DUOA: Eternal Duties @ HOM Art Trans

Two lecturers set themselves apart from their students, by utilising unconventional mediums whilst retaining an attractive aesthetic value, although such gestures may not be enough to trigger innovation. The Malaysian identity preoccupies works by Bibi Chew and Sharmiza Abu Hassan, this search for a legitimate identity seemingly outdated in a time when reflexive personas are acted out within virtual communities. Plaster sculptures of food hang in pouches, and bunches of coffee strainers in varying shades of brown, are examples of attention-grabbing art which presentations are too obscure to be effective. Bibi’s always-attractive wooden board creations fare better with “Pigmentation”, a series depicting brain development, although the suggested reading of neutralised racial codes is difficult to empathise with.

Bibi Chew - Pigmentation #3 (2015)

‘Bridging’ by Sharmiza follows on an old series that play upon the Puteri Gunung Ledang fable, while ‘Country of Mind’ is an intriguing large creation that documents the physical terrain and mental state, when the artist last conducted pilgrimage duties at Mecca. Geometrical constructs are Sharmiza’s strengths, and her smaller collages are enchanting and thoughtful. “Organ Drawings” are encased within a hexagonal grid, the objects subjected to metaphorical additions that result in a multi-chamber brick heart, or a brain with construction cranes anchored upon it. “Stool Series” are simple deconstructions of hexagonal shapes juxtaposed with objects in an artist’s studio, presenting sufficient indicators of the artist’s emotional affinity with such forms. When the emotional quantum waves – as Hasnul J Saidon calls it – are apparent, the art is naturally better.

Sharmiza Abu Hassan - Open Heart series (2015)