Two sides to a story
Newcomer artist discusses the fractious relationship between logical and creative thinking.
AS most people know, the human brain is divided into two sides. The left side is connected with tasks to do with logic and rationale, while the right side is associated with creativity and imagination.
The relationship between both sides, and how they challenge each other, form the subject of Construction Of Creativity, a showcase by Negri Sembilan-born artist Hidayat Arshad on display at G13 Gallery in Petaling Jaya. His works, therefore, feature an odd, but striking fusion of ordered shapes and lines, with free-form shapes and fluid images.
“It’s a combination of the geometric and the organic. I challenged myself to combine these two elements, to put elements connected with both sides of the brain into one work. It’s a visual representation of how my mind works,” says Hidayat, 26, during a recent interview.
Hidayat, who has a Bachelor (Hons) of Fine Art from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in Shah Alam, is a talented and busy artist, and he is no stranger to group exhibitions, having had his works displayed in various shows, including Taksu Gallery’s Bi Lateral Bonds (2016) and G13 Gallery’s 7th Anniversary show earlier this year.
Construction Of Creativity is Hidayat’s first solo showcase, and it features seven semi-abstract paintings from his Imaginary series. It is the fourth instalment of G13 Gallery’s Project Room series, a new platform initiated by the gallery to promote new artistic talents.
“For artists, getting a solo show is usually a huge project. So this is like an intro for them, before they enter a bigger platform. We only require a small amount of artwork, like six to eight pieces from an artist. So it’s something for them to start with, for them to showacse their newest work or new ideas. It’s been very well-received so far,” says Kenny Teng, G13 Gallery director.
You would think that being an artist, Hidayat would be more a right brain sort of person. However, he isn’t on that page. Instead, he thinks of himself as more familiar with his left brain. Working out the right side of his brain, therefore, comes as quite a challenge to him.
“Before this, I was interested in works that were very balanced, with a lot of sharp, clean lines. So it wasn’t easy to do these (new works),” says Hidayat, whose style is influenced by local master artist Rafiee Ghani.
He reveals that getting the concept for this series, therefore, was somewhat difficult in the beginning. But he persisted. He adds that making his first work Imaginary One was the hardest. However, once that work was completed, the rest mostly fell in place.
“I’m very much a perfectionist, very orderly. But as an artist I have to keep trying new things to get better,” says Hidayat.
“Organised chaos” would definitely be a good way to describe his works, which contrast monochrome rows of dots and lines with free-floating shapes of leaves and flowers, representing the growth and spontaniety of the natural world. The artist wants viewers to leave their worries at the door when they visit the Construction Of Creativity show.
“I want people to derive a sense of tranquility from this duality.”
He maintains it is part of the order of the world, with opposite forces complementing rather than destroying each other.
“In everything there must be a balance. There is both positive and negative, good and bad. You cannot have one without the other,” he says.
G13 Project Room: Construction Of Creativity is on at the G13 Gallery, GL13, Ground Floor, Block B, Kelana Square, Jalan SS7/26, Kelana Jaya in Selangor till June 23. The gallery is open from 11am-5pm every day except Sundays and public holidays. For more info, call 03-7880 0991. Visit: www.g13gallery.com or www.facebook.com/G13gallery.
Imaginary 7 (mixed media on canvas, 2017).
Imaginary 6 (mixed media on canvas, 2017).
‘The show is a visual representation of how my mind works,’ says Hidayat. — ART CHEN / The Star
Imaginary 3 (mixed media on canvas, 2017).