Every Face Tells A Story

UOB is working hard to make sure Malaysia is a place where creativity thrives since its inception in 2011. They have been immensely supportive in the Southeast Asian art scene, be it recognising established contemporary artists or creating a new path along that perpetual search for the young and emerging artists.  This year, the UOB Painting of the Year Award Ceremony took place on the 22nd October 2015, beyond the glass facade at Curate Gallery.

UPPRE had a moment with the award-winning artists.

FACE OFF

‘Filth in the Beauty’, Acrylic on canvas.

Nik Mohd Shazmie bin Nik Shairozi (b. 1991)

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What’s the message behind this piece of art?

It’s about my view on the fashion and artificial beauty phenomenon. The desire to become perfect has turned into a priority. I notice that there is an obvious pattern that everyone wants to be as perfect as they can as I browse through instagram, vines and facebook. As an observer, sometimes it makes me go like —  ‘urgh, again?’. This ambiguous portrait depicts all the beauty criterias that people crave for — eyes like this, nose like that, lips to look a certain way. The face ended up like a collage. The luxury sofa is the metaphor of something superficially classy but the existence of dust and mold can nonetheless be found underneath. Nothing is genuine.

Instead of using provocative words, sending irritating comment and declaring war on social media, I channel the feels into the art pieces.

What was the first piece of art that you created?

My own portrait. I was a 4 or 5 years old naive kid who thought that human can only draw cartoons. You know, a child’s first thought. But I tried and it went good. (I thought it’s horrible actually! Haha)

Who were your influences as a young artist?

Nyoman Masriadi (Indonesia), Natee Utarit (Thailand) and Yayoi Kusama (Japan) and legends like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.

As an artist and with the expectation to be constantly creating, what is refreshing to you, where do you go or what do you do?

I am always expecting the world to be different everyday. I like learning new things and I am not afraid of unfamiliarity. For example, learning about new cultures by travelling outside, going into interesting shops like a hipster-esque cafe or German shabby chic furnitures shop, researching a new recipe for my cooking, approaching new fashion trend and attending a business coaching. ?

Each and every activity, I believe, is one circular thing that give me the wildest ideas which is unlikely to happen to someone who just sit in one place and think, and think again. We should get out of the house more often and feel the world!

Nik Mohd Shazmie bin Nik Shairozi (b. 1991) won the Gold Award in Established Artist Category.

‘Aku dan Dia’ (Me and Him), Acrylic, spray paint and collage on board.

Muhammad Azizi bin Abdul Latif (b. 1988)

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What’s the message behind this piece of art?

I want to describe the journey as an artist (myself). I used the portrait of the great master artist — Jeff Koons as a metaphor to reflect his success, achieved through patience and determination.

What was the first piece of art that you created?

Still life artwork during my diploma study in UiTM Malacca (2007).

Who were your influences as a young artist?

As a young artist, all great master artists are my influencers. I like to see their journey of life as an artist.

As an artist and with the expectation to be constantly creating, what is refreshing to you, where do you go or what do you do?

I will be joining several art shows until next year. The latest show will be held at Taksu Gallery Kuala Lumpur, 19 November 2015.

Muhammad Azizi bin Abdul Latif won the Silver Award in Established Artist Category.

‘I Am Tired’, Oil on canvas.

Mohd Safuan b Mohd Nasiar (b. 1993)

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On his first piece of art – I was inspired by cartoon. Then after that I started drawing random things from my own imagination such as old houses and bamboo trees.

And his influence – Zulkifli Yusoff, Redza Piyadasa and Agus Wage.

What’s refreshing, where do you go or do – My work is based on my own experience and self statement. Thus each story of my life can be an inspiration for me to make art.

What’s the message behind this piece of art?

It is about my protest over caste system. I am tired of it.

Mohd Safuan b Mohd Nasiar won the Silver Award in Emerging Artist Category.

 

Visit http://www.uobpoy.com/ for more information.

Danica Chia

Writer, flâneur & ice-cream enthusiast.

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