CIMB Artober: Hot AF 2022

Rumpun Collective:-

Fawwaz Sukri
Fazrin Abd Rahman
Hisyamuddin Abdullah
Khairul Arshad
Najib Bamadhaj
Shafiq Nordin
Syed Fakaruddin

In collaboration with Dua Konsultasi

Psychedelic 2.0

CIMB Artober: Hotel Art Fair

Gallery Preview: 17th – 23rd November 2022

Hotel Exhibition: 25th – 27th November 2022

Elements Hotel Kuala Lumpur

E Catalogue

*Click on images to zoom in

Psychedelic was a group show and curatorial project conceived by Dua Konsultasi in 2021 to showcase the state of Malaysia today via the vibrant practices of a diverse group of Malaysian contemporary artists. The original exhibition was staged at the Hotel Art Fair in November 2021, in a partnership between Dua Konsultasi, founded by sister duo Leila and Zena Khan, and Core Design Gallery as part of Artober ’21, CIMB’s annual art festival. In 2022 this curatorial project has been given a second showing under the title Psychedelic 2.0, in an examination of the ways young Malaysian contemporary artists are building on the foundations laid down by their seniors through a group exhibition by Fawwaz Sukri, Fazrin Abd Rahman, Hisyamuddin Abdullah, Khairul Arshad, Najib Bamadhaj, Shafiq Nordin and Syed Fakaruddin.

The seven artists exhibiting works at Psychedelic 2.0 have found prominence in the Malaysian contemporary art scene through their informal banding together as a collective that has been known to date as Ara Damansara Artists (ADA). All seven of these artists are Fine Art graduates from across three batches at UiTM, Malaysia’s leading university art programme. Coming from across differing graduating years their meetings were organic. Najib, who was Fawwaz’s senior and is known to be an avid art collector, came across Syed’s work as a young artist and acquired it. Struck by Syed’s practice he invited Syed to join him in discussions and working together informally. Syed brought with him his close friend Shafiq, and the group continued to expand with the inclusion of Hisyamuddin, Khairul and Fazrin. In this way their origins differ from other major local artist collectives; they met post-graduation and found each other through a great deal of soul searching.

In their earlier years, as they began to form their network, these seven young boys helped one another find studio spaces in the tight radius of shophouses in Ara Damansara, a move that led to their being known in Malaysian art circles as the Ara Damansara artist collective. Today their studios are spread out. While several remain in the area, others have moved out. Furthermore, several artists have established studios in Ara Damansara, such as Anniketyni Madian or Azrin Mohd. While Fawwaz, Fazrin, Hisyamuddin, Khairul, Najib, Shafiq and Syed have strong ties with the wider artistic community, they began to seek a way to highlight the artistic ties that exist between them. Viewing Psychedelic 2.0 as a showcase that cements the seven of them as a single collective they are announcing their new title at this show: Rumpun.

This change of name indicates a new beginning. Each of the artists in Rumpun has achieved success as an artist in the early years of their practice, winning awards, exhibiting regularly and being well collected. Now as they move into the next phase of their careers, from young mid-career artists to more established mid-career artists whose voices resonate in the Malaysian art ecology, they are taking a moment to understand what will elevate them individually and as a group- and lead to a leap forward for the art movement in which they operate and are deeply passionate about. Through increased technical refinement, strong conceptual content and attention to detail, Fawwaz, Fazrin, Hisyamuddin, Khairul, Najib, Shafiq and Syed have been shifting their focus towards producing seminal or turning point works that describe the current moment for them. A selection of these are being unveiled here at Psychedelic 2.0.

Dua Konsultasi’s curatorial decision to invite Rumpun as an artist collective to produce a series of new turning point works for Psychedelic 2.0 lay behind Leila and Zena’s interest in the significant role artist collectives have played in Malaysian art, and how they are one lens through which we might understand the movement’s growth. The Modernist era saw the burgeoning of artist collectives as a model, such as with the Wednesday Art Group or Anak Alam artist colony. This formation of artist collectives continued in the early advent of a contemporary art movement. Malaysian artists found that by banding together to provide practical support, spaces for intellectual discourse and a sense of commraderie, they could find a base of support to fill gaps in the wider artistic support structures in this nascent period of creative contemporary growth. 

Extracted writing by Zena Khan

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