Husin Hourmain 2013 – 2023

Solo Exhibition:-

Husin Hourmain

In collaboration with HARTA Space

2nd March – 6th April 2024

HARTA Space, Ampang

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Husin Hourmain, a Malaysian contemporary artist, is an abstract expressionist at his core. His art embodies the essence of flowing energy. In his 2013 solo exhibition, “Awal Hurouf Asal Hurouf,” Husin transformed the landscape of Islamic calligraphy, becoming the most sought-after contemporary Islamic calligraphy artist in Malaysia. This collection of 30 pieces transcended boundaries of race, religion, and nationality.

Recognizing the diminishing understanding of Jawi among the youth, Husin Hourmain continues to explore his cultural and religious identity as a Malaysian Muslim. His art combines powerful abstract expressionism with Jawi calligraphy, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of Jawi across diverse audiences.

In 2018, Husin presented another seminal exhibition “Aku: Dalam Mencari Rukun…” at the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, a project spanning two and a half years. This exhibition, based on the six Pillars of Faith, reflected his personal interpretation of each pillar through abstract expressionism, iconography, and calligraphy.

Husin’s works are highly sought after and grace the collections of both public institutions and private collectors in Malaysia.

In 2013, Husin unveiled “Awal Hurouf Asal Hurouf,” a collection of 30 paintings merging “khat” calligraphy with abstract expressionism. This three-year labor of love marked a pivotal moment in Malaysian contemporary art, thrusting Husin into the limelight while reshaping the calligraphy landscape.

Fast forward to 2018, Husin embarked on “Aku: Dalam Mencari Rukun…” – a two-year project deeply inspired by the Islamic Pillars of Faith. This exhibition, held at the National Art Gallery in Malaysia, bore the profound title “Aku: Dalam Mencari Rukun…” signifying Husin’s personal journey within the Six Pillars of Iman. Notably, this exhibition also introduced non-letter objects within calligraphy, such as rectangular shapes symbolizing pillars, explorations of amorphous and organic forms, and abstract expressionistic compositions that transcended traditional boundaries.

Salam @ Peace: Awal Hurouf, Asal Hurouf II is the culmination of Husin Hourmain’s art over the length of the lockdowns necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Comprising detailed contemporary calligraphy canvases in pop colour palettes, this series marks a time of reflection for both the artist himself as well as society around him in the face of meditative solitude. As Husin found time to think and wonder, his mind went back to his own past and key moments in his life. Quickly, he noticed a trend of ‘looking back’ flowering, particularly on social media where friends and acquaintances shared favourite memories as a way to reminisce or discuss what we might look forward to in a post-pandemic world. As Husin thought through what the pivotal moments in his own life were, his mind consistently returned to what is widely considered the defining moment in his artistic practice: his 2013 exhibition Awal Hurouf, Asal Hurouf.

Continuing into 2022, “Vertical Limit – Endless Journey” maintained Husin’s use of Jawi script alongside Latin script as a medium of expression. These works intertwined letters with social and personal narratives, drawing inspiration from the Pillars of Islam and the Pillars of Hajj. Notably, Husin’s Umrah pilgrimage in February 2023 served as a significant starting point for this exhibition, marked by the use of Jawi script, post-calligraphy discourse, and a dominant black color palette.