Satu Eksplorasi @ Purple Houz

Recommended by the Edge-Options (Jan 28 ed.), I visited the Purple Houz gallery off Jalan Gasing for Ronnie Mohamad's solo exhibition.  Before that I had the opportunity to browse its stockroom, which had a few interesting pieces, including a lovely cat drawing by Dzulkifli Buyong.

Portrait series: Fighters (2012)

Ronnie honed his craft at Kompleks Kraftangan, and it looks like he has put in his 10,000 hours to achieve mastery in drawing.  Two framed rows of pastels depicting silat exponents greet the visitor, its firm & precise strokes leaving an immediate impression.  Beside it is the large-sized 'Fighters', an interesting take of the pertarungan subject matter - is he fighting another person, or is the opponent his own phantom?  The blurred exponent facing us provides a startling contrast, to the fighter's rippling muscles in the foreground.

Portrait series: Bubble Boy 1 (2012)

The monochromatic palette continues with some amazing charcoal portraits, some of which water and skin tone are drawn with great realism.  Colour makes a surprising entrance in the accomplished "WIP" series.  As the name implies, blank unfinished spaces surround well drawn figures of local subjects, drawing the viewer in.  The cheeky "Playground" series re-imagines drawing from a child's perspective, its forced amateur-ism producing delightful compositions full of heart.

WIP series: Nelayan (2012)

Wrapping up this great solo exhibition is more cheekiness in the form of 'Masked Man', a portrait of Nizar Kamal Ariffin and his trademark thick abstract lines hovering over the artist's head.  If this show is anything to go by, Ronnie Mohamad can expect a promising future ahead, perhaps finding a new workplace away from Jalan Conlay.

Playground series