is currently the main subject matter of my paintings. There is a narrative of unspecified stories through the construct of the different compositions of the stones; through each arrangement and consideration towards space and form, I hope to inspire a sense of peaceful introspection towards life within my audience.
Clara Wong Pei San (b. 1986, Johor) received her diploma in Fine Art from the Southern University College (SUC), Johor Malaysia, in 2018. Featuring works of mixed media, oil painting, sketching, the concept and thought behind her artistic practice often explores notions of philosophy and metaphysics. From analysing and experimenting with the different painting mediums and structure, she has developed her own unique approach in her use of medium when creating her artworks.
Participation in selected group exhibitions include HOM Art Open (2021), Selangor, and Malaysia Art2U Exhibition (2019), Johor. She has also been included in the catalogue of the Southern University College under the school’s Faculty of Art and Design Department. Having travelled to various countries, she believes that her exposure to the different cultures of various countries has informed her work. She allows her knowledge and understanding of philosophy and truth in relation to world culture and human society to influence her paintings.
My artistic practice revolves around the idea of detribalisation, and the escalation of the digital era from my perspective as an individual from a middle-class society. While I grew up with strong influences of my socio-cultural way of living instilled in me, my exposure towards western media had also created a sense of detachment from my cultural upbringing and norm.
Channeling that detachment, along with my interest towards the digital age into my work, I have come to identify that there is a gap of development in both physical and digital environments between different societal communities. Evidently, there is a drastic delay of modernisation in way of life, thinking, and exposure to technology within the middle to lower-class groups.
Through drawing inspiration from western media and advanced technology, among other things, I engage in both orthodox and digital approaches to my work. Using the techniques of painting, image transfer, and photo manipulation, I am able to depict futuristic elements and the advancement of technology with the effect of old photographs. Essentially, my paintings deliver a commentary of the escalation of the digital age from the shoes of a middle-class individual.
Mix media on Canvas
159 x 87 cm
RM 3,450 / Avalaible
Heidhir Hamdan (b.1993 Selangor) received his M.A in Fine Art and Technology at University Technology of Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam, in 2020. His creative practice broadly includes works of painting, digital art and mixed media; he draws inspiration from a variety of themes including music, design, nature, and social science. His work is often a visual commentary surrounding the middle-class community in Malaysia and the impact of the digital age on this particular group.
Heidhir’s work has consistently been featured in group exhibitions since 2013. Participation in selected group exhibitions include, HOM Art Open 2021 at Hom Art Trans, EMERGENT at Galeri Prima (2020), ISOULATION at UiTM Shah Alam (2020), Unknown at Segaris (2019), and U12 Revival at Galeri Prima (2019).
Wong Hui Lynn
The concept behind my work has to do with the study of the aspect of duality within people, events, and things. I believe that contradictions exist in everything; nothing is either black or white, or good or bad. This is comparable to the indivisible whole, of yin and yang, where opposing characteristics and forces are complementary, and brings balance and harmony towards one another.
The idea behind my practice was informed by the study of my personality as an introvert. Having read the book, ‘The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World’ by Marti Olsen Laney, my perception towards introverts was developed, thus allowing me to better understand myself. Introverts are generally easily misunderstood due to their different ways of expressing themselves, and struggles with communicating as much or as well as extroverts. As the personality of an extrovert is easily accepted and embraced by society, it is easy for an introvert to feel out of place and pressured to change themselves.
I wish to depict the voices of the introverts through my creative practice. Through expressions of their more reserved but introspective nature, I hope to nurture a sense of understanding and acceptance towards their character. We each have a role to play in this world; I believe that like the concept of yin and yang, introverts and extroverts have the ability to complement one another, and bring balance as a whole.
Based in Kuala Lumpur, Wong Hui Lynn (b.1995), also known as Panney to her friends, graduated from Dasein Academy of Art with a Diploma in Fine Art. With a background in interiors design, she has had an interest in drawing and design long before her path eventually led her to study fine art. Enjoying the freedom and diversity in expression that life as an artist has introduced to her, Panney has found her calling in physicalizing her ideas and thoughts. While oil painting has been a dominant medium in her practice, she is interested in eventually exploring the use of other mediums. Her works have largely consisted of a mix of both 2 and 3-Dimensional forms, and concerns her thoughts on human conscience as well as the personality of an introvert.
Since graduating, Panney has actively taken part in several group exhibitions including HOM Art Open (2021), So(ul) Art, Artas Gallery (2020), and the Fine Art Show, Ampang Community Gallery, Ampang (2020) among several others. She has also received awards such as Jury’s Pick, Art Against AIDS (2020) and consolation prize for the EXISM Art Competition (2019).