Aku: Dalam Mencari Rukun…

Solo Exhibition:-

Husin Hourmain

27th April – 1st June 2018

Balai Seni Negara (National Art Gallery), Kuala Lumpur


*Click on images to zoom in

Aku: Dalam Mencari Rukun… is the fourth solo exhibition by Husin Hourmain, and his first since Awal Hurouf Asal Hurouf (2013) which till today is considered a landmark body of works demarcating the rise of contemporary calligraphy in Malaysian art.  Produced over the span of two years, Aku: Dalam Mencari Rukun… brings together several of Husin’s signature styles – abstract expressionist mark-making, textural paint, hyper-detailed calligraphy – with new styles, in particular the inclusion of wood and glass as material, as well as installation formats.  Interestingly the series generally reflects an increasingly sober palette of whites, browns and blacks, as opposed to the bright colours Husin has typically favoured in the past.  The seamless intertwinement of these new elements with Husin’s well known signatures demonstrates the conceptual and technical growth of the artist over the past five years.

Over the past five years, Husin Hourmain has produced several major pieces of works which contributed to the progression towards Aku: Dalam Mencari Rukun… such as Nota dan Yasin Untukmu, Allah Hu and especially the seminal piece, The Cube.  Of all the works produced post Awal Hurouf Asal Hurouf, Husin considers The Cube (2014) as the most critical segue into Aku: Dalam Mencari Rukun…. A large work measuring 239cm x 234cm, The Cube was presented during the Great Malaysia Contemporary Art (GMCA) 2 2014, instigates two lines of discourse: Islam as a religion and the deeply personal, religious persona Husin has sought to bring into his creative practice.

Aku:  Dalam Mencari Rukun… is based on the six Rukun Iman, or Pillars of Faith in Islam.  In order, these are: Belief in Allah, Belief in Angels, Belief in the Quran, Belief in the Prophets, Belief in the Day of Judgment and Belief in Fate.  Combined, these six pillars denote an important aspect of iman (faith), which in Islamic theology denotes a believer’s faith in the metaphysical aspects of Islam.  While none of these six articles have strong visual or object-based grounding, Husin uses his new series as an attempt to describe his own view on each pillar, through a mix of abstract mark-making, calligraphy and text, colour and minimalist iconography.

The series title Aku:  Dalam Mencari Rukun… is deeply insightful.  Translated, the title speaks to Husin searching for himself within the Six Pillars of Iman, thus underlining that it is a personal take on a concept which holds resonance for a wider community.  Upon settling on the idea of working through the Six Pillars of Iman in a single series, Husin began thinking through the manner in which a concept as ephemeral as the Pillars of Islam might be visually presented.  As such, this series can be viewed as one of his most personal body of works to date, as it relies solely on his interpretation, communicated to a wider audience.

Husin Hourmain (with the contribution of audiences) Kun Fayakun: Rasuk Bertiang Empat 4 Pillars of Large Wooden Structure with Rows of Shelf and Stone Base Standee (Tapak Gajah), Glass Jars, Brown Paper Tags (consists of the names and birthdates) and Clay 2018


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