‘Arcawan’ means ‘sculptor’ in Bahasa Malaysia, with ‘arca’ meaning ‘sculpture’ while ‘-wan’ is a suffix meaning a person in a profession. The construction of the word is reflective of the central theme of the show, where the exhibition celebrates not only the physical works on display, but also the brilliant individuals behind them. Sculptors combine years of expertise in craftsmanship and thorough understanding of materiality to create three-dimensional forms that depicts the artist's vision of a specific aspect.
These forms range from free standing sculptures and pedestal displays to wall pieces that can be extended into elaborate installations. The conceptual aspect of sculpting is what sets sculptors apart from regular craftsmen. They are individuals that are able to use rudimentary materials to communicate a vast range of human emotions, from ones that are tender and delicate to violent and ecstatic.
The exhibition will be held at HOM Art Trans from 14 to 28 June 2023. The opening ceremony of the show is at 8:00pm on 14 June at the gallery space.
Dr. Zainuddin Abindinhazir
Dr. Zainuddin bin Abindinhazir @ Abdul Rashid was born in Kuala Nerang, Kedah. Dr. Zainuddin completed his Ph.D in Art and Design (Art History) in 2018 at the Faculty of Art and Design, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam after attaining a Bachelor of Education (Art) in 2002 and a Master of Education (Art) in 2005 at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris. Dr. Zainuddin was involved in metal craftsmanship and landscape design in the early 1990s. Dr. Zainuddin assumed the position of general manager at Warnies Jewel Sdn. Bhd., and has worked in goldsmithing for over ten years. Dr. Zainuddin has served for over 20 years at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, while being a part-time lecturer at Institut Kraftangan Negara in metal craft and jewellery design and making. His teaching disciplines include liberal study and studio based fine art and metal craft. Dr. Zainuddin is involved in research, creative design, studio practise, and art exhibitions. Dr. Zainuddin actively exhibits in the local scene in sculptures, silk screen printing, and paintings. His works are featured in the permanent collection of the National Art Gallery, and in the collections of art collectors locally and abroad.
Diam-Diam Berisi I
Dr. Zainuddin Abindinhazir
Mysteel and oxyacetelene welding | 80 x 60 x 27cm | 2023 | RM13,500 / Reserved
Diam-Diam Berisi II
Dr. Zainuddin Abindinhazir
Mysteel and oxyacetelene welding | 109 x 60 x 35cm | 2023 | RM13,500 / Reserved
Diam-diam ia berisi
Jadi manfaat penghuni bumi
Dari satu menjadi dua
Dari dua menjadi tiga
Tiada Cahaya tiada angin
Ia bergerak di dalam gelap
Terang bukan satu keperluan
Mati ia, matilah semua!’
The above text is an excerpt from the artist’s personal sketchbook that accompanies a preliminary sketch of the sculpture.
Dr. Zainuddin bin Abindinhazir @ Abdul Rashid spent his free time tending to his garden during the Malaysian Movement Control Order (MCO). Unable to create large scale sculptures in his studio, Dr. Zainuddin made ballpoint pen sketches of his produce after every harvest. He found himself inspired by the organic forms available in his garden, specifically the irregular shapes of peanuts and sweet potatoes.
The title of the series directly alludes to the malay saying ‘diam diam ubi berisi’ – meaning a person who is unassuming but more than what meets the eye. ‘Kenapa ia hidup dalam gelap tapi isinya putih?’ the artist questions how sweet potatoes live in darkness yet remain pure and untainted. Dr. Zainuddin sheds light on unsung heroes, the people doing good work remains unnoticed and unrecognised.
Hilal B Mazlan
Hilal B Mazlan graduated with a MA in Fine Arts and Technology from UITM Shah Alam in 2016 with a specialisation in sculpture. Hilal’s expertise in the field has led him to explore unconventional career paths in his life – prop making, set designing, mural painting, and custom furniture making, among many others. His various experiences inform his personal practise as a sculptor, where he continues to participate in creative pursuits that are regional, national, and worldwide. Some notable achievements include murals on city council walls, display setup for Universal Studios Singapore in Legoland Johor, winning the Malaysian Emerging Artist award in 2012, and being a finalist for Bakat Muda Sezaman hosted by the National Art Gallery. Hilal has had two solo exhibitions in his long career as a sculptor that has spanned over a decade. Since 2018, Hilal has worked as a permanent lecturer at UiTM Seri Iskandar, where he specialises in concepts and methods relating to sculpture making.
Hilal B Mazlan
DC Motor, bearing, fishing line, aluminium composite & wood
71 x 80 x 80cm | 2023 | RM3,000 / Reserved
Hilal B Mazlan creates kinetic sculptures reminiscent of Da Vinci inventions inspired by his love for Gundam modelling kits. Not only are his sculptures visually inspired by the Japanese franchise, but also all parts of his sculptures can be assembled and dismantled. This is particularly useful for reworking electrical circuits and sculpture maintenance.
In his 12 years of sculpting, Hilal remains fascinated with the idea of open forms - sculptures that are not solid masses but which have openings in them, or in which lines and planes replace enclosing surfaces. The open areas of Hilal’s sculptures become a signature component of his work that, as the artist describes, ‘tak membunuh space*.’
Hilal’s creates sculptures by intuition - without direct sources of inspiration or even preliminary sketches. However, when asked about the inspiration behind ‘Labyrinth,’ the artist suggests that he might have been subconsciously inspired by his love for the beach and natural forms. This is seen in the sculpture that visually resembles a palm tree, and cyclical kinetic movement in the ‘leaves’ that is reminiscent of waves and winds. While working on the electrical mechanisms of ‘Labyrinth,’ Hilal was inspired by the drive shaft of a lorry parked in front of his studio, and decided to employ a similar mechanism in the kinetic sculpture. Hilal enjoys keeping his conceptual process minimal, and instead places his focus on individual qualities of materials while trusting his intuition and assimilated knowledge.
A lecturer by profession, Hilal hopes to encourage his students to explore unorthodox sculpting techniques and ideas that go beyond constructing forms. In ‘Labyrinth’, Hilal installs a button instead of a sensor or timer to break the boundary between art and viewer, creating a more engaging viewing experience. Because the button needs to be pushed in order to experience the work, the role of the viewer transforms from a ‘passive observer’ to an ‘active audience.
Jamil Bin Zakaria was born in Kedah and currently works as a full-time artist at Dusun Seni Studio. Jamil completed a degree in Fine Art at UiTM Shah Alam, and went on to complete a MA in Fine Art from the same university from 2011-2013. While progressing through his degree, Jamil worked as an assistant at ArtVillage Gallery in Bangsar before lecturing at UiTM Alor Gajah Melaka from 2010-2012. Jamil tutored at Akademi Seni Budaya Dan Warisan Kebangsaan (ASWARA) for a year (2012-2013) and eventually lectured at the same institution for two years after that. Jamil has had three solo exhibitions – ‘LUBOK’, ‘CHERITERA GEMBALA’, and ‘TARUNG’ – all hosted by HOM Art Trans. Jamil forged his relationship with the gallery after his involvement in the ‘Young and New’ exhibition in 2009. Jamil has exhibited in galleries all around Kuala Lumpur, and in international art events in Beijing, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Japan, and Miami.
Jeritan Si Busut
PU foam, chicken wire & 2k clear iIndustrial paint
122 x 80 x 33cm | 2023 | RM6,000
Kambing Emas Atas Pagar
Chicken wire & 2k clear industrial paint
110 x 127 x 35cm | 2023 | RM7,000
Jamil Bin Zakaria makes wire sculptures with witty metaphors inspired by personal twists on Malay proverbs and sayings.
The title of the work, ‘kambing emas atas pagar’, or ‘golden goat on the fence,’ is a combination of two expressions. ‘Kambing hitam’, meaning ‘scapegoat’, and ‘atas pagar’, literally translating to ‘being on the fence’. Jamil believes that as a common citizen, it is difficult to always be properly informed on sociopolitical systems despite being involved in all of it. Through the wire sculpture, Jamil comments on how we often find ourselves as a passive observer on the fence while not always realising that our opinions are something of value - that we as individuals have the power to bring about large changes. The value of an individual is expressed in Jamil’s selection of a golden goat instead of a black one - kambing hitam.
‘Jeritan Si Busut’, or ‘screams of the anthill man,’ is another sculpture rich in symbolism. Jamil describes that while an anthill might be unassuming on the outside, it stretches deep and houses a kingdom. Jamil uses this as a metaphor to refer to a person who is silent yet deep and insightful. In the tortured face of the figure in the sculpture, Jamil depicts a person who has been diminished to nothing and is retaliating against oppression. The pigeon represents an observer exhibiting indifference at an unchangeable situation.
Mahizan Hijaz Mohammad is a senior lecturer and sculptor at the School of Fine Arts at UiTM Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia. Hijaz completed a foundation in art and design in UiTM Shah Alam before pursuing a BA in art and design and a MA in art and design network at the University of Wolverhampton, UK, where he specialized in sculpture and glass respectively. Hijaz was selected to the International New Designers London before his bachelors degree, and went on to achieve awards in the IID. While Hijaz is an exhibiting artist, he is heavily involved in publications and research. Hijaz has a writing paper published by Wolverhampton University, and has written for ‘Sentap’ in multiple issues of the publication. Hijaz exhibits both locally and internationally, with selected exhibitions including ‘The New Designers’ Art Awards in London, AICAD 2016 in Bandung, Indonesia, AICAD 2017 in the National Art Gallery Langkawi, Asia Fibre Arts 2019 in the National Art Gallery of Malaysia, and the Bandung International Art Connection 2020 in Indonesia.
Mimpi Ikan I
Plastic Polymer, Resin, Glass |175 x 238 x 32cm | 2023 | RM5,000
Mimpi Ikan II
Plastic polymer, Resin & Glass | 165 x 222 x 26cm | 2023 | RM5,000
‘Did you know it’s good luck to dream of fishes?’
Mahizan Hijaz Mohammad creates larger-than-life models of fish as a symbol of hope amidst an uncertain reality.
Unable to access his glass sculpting studio during the Malaysian Movement Control Order (MCO), the artist made small paintings with pigment on canvas in an effort to remain productive. Hijaz found that painted patterns reminded him of the silhouettes of fishes, and continued to make smaller artworks following the same motif. At the same time, Hijaz was seeking out alternative methods to continue working on his sculpting practice. Hijaz found that melted plastic polymer effectively mimics the translucent white finish of pate de verre, a French technique of pressing a paste of powdered glass into a mould. ‘Mimpi Ikan I & II’ is a product of this series of experiments.
Hijaz often stands beside Sungai Perak with his children, observing fishes that approach the water surface. Hijaz comments that Malay poems often use fish – semilang, kekek, siakap - as metaphors or rhyming words because of the integral role rivers played in civilisations, leading to a strong connection between fishes and local culture. Interestingly, Sungai Perak was the cradle for some of the earliest settlements in the Malaysian Peninsular. As Hijaz observes fishes by the river, he notices very human qualities such as migration and communal nurturing in various species, yet, once dead, the fishes are sold at very different price points at the local market. How do you put a value on life? What makes certain species more valuable than others? Hijaz uses fishes as a method of social commentary and a representation of our locality.
Mohd Saharuddin Supar
Mohd Saharuddin Supar (b. 1975, Johor) completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Sculpture) in UiTM Shah Alam and a Masters of Arts & Design (Glass) in 2004 in the University of Wolverhampton, UK. Saharuddin recently completed an artist residency (2022) in iron forging with Raja Shahriman that was organised by Pelita Hati and supported by Yayasan Hasanah. Saharuddin has his works in the collections of prominent institutions such as Balai Senilukis Negara, Galeri Petronas, Shangrila Hotel, and Bank Negara, just to name a few. Saharuddin has an extensive list of exhibitions under his belt, and has exhibited in spaces such as Ken Gallery, China House, Balai Seni Visual Melaka, Rajabhat University in Thailand, Rahmat Gallery & Muzeum International in Medan, and Balai Seni Negara.
Forged steel | 30 x 9.5 x 8cm | 2023 | RM2,000
‘I want my audience to come close, to hold my works in their hand.’
‘Mayang Series’ by Mohd Saharuddin Supar is a product of the artist’s training in forged steel, his early-career practise in environmental installation, and a childhood curiosity.
Saharuddin was trained in glass sculpting in the University of Wolverhalpton, UK, but began experimenting with other materials due to a lack of glass sculpting studios in Malaysia. Saharuddin taught himself to work with steel, before he was invited to attend a residency with Raja Shahriman at the end of 2022. During the residency, Saharuddin learnt to manipulate forged steel, allowing him to explore a plethora of new sculpting possibilities. Towards the end of the program, the artist stumbled upon a dried mayang, or palm tree flower, in front of his house and found himself drawn to its organic form. He then tried to replicate its effect using the techniques he had learnt.
Saharuddin’s sculpting practise is heavily inspired by forms in nature. While pursuing a degree in UiTM, Saharuddin worked in environmental installation, incorporating grass, soil, and found objects in his practise. When asked about how his current medium relates to his love for the natural world, the artist comments on the unpredictability of iron when exposed to the elements. Besides creating sculptures that resemble natural forms, Saharuddin deliberately treats his works with an acid solution to create rusty textures and colours.
In an interview leading up to the show, Saharuddin shared how growing up, he had always wanted to touch the artworks on display. ‘Mayang Series’ allows visitors to do just that. These are two sculptures with no installation directions – they were designed to be touched and interacted with. With the steel mayang in hand, the viewer is momentarily placed into the artist’s shoes, perhaps even feeling the same fascination Saharuddin experienced when picking up the dried mayang that inspired the work.
Muhammad Idrus Bin Mohd Rani
Muhammad Idrus Bin Mohd Rani graduated with a diploma in Fine Arts from Universiti Teknologi Mara (Perak) from 2010-2012, before pursuing a Fine Arts degree from the same university where he majored in sculpture. Idrus is currently a 3D designer at the Royal Selangor Pewter company where he visualises complex forms through 3D softwares. Idrus’ expertise in sculpting and knowledge in practical application has led him to win awards in art competitions hosted by Perbadanan Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal Dan Pembersihan Awam (SWcorp) , Kerajaan Tempatan(KPKT), and Yayasan Warisan Johor. Idrus is active member in the local scene. His works can be seen exhibited in Segaris Art Centre, HOM Art Trans, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Balai Seni Visual Negara, Artas Gallery, and Chetak 17.
Idrus approaches sculpting from a constructivist perspective, that is using stripped down geometric forms and modest materials to reflect an industrial society. He believes that the exploration of materiality and form is the message itself.
Idrus’ sculpting process begins with him trying to understand the qualities of each material – hard, soft, rough, smooth, leathery, sharp, etc – before thinking about what mood each material conveys. Idrus seeks inspiration from construction sites before sourcing materials from hardware stores and scrap metal shops. He comments that each material has a character that can be altered depending on the surroundings the material interacts with. He goes on to describe that the same piece of wood would convey a different mood with different applications – installed with glass, sanded down, painted over. Idrus is intentional with his sculpture design. He believes that besides technical functionality, every component down to a simple bolt and nut should serve a decorative purpose.
In his sculpting practise, Idrus incorporates skillsets he has developed in previous work settings. During his work as a display artist at the Islamic Art Museum Malaysia, Idrus used laser cutting to create Perspex displays for artifacts. His work as a 3D designer at the Royal Selangor Pewter Company has also led Idrus to use 3D modelling programs to assist him in conceptualising his sculptures. Combining assimilated knowledge with design intuition, Idrus creates sculptures that are experimental and dynamic.