The man behind the Iron Man and Iron Lady.
Recently, in conjunction with National Day and Malaysia Day, Galeri Prima together with Curate Henry Butcher organised an art exhibition called MORPHOSIS in which a total of 88 local artists shared their own reflections of the country. Although Dirgahayu Negaraku — Susah Payahnya Membina Negara was claimed the anchor piece of the exhibition, it was arguably the Iron Man and the Iron Lady were the ones that caught many eyes.
For Marvel die-hard fans, Iron Man refers to one of fictional superhero characters in the Marvel series. But for Aizat Amir Ahmad Sanusi — a final year fine arts student in Academy of Arts, Culture and National Heritage (ASWARA), Iron Man is not just a fictional character, rather it is an actual living person. To him, our current Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is the Iron Man and of course, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali is the Iron Lady.
“Tun Mahathir is my inspiration and idol. Not politically but in terms of how he can think further than anyone else”, said Aizat.
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Aizat also is impressed by how he can bring Malaysia forward at par with other developed countries such as Japan and the United States.
“I used to live in his era when he was our fourth prime minister and I experienced living in the era of his two successors (Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak). From what I saw, his ideas sometimes were beyond our grasps”, Aizat further explained.
To Aizat, Tun Mahathir is the Iron Man of the country when despite being a 92-year-old man, he still works his best to serve the country tirelessly. Of course, thanks to the supportive wife, Tun Siti Hasmah who has always been by his side regardless of time and circumstances.
“She once again sacrificed (spending time with her husband) and let her husband went back into governing the nation”, said Aizat when he was asked why she regarded Tun Siti Hasmah as the Iron Lady.
Despite being a final year student, juggling in between classes and preparation for his first solo exhibition, taking Tun Mahathir’s spirit and Tun Hasmah’s sacrifice as example, Aizat managed to finish both of his paintings for MORPHOSIS in just one week time.
“I am still a student. I only have time after classes around 8 pm. So, I can only paint at night. And I was running out of time. I sacrificed my time, and there was even no holiday for me”, he said.
Graduated from ASWARA with a diploma in fine arts, Aizat started his journey in the art scene in 2010. Along the way, he has joined countless roadshows and exhibitions to showcase his artwork and some of them have been sold to esteemed private collecters such as Yayasan Tuanku Syed Putra. Later in 2016, he continued his studies in Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts at the same academy.
As an art student, he told us that his biggest inspiration is Suzlee Ibrahim — Dean of the Faculty of Visual Communication and Design (Fine Arts) ASWARA and an abstract painter in Malaysia.
“From the start, he encouraged us (fine arts students) to join any roadshows and exhibitions to develop your CVs”, he further explained.
The recent MORPHOSIS exhibition held at Galeri Prima Balai Berita Bangsar has shown the dedication of our local artists to contribute to the country. Of course, different people have different ways of serving and showing gratitude their beloved nation, and every act counts.
“To some people, they see us (the visual artists) have no contribution to the country. But to me, visual artists are the ones who record history.”
And thanks to visual artists out there, we can show the recorded histories to our future generations so that they do not forget their roots — the roots that make us all standing as one strong tree. The roots that make us all — Malaysians.