Off Walls Off Pedestals

A Series of Sketches on Books: Continuing The Further Education of An Artist

Posted in Other Works by tsabri on April 17, 2010

As elsewhere mentioned, I was a graduate student in mid 1990s at the DMU/UiTM Postgraduate Center. I enrolled as a part-time student as I was then teaching Visual Studies at the LimKokWing Institute of Creative Technology, Kuala Lumpur. The family was then living in Taman Sri Andalas, Klang, and I have to commute to Kuala Lumpur almost every working day of the week by KTM Komuter or the Klang – KL Express. I attended the graduate classes on Saturdays.

Reading and finishing the assignments then became things of concern for me. I was also beginning to feel free from the burdens of ‘modern sculptural forms’, and as also mentioned, started to experiment with conceptual forms, drawing ideas from the Conceptual Art movement. A Recital, which I made for one of my graduate assignment encouraged me to explore on using used materials or other non-conventional art materials significant to my chosen themes or subjects.

Whilst researching on my assignments I discovered Peter Wuthrich, a Swiss artist who works with books. (ARTNEWS, June 1996 edition).

‘… creating readymade objects and installation that simultaneously mystify and deconstruct this unique invention of the human intellect… A book is a medium with a distinct message. As an object it is, of course, cold and dead. But it is also an active mediation between the world of the author and that of his readers. It somehow has a life and energy of its own.’ (Image of Peter Wuthrich & his work illustrated here is from

In one performance, Peter blindfolded himself and acted as reading the book which was held in his hands – ‘… All of my works can be read on different levels. I accept pretty much any explanation as long as it seems logical. As far as the blindfold is concerned, the contents of my books almost always remained a mystery. It is not about the contents of my books but rather about the essence of a book – about its general message not its specific narrative.’

‘… each book has its own story to tell, its own message it wants to get across. And although each message is different, who’s to say which is better or worst?’

Inspired by the idea, I made a series of sketches, using books as subject-matter. Published here are the sketches which I made in my notebook.

Book Sketch 1

Book Sketch 2

Book Sketch 3

Book Sketch 4

Book Sketch 5

Book Sketch 6

Book Sketch 7

Book Sketch 8 (photo)

Book Sketch 9

Book Sketch 10

Book Sketch 11

Book Sketch 12

Book Sketch 13

Book Sketch 14

Book Sketch 15

Book Sketch 16

Book Sketch 17

Book Sketch 18

Book Sketch 19

Book Sketch 20

Book Sketch 21

Book Sketch 22

Book Sketch 23

Book Sketch 24

Book Sketch 25


One Response

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  1. George Fishman said, on September 20, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    I appreciate your explorations. It’s interesting to see how small our world is, in the sense that so many aesthetic adventures are going on simultaneously in studios and galleries and museums across the world. Hopefully, we can still remain connected to our respective locales.
    Best regards,

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