SYSTEM by Fazrin Abd Rahman


In general, art often appears as a bearer of narrative centred around the humanist nature that resonates with an experience of humanity and their world. It is common for us immediately switch into a language of morphology; that is, we question its appearance whenever we think or look at the object of art. While appearance is an essential aspect of visual art, Fazrin Abdul Rahman wanted to move away from its symbolic signification. Instead, he looked at the medium of art as a mechanism capable of producing its meaning. To look at art solely for traditional aesthetic value undermines its medium's potential as we are too stressed on the logic of symbolism and ultimately avoid its materiality. The notion of a prestigious art object and the treasured assumption of traditional aesthetics are inadequate to support the current expanding field of visual art. Aesthetic, defined as the study of the philosophy of beauty, yet dependent on aesthetic as a criterion for art, is "an assumption whose locus is outside of art." The etymological origin of aesthetics stemmed from the Greek word aisth├ętikos means sensitive, and aisthesthai means perceive. The true meaning of aesthetic rather weight by sensibility rather than 'beauty'. Art is not only bound to retinal pleasure but the subject of sensibility both for the artist and its reader.

"System" explores the act of weaving as an attitude toward heavily manufactured production that prompted him to adopt industrial-strength material in his 'woven' art. Drawing inspiration from the traditional design and form, the works probes how the technique can be constructed as a scheme of language, a mediator of ancient knowledge to our current scientific understanding. Since Marcel Duschamp came out with his unassisted readymade object, he ultimately changed the course of language we used to read art; rather than questioning its appearance, we question its concept. Here, Fazrin stressed the idea that the derivation of form is as vital as their concept. He considers his body of work not merely a mediator of meaning but the meaning in itself. While his work is intrigued by materiality, artist intervention is still at play.

Trained as a sculptor, Fazrin adapted the art of rattan weaving as his primary technique, drawing from his personal experience while working as a craftsman specializing in Malay indigenous design. Fazrin's new production is a tribute to traditional art's ingenuity and a reinterpretation of current scientific thinking. In the past, weaving indicated a form of communal art and can be found in utility items such as tikar mengkuang, interior walls or roofs. "System" presents 13 wall sculptures that draw upon the artist's practice in recent years; this sees similarly shield-like shape sculptures multiplied at various scales, elevating the artist's interest in the mechanics behind the techniques and their applicability in our contemporary reading. Each artwork is given a specific number designated as the title indicates different looming systems used and characterized by its various geometrical patterns. It reveals a complex and systematic structure that emanates the element and principle of design, speaking volumes of his sensibility in the traditional and modern world.

Fazrin begged an interesting question on the medium specificity as the source of his artistic exploration. Medium is defined as both materials the artist uses to do work and a set of conventions to which artist refers. The former is known as a tool in respect of its production. Such appliance ultimately conceals its 'history', the origin of being itself. As the latter, there was a blurred distinction between material and medium, as the artist who adopted this convention tends to present the artwork as self-referential. For Fazrin, the medium is the matter of employment. It depends on the medium's particular aspect of its function, such as documentation, information, communication, participation, and interaction.

Fazrin treats his idea of materiality as a system that embodies specific values and functions within its limitation. His approach to medium specificity is a procession culminating in material as an independent property. The idea of communication depends on how the medium can be utilized as a distributor of signs, a practical intermediary to reveal its potential within a specific environment known as communication and distribution. It is a strategy to accommodate the work in the space where the interaction between artwork and audience happens. It is supposed to direct or advocate an audience to be part of that 'environment'. The audience, consciously being direct to the point where the object of interest prevails. In this term, the work of art serves as a mediator between the place (space) and its audience.

Thus, meaning is not only occurred when all the materials take it to form as a sculptural object, but the consisting element merges into an articulation of the system, allowing both medium and form to become dependable to each other. Therefore, medium and form are mutually dependent and may constitute and reconstitute each other through time. Fazrin conceives medium and forms intrinsically, rather circumstantially, co-dependent. His account is logical, for rational discourse opposes sense-as-feel to sense-as-meaning - a typical dualism. In this sense, Fazrin's work invites a particular sensibility, a sense-as-sense. The work itself does not represent any romantic or nostalgia but instead reveals its specific value and function in a specific temporal place. Without reducing its natural element, the intermediary between looms of aluminium creates its language - a system of functional differences and opposition.

Fazrin's "System" conveyed a non-representational and abstracted form, a repeated pattern informed by a systematic compositional scheme. The pattern structured in his work is generally modular in its shape, a combination of a simple mathematical conjecture of diagonal, horizontal, and vertical lines. This simplicity of design elicits a digital numerical system found in a virtual world. The language system pervades into current consciousness in most of our technological interactions. To experience each piece is to invert the usual order of ideology: nothing compels you to receive the image it gives; instead, what you get is whatever you choose to take. The responsibility and the judgement are yours.

Artist's roles are to investigate how the realities can be transferred into the actuality and how the actualization of the art object establishes a connection to the audience, thus propagating the sense of truth. As for Fazrin, a work of art can be the paradigm and symbolic of truthfulness – a self-reflective decorum. Truthfulness is a means of honesty, the self-unfolding emergence in which individual things come forth from obscurity. Our reality is how we understand and organize the complexities of existence. In this sense, Fazrin's work is a "model" of life and operates along with those guidelines. In addition, this model serves both as a means to process incoming information and as a filter. It is not only determining what we perceive as reality but what it means.

-2+1-2/+1-3+1 

Fazrin Abd Rahman 
Spray paint on aluminium strips | 122 x 77 cm | 2022 
RM 5,520 

-1+1/+2/+1-1 

Fazrin Abd Rahman 
Spray paint on aluminium strips | 122 x 77 cm | 2022 
RM 5,520

+2-1/+1-2/+3

Fazrin Abd Rahman 
Spray paint on aluminium strips | 122 x 77 cm | 2022 
RM 5,520

-2+1-2/-1+3-1 

Fazrin Abd Rahman 
Spray paint on aluminium strips | 122 x 77 cm | 2022 
RM 5,520

-1+2/+2-1

Fazrin Abd Rahman 
Spray paint on aluminium strips | 122 x 77 cm | 2022 
RM 5,520

+2-1+2/-1+3-1(1) 

Fazrin Abd Rahman 
Spray paint on aluminium strips | 122 x 77 cm | 2022 
RM 5,520

+3-3/+2-4/+1-5

Fazrin Abd Rahman 
Spray paint on aluminium strips | 122 x 77 cm | 2022 
RM 5,520

+2-1+2/-1-1+1-1-1 

Fazrin Abd Rahman 
Spray paint on aluminium strips | 122 x 77 cm | 2022 
RM 5,520

+2-1+2/-1+3-1(2)

Fazrin Abd Rahman 
Spray paint on aluminium strips | 122 x 77 cm | 2022 
RM 5,520

+2-1-1/-1-1+2

Fazrin Abd Rahman 
Spray paint on aluminium strips | 122 x 77 cm | 2022 
RM 5,520

-1+2/+1-2(s)

Fazrin Abd Rahman 
Spray paint on aluminium strips | 61 x 91.5 cm | 2022 
RM 2,760 

-1+1/+1-1(s)

Fazrin Abd Rahman 
Spray paint on aluminium strips | 61 x 91.5 cm | 2022 
RM 2,760 


+2-1/+1-2/+3(s)

Fazrin Abd Rahman 
Spray paint on aluminium strips | 61 x 91.5 cm | 2022 
RM 2,760