Draw­ing in­spi­ra­tion

A group show makes a strong case for keep­ing the art of draw­ing a pri­or­ity.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Culture - By TERENCE TOH star2@thes­tar.com.my

IS the skill of draw­ing still a fun­da­men­tal el­e­ment in the world of con­tem­po­rary art? How can you cre­ate any­thing, af­ter all, if you can’t form lines or im­ages on a can­vas, or any other medium? These days, the rise of new de­sign soft­ware right to the clas­sics like Pho­to­shop and Il­lus­tra­tor have, ar­guably, called into ques­tion the im­por­tance of ac­tual draw­ing skills.

In a di­rect re­sponse, the Much Ado About Draw­ing group ex­hi­bi­tion, now show­ing at Core De­sign Gallery in Subang Jaya, cham­pi­ons the art of draw­ing and fea­tures an in­ter­est­ing line-up of artists with thought­ful and di­verse works.

“There are two lay­ers of look­ing at it. The first is, draw­ing is in­her­ent in ev­ery artist. So why are we talk­ing about it? Se­condly, are we putting too much hype be­hind the new forms of art? We’re talk­ing about video art, in­stal­la­tions and so on. What is the aca­demic side do­ing about the for­mal­is­tic train­ing of artists?” says Scar­lette Lee, the show’s in-house cu­ra­tor.

The ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures 14 works, from artists like Fauzin Mustafa, Haslin Is­mail, Haafiz Shahimi, Faizal Suhif, Mas­noor Ramli Mah­mud, Husin Oth­man, Husin Hour­main, Khairul Izham, Mohd Bakir Ba­harom and Mohd Al-Khuzairie Ali.

As seen in the gallery, their works are a mixed bag. Mohd Khuzairie’s piece, for ex­am­ple, of­fers rows of ceramic fig­ures, while Husin Hour­main’s Aku ... Dalam Men­cari Rukun – Work­ing Draw­ings On Pa­per is a col­lec­tion of sketches and cal­lig­ra­phy. Haslin Is­mail’s two pieces Dark Souls and The Ir­reg­u­lar Anatomist maps out the hu­man form, while Fauzin Mustafa’s White Gar­den show­cases his sig­na­ture bright colours and dots.

What they all have in com­mon, how­ever, is the em­pha­sis on draw­ing.

“Draw­ing is an still im­por­tant skill. Even if you are now com­puter-aided, it’s still up to the brain to come up with things. And the abil­ity to au­to­mate from the brain to the hand, that is what makes an artist spe­cial,” says Lee.

“To a trained eye, you can tell if an artist has mas­tered the fun­da­men­tal draw­ing skills or not.”

As an ex­hi­bi­tion, Much Ado About Draw­ing is loosely set up, with the works span­ning mixed me­dia, paint­ing, ce­ram­ics and cal­lig­ra­phy.

Each artist, as we gather, is given the op­por­tu­nity to present their own unique ideas of draw­ing.

Mas­noor Ramli Mah­mud feels the process of draw­ing is not about cre­at­ing sketches.

“It in­volves the emo­tions, the ex­pe­ri­ence of mak­ing some­thing. It’s not just mak­ing lines and marks, that’s just a for­mal­ity. Draw­ing in­volves ev­ery­thing that you feel. What’s im­por­tant is the am­bi­ence around you as you cre­ate,” says Mas­noor.

To him, draw­ing is the most ba­sic part of an art­work.

“When you are cre­at­ing a build­ing, for ex­am­ple, it starts from a sketch. And when it comes up, you can still see that (draw­ing) struc­ture in it.”

Mas­noor’s work Be(lie)vers com­prises sev­eral stark im­ages, in­clud­ing a brain, a hand and a foe­tus, cre­ated on an alu­minium sheet.

To Mas­noor, the work re­flects the in­tri­cate and tan­gled re­la­tion­ship be­tween tech­nol­ogy and hu­man­ity.

Haafiz Su­laiman, on the other hand, goes for the spir­i­tual quest. His two works – The Holy De­scen­dants and Lust For Eden – stem from his fas­ci­na­tion for py­rog­ra­phy. Haafiz draws with fire, his im­ages burnt into his jute can­vas and treated with rusted chem­i­cal wash to cre­ate a scorched look.

“For me, draw­ing is an im­por­tant el­e­ment to con­tin­u­ally im­prove my skills. It also al­lows me to trans­late my thoughts and pre­pare my mind for an art­work,” says Haafiz, be­fore aptly con­clud­ing, “Draw­ing is not meant for merely vis­ual arts. It is ap­pli­ca­ble for ev­ery­one, used as a com­mon form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion.”

Much Ado About Draw­ing is on at the Core De­sign Gallery, 87, Jalan SS15/2A Subang Jaya in Se­lan­gor till Oct 19. The gallery is open from Mon­day to Fri­day, 11am to 7pm, and on Satur­day and Sun­day by ap­point­ment.

For in­for­ma­tion, call 03-5612 1168.

Visit: www.core­design­gallery.com.

Chen Zhen’s gi­ant Pre­cip­i­tous Par­tu­ri­tion, a dragon hung above the mu­seum’s ro­tunda whose body is made of bi­cy­cle in­ner tubes with toy cars in­side, re­flect­ing China’s trans­for­ma­tion from a na­tion of bi­cy­cles to a na­tion of cars. — AFP

Haslin Is­mail’s Dark Souls (acrylic, car­bon pow­der, ink, pa­per cut­ting and col­lage on pa­per on wooden board, 2017).

Fauzin Mustafa’s White Gar­den (mixed me­dia, can­vas, 2017). — Pho­tos: Core De­sign Gallery

A panel from Mas­noor Ramli Mah­mud’s in­tri­cate Be(lie)vers (mixed me­dia, 2017).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.