Off Walls Off Pedestals

Percakapan di Melaka, 2011: Potensi Artis Muda & Perjalanan Artistik

Posted in Students and Art by tsabri on May 22, 2011

Pada pertengahan Februari 2011, saya dijemput oleh Jabatan Seni Halus, Fakulti Seni Lukis & Seni Reka, UiTM Melaka untuk memberi sebuah syarahan kepada pelajar-pelajarnya. Saya diberi masa kurang lebih 90 minit, membawa tajuk, ‘Potensi Artis Muda dalam Seni Rupa Malaysia’, dan sebuah tajuk tambahan mengenai perjalanan saya sebagai seorang artis, yang saya namakab, ‘Perjalanan Artistik Tsabri Ibrahim’. Berikut adalah himpunan slaid yang digunakan untuk syarahan tersebut:

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One Nation or One World? : An Exhibition of Posters, Alpha (Foundation) Year, Faculty of Creative Multimedia, Multimedia University. April 2010

Posted in Students and Art by tsabri on April 2, 2010

I asked the Alpha Design Fundamental’s lecturers when first invited to pen down a few notes for the exhibition – yes, was it One Nation or One World? Vimala Perumal, a member of the Alpha lecturing team who initiated the exhibition explained that One Nation originated as an idea to promote tolerance, togetherness and peace amongst people. Students were first to study significant quotations from famous individuals, then visualized the selected quotations using typography combined with relevant images into compositions for posters; they worked the compositions on computers and later printed them in AO size posters.

The exhibition is a selection of some 30 posters, on the theme or title of One Nation, created by previous students of Alpha (session 2009, now they are in the Beta year). Vimala coordinated the class.

Poster 1

Poster 2

Poster 3

One Nation or One World?

The word Nation is singular in a sense; it usually connoted a political idea of a country or a government used to govern people or the citizens. There were even political parties using One Nation as their parties’ names – One Nation, a nationalist party in Australia; One Nation, a defunct party in Israel; One Nation, a defunct far-right party in the United Kingdom; One Nation, a secular non-profit organization in the U.S.A. that advocates American religious pluralism; etceteras.

Poster 4

Poster 5

Poster 6

The past proved that there were always at least two different (if not more) opinions / views / beliefs in living this life: Good or Bad, Right or Wrong, Left or Right. Then, can we say One Nation, as an idea is perhaps utopian? Perhaps One Nation only lives in imagination, like John Lennon said in his song: Imagine there’s no Heaven / It’s easy if you try / No hell below us / Above us only sky / Imagine all the people / Living for today / Imagine there’s no countries / It isn’t hard to do / Nothing to kill or die for / And no religion too / Imagine all the people / Living life in peace…

Or these tolerance, togetherness and peace amongst people perhaps better said as One World, like Michael Jackson said in the song: …We are the world / We are the children / We are the ones who make a brighter day / So let’s start giving / There’s a choice we’re making / We’re saving our own lives / It’s true we’ll make a better day / Just you and me…?

According to Vimala, the class, which exhibited the posters, was composed of students of various nationalities. There were Bangladeshis, Chinese, Indians, Indonesians, Iranians, Iraqis, Nigerians, Saudi Arabians, etceteras… as well as Malaysians. It is interesting to note that, though the students came from various backgrounds and places, its difficult to discover these ‘national identities’ (of where they came from) as almost all images addressed or represented were issues of universal and global concerns. Perhaps these reflected the One Nation (or One World) projected by Vimala and her Alpha Teaching Team.

The posters on display were laden with both surface beauty and underpinning meanings. There were popular or famous images and quotations of Carlos Santana, Che Guevara, Helen Keller, John Lennon, Kofi Annan, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King JR., and etceteras. There were colours, lines, shapes and all the design principles_ the students proved they understood poster as a media form.

The Alpha Teaching Team involved with the One Nation Poster Project were Elyna Amir Sarji, Hanafiah Waiman and Mastura A Rahman, beside Vimala Perumal.

Mounting 1

Mounting 2

Cracked Earth

Posted in Students and Art by tsabri on February 23, 2010

In November 2007, I wrote an exhibition’s note to accompany an exhibition of FCM students’ works. They were from the Design Fundamental class’s project that is taught at the Alpha or Foundation Level.

Cracked Earth

Acid RainChlorofluorocarbonGlobal DimmingGlobal WarmingHazeHypoxiaMarine PollutionOcean AcidificationOil SpillShip PollutionSurface RunoffThermal PollutionWastewaterWaterborne DiseasesWater StagnationBioremediationHerbicidePesticideActinides in the EnvironmentEnvironmental RadioactivityFission ProductNuclear FalloutPlutonium in the EnvironmentRadiation PoisoningRadium in the EnvironmentUranium in the EnvironmentInvasive SpeciesLight PollutionNoise PollutionRadio Spectrum PollutionVisual Pollution

…the list goes on and on, with additional new things every other time.  How restless life is!

This exhibition is yet another statement of getting us together to see and know the world we are living today.  The issues presented were nothing new – we have heard all about the polluted world countless times before.  We debated them in the primary and secondary schools.  We were asked to write essays.  We found them in songs, in books… We heard them on the radio.  And yesterday, 11th November 2007, an oil tanker split into two, after being lashed by a violent storm in the Black Sea, spilling at least 2,000 tons of fuel oil. …and three cargo ships sank with 6,800 tons of sulphur.

This exhibition showcases a potpourri of art forms_ mind-maps, drawings, paintings, sculptures and objects, by the Alpha students of the Faculty of Creative Multimedia.  Though labeled as students’ works, they, the exhibits are displaying great promises and potentials to become ‘great works of art’.  Line, the design element central to the students’ studies for the project, is resourcefully executed in the exhibits – pulling together all the other elements like shape, texture and color into pleasing design compositions.  These fledgling artists are the people to watch in the coming years.


Notes from a Students’ Exhibition that Didn’t Happen (Gaza: A Visual Metaphor)

Posted in Students and Art by tsabri on January 15, 2010

Sometime in September 2009, an academic-friend asked me to write some notes for his students’ exhibition which he titled as ‘Gaza: A Visual Metaphor”. The exhibition was scheduled to be held at the eGallery, Faculty of Creative Multimedia (FCM), Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, the exhibition didn’t take place.

After seeing the works (the studio exercises), I noted as follows;

  • Exhibition. The exhibition displayed FCM Alpha students (semester 39) works based on Gaza as the major theme or topic of reference.. The works, both 2-dimensional (drawings & paintings) and 3-dimensional (assemblages & sculptures), were results from a creative as well as a critical process of identifying problems, justifying images, developing designs and appropriating the expressions to the given theme, Gaza.
  • Gaza. Gaza City; Palestine; Gaza Strip; Palestinian National Authority; Philistines; Egyptians; Romans; Byzantines; Crusaders; Mongol raids; Ottoman Empire; World War 1; British Mandate of Palestine; 1948 Arab – Israeli War; Six Day War; PLO; Hamas; Fatah; Jewish; Christianity; Islam; Zionism.
  • Where is Gaza? Gaza is millions of kilometers from here. So far away… like it’s at the edge of the world! Imagine! The world is flat and Gaza is situated at its very edge! You will have your fall of life if you miss Gaza. Next is hell, so they said!
  • Where is Gaza? Gaza is also just a few kilobytes away. So near… like it’s at the tip of your middle finger! Imagine! The world is cylindrical and Gaza is situated at its bottommost  / uppermost part! You may be floating, as the magnetic pull is the least there!
  • Between the Real and the Virtual. Blood has spilled hatreds. Tears have drowned the fragile hopes. Fear has been misspelled several times… Have you seen blood? My friend. Blood oozing out from the severely cut stomachs, from the cracked heads… and bodies, how does blood smells, my friend? Is blood red, my friend? Have you heard the bombs? Have you heard their laughter?
  • Do you think you know where Gaza is?
  • Is Gaza a metaphor? A visual metaphor?
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