The “Signs, Symbols and Icons” exhibition was launched last Saturday (23rd July 2011) to an adequate crowd, which was held at the Galeri Chandan, Bukit Damansara. I was one of the eager patrons who attended the opening reception. The exhibition highlights three young promising artists, Anisa Abdullah, Najib Ahmad Bamadhaj and Hirzaq Harris. Each individual successfully came up with their own rendition and insights regarding the concept of signs, symbols and icons, each with their own methods and techniques.
Marilyn Monroe was an icon during her glorious yesteryears, and that was what Anisa Abdullah is trying to imply into her works, famous and perhaps classic icons. Alongside the famous sex symbol, Anisa also focuses her insights on classic western cars that had been such crazed subjects for most automobiles enthusiastic all around the world. Not to forget, her interpretation on our local famous streets and their stories such as the “Jalan Lebuh Ampang”. The young artist experimented with collage to create forms using used materials, mainly magazines.
On the other hand, Najib Ahmad Bamadhaj’s “Polo” sends a bold yet very subtle message about the differences of classes in a society. As we know, Polo is a sport for the wealthy, and it has become a symbol representing the upper class. The artist tries to demolish this established believe by putting the image of the Polo player on an image of a wall. According to him, a wall is the favored medium for street art, like graffiti, and it represents the lower class. By combining these two, he claimed that he wants to reinforce the belief that everyone and classes should be equal and given the rights to certain privileges.
Most of Hirzaq Harris’ works has been influenced by the classic oriental style, as well as the classic Japanese style painting during the feudal era. There are Chinese symbols and characters written in some of his works, that according to him, those symbols tell the ancient stories and fables of the Chinese folklore. His main focus is the detail drawing of technical diagrams like from an interior of machines, and he applies them inside the images of classic icons and symbols that represent the ancient Japanese and Chinese cultures. These are the dragon, kabuki, samurai and a Buddha. He uses technical pens, acrylics and bitumen on canvas.
The exhibition ends on 29th July 2011. Another exhibition is on its way this august which entitles “Kalimah” and obviously focuses on Islamic art, which is appropriate with the oncoming Ramadhan. “Kalimah” starts on 10th of August and ends on 26th August 2011.
Video on the opening reception will be uploaded soon.
Najib Ahmad Bamdhaj - Polo
Mixed media on canvas
Anisa abdullah - Marilyn Monroe
paper collage on canvas
Hirzaq Harris - Beyond Kabuki
Mixed Media on canvas