Boundary: Dream & Survival

Solo Exhibition:-

Syahmi Jamaluddin

26th August – 25th September 2020

Core Design Gallery, Subang Jaya

E- Catalogue

*Click on images to zoom in

Silkscreen printing is a process steeped in history. Conventionally, silkscreen printing found use in commercial printing activities, due to its abilities in exact reproduction. However, in the 1960’s American artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg transferred this medium into the realm of fine art, making paintings using silkscreens. Their attraction to silkscreen was born out of its ability to replicate and reproduce, with each of these artists (and several who have come after them) drawing out different characteristics from within the genre, and developing highly recognisable individualistic styles as a result. These newer, critical silkscreen artworks were differentiated from their more commercial or industrial cousins through the use of the term ‘serigraphy’, denoting the shifts forward being made within the genre as a whole. This progression was the result of intense experimentation, which has occurred throughout the history of printmaking, emerging again now in the practice of Syahmi Jamaluddin.

Born in Batu Pahat, Johor, on 1993, Syahmi graduated from UiTM in 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art, majoring painting. As a young artist in the Malaysian contemporary art ecology, he has been garnering attention even before graduating, having exhibited at several group shows and winning awards including grand award, Galeri Petronas Director’s Award, Energy Future, Past and Present Competition, Petronas Gallery, Kuala Lumpur (2015) and Potential Breakout Artist, Energy Future, Past and Present Competition, Petronas Gallery, Kuala Lumpur (2015). The experimental energy that drove Syahmi forward amongst his peers is the same energy that has driven him to expand his painting practice through the use of silkscreen printing, resulting in the body of artworks he displays at Boundary : Dream and Survival, his first solo show at Core Design Gallery.

When referencing those artists who came before him and inspire him, Syahmi turns to two senior artists for whom the medium of print has been pivotal: American artist, Robert Rauschenberg and Malaysian artist, Zulkifli Yusoff. Both Rauschenberg and Zulkifli merge wide technical and visual vocabularies with foundations in print, to create artwork that truly redefined the ecologies in which they were immersed. Rauschenberg in particular leant on the personal with his early silkscreen works which featured nondescript photographs he had personally taken. He evolved into increasingly complex hybrid artworks that united printed imagery and brushwork, inspired by experimentations in colour and pop imagery- think in particular of Retroactive (1963) whose canvas is dominated by a TV still portrait of John F Kennedy. These later silkscreens that can in fact be seen as a journal of the vibrant times Rauschenberg lived in seem to have had an impact on the practice of Syahmi, not in direct terms, but instead in exploring silkscreen print’s ability to endow a wide visual vocabulary through which complex narratives may be woven.

extracted writing by zena khan