Saring II: Sublimity
Wei Ling Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
January 12, 2021 – February 28, 2021
Wei-Ling Contemporary welcomes the new year with ‘Saring II: Sublimity’, a body of work that marks Hamidi Hadi’s milestone as an artist. Due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic, Hamidi found a sense of peace and serenity through spending more time at his studio – reflecting on the life-changing aspects that have shaped him, and translating them onto his canvases. Despite its challenges, this year has in fact been crucial to the artist’s development, as it has allowed him the time and space to meditate in silence, allowing ideas that have sat idle, to surface. This introspection has made him grateful, and more resilient to face what is yet to come. His works have always possessed an emotional connection to his psyche and state of mind, which are crystalized through gestural and expressive brushstrokes, and layering of a myriad of materials and mediums on his paintings.
As an expansion to his 2019 series entitled ‘Saring‘ (a word that describes the act of filtering), these new paintings also serve as the artist’s medium to ponder his relationship with our Creator. Through an episode of solitude in the forest, he realised how the sublimity of nature can make us realise the greater power of our universe. Nature has therefore inspired him to work on becoming a more developed individual; to filter all the areas that no longer serve him well, and to embrace what he truly believes. In ‘Saring’, this understanding was symbolised physically by the act of recycling paper using wire mesh. Through ‘Saring II: Sublimity’, the artist adopted an alternative approach to filtering; by reminiscing and focusing deeply on the transformative aspects of his life, he has managed to create a positive mindset, which he hopes to convey to his audience. Parallel to his thought process in painting, his exploration into nature has also been an enlightening progression. Each trip into the forest has been one of self-discovery and realisations.
Amongst the places he visited this year, was one that has left an indelible mark on his psyche. His “private space”, as the artist describes it, is a particular spot by the river, under the banyan tree, where he would take a moment to relax and meditate. Nature is encapsulated in his paintings, not only through the subject matter but also the choice of material adopted – grinding laterite rock and soil into powder, and mixing it with natural Arabic glue to develop his own pigment. This material is present for the fist time in his work, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in the compelling colour palettes of nature. “Over time, I realised that everywhere we go, we are actually surrounded by nature. It is only up to us to acknowledge it”. Hamidi Hadi believes that in order for one to feel grateful of something, we must first notice its presence. The same goes for the significant moments in our lives; it is important to take some time to remember them, to be mindful, to acknowledge that they have taken place – and move on with what they have brought us.
About Hamidi Hadi (b. 1971)
Hamidi Hadi is regarded as one of the most prominent abstract artists of his generation, and is well-known for his experimental and explorative use of material. Over the years, his practice has formally migrated from pictorial representation of the objective world, into abstraction and the synthesis of complex materials and methods, to describe his emotional and spiritual responses to the world. Hamidi Hadi’s works are a constant experimentation and exploration of materials as he seeks to discover and capture the ephemeral and intangible.
Hamidi Hadi received the Bronze Award at the 2018 UOB Painting of the Year Malaysia. In addition to this, he has also received the Bank Negara’s Kijang Award in 2004 and the Philip Morris ASEAN Biennale Art Award in 2000. His works have been collected by both public and private institutions and corporations. Amongst them are the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, Setia Berhad, and the National Art Gallery of Malaysia. He has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions internationally, namely in Singapore, Indonesia, China, the Philippines and the United Kingdom. His recent group exhibitions include ‘Teh Tarik with the Flag’, held at the National Art Gallery of Malaysia in 2018. His previous solo exhibition entitled ‘Saring’ was featured at Wei-Ling Contemporary in 2019.