The Amazing Azizi

A young talent with an old soul uses ingenious quilling technique in his art.

Talent knows no shape nor form and it certainly rings true with Azizi Latif, a rising creative artist in Malaysia who soars beyond any shortcomings and succeeds as a person with different capabilities. The talented Azizi has won many accolades, including the Silver Award (Established Category), UOB Painting Of The Year 2015 and being selected as the first young artist represented by Curate Henry Butcher.

Born in Klang in 1988, Azizi received his Bachelor of Fine Arts at UiTM. From the time when he was in university, he has begun captivating audiences with exceptional portraits which he makes from an innovative quilling technique involving meticulous arrangement of densely folded or rolled paper strips. These ingeniously curved paper strips define the facial planes, resembling shifting waves and movements experienced by the subject.

His works primarily celebrate great masters and cultural icons in the art world; from Western world renowned artists, to Japanese legendary artists, to Malaysian prominent artists, Azizi pays his respect and tribute to them through his works of art.

Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal and Gerhard Richter.

Despite being physically-disabled (having lost his right hand palm in an accident during childhood), Azizi has overcome trials and hardships along the way, focusing on his type of new media art with steely determination, relentless persistence, and a strong will to succeed.

UPPRE had the golden opportunity to speak to this extremely talent young artist recently.

How did you decide you wanted to become an artist? Has it always been your passion?

I have had the dream of becoming an artist since I was a very little child. The arts have always been my passion. Unfortunately, immediately after my accident I was not the strong person I am today. I was shy, sensitive and lonely. Once, I was even fired from a factory that I worked because I am disabled.

I decided to become a full time artist after I tried working as a designer for several companies. However, during that time, I learnt that I am not into this culture of just working in front of the computer and needing to follow office hours and its culture. My culture is for brush, acrylic, canvas, paper and glue. From that, I decided to become full time artist and I am happy for that decision.

Dato Mohd Hoessein Enas.

How did you get the idea to use such an unconventional method for your art?

Exploring, exploring and repeatedly exploring.   Before I found the suitable material that I use now, I tested maybe hundreds or thousands of pieces of different papers. I faced the failure of material at first, since I have to make sure the material will last longer, the colour on it will always be as bright as it is, the paper that I used will not shrink when the glue is applied on it and the temperature of glue also needs to be suitable with the paper. These are the issues that I am always concerned with when finding the right material.

Where do you draw inspirations from?

Most artworks communicate ideas, mood or meaning. People have been making visual art since the beginning of human history. My inspirations always come from the observation of other fine art creators. I love seeing other paintings, sculptures, prints and I am always eager and curious to know how the artist made it. From the observation process I gain the idea for my own artwork. Other than that, I love museums, which are my favourite place to go. There, I can see how true the artworks are, and it is overwhelming and impossible to really take it all in. All the effort that showed in those artworks makes me feel inspired.

Keith Haring.

Azizi Latif can be reached here and here.

Read more about the amazing artist in an article by Curate Henry Butcher here.

Vimal Palasekaran

Vimal Palasekaran

Loud laugher. TV buff. Hispanophone.
Vimal Palasekaran

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