Inside Out

Two-men Exhibition:-

Shahnaz Azlin
Syafiq Kholid

2nd August – 26th August 2022

Platform @ Core, Core Design Gallery

E Catalogue

*Click on images to zoom in

Core Design Gallery proudly presents Platform @ Core’s exhibition, Inside Out, a duo show by Shahnaz Azlin and Syafiq Kholid showcasing the circumstances the artists faced at the height of the pandemic that blossomed engagingly into a distinctive form of expression.

The art climate is constantly changing and artists are pushed into adapting to the irregularities of continuing their practices, concomitant with finding what is relevant in art making today. Questions that often arose when in discussion with young artists regarding the changes are almost always about what would run well with the contemporaries — be it in terms of exhibiting in galleries, gaining solid interest with the public and of course, keeping themselves afloat with said exhibitions.

Adding to it is the sudden onslaught of the pandemic in 2020, now globally treated as an epidemic; a crucial, momentous time for all. Issues about the worldwide restriction on travelling, keeping distance and wearing masks have indubitably shifted the normative standard of living. Virtual living was upraised by way of social media for the younger generations, heaved as the main form of expression.

For the duo artists, Shahnaz Azlin and Syafiq Kholid, the pandemic carried a deeper meaning as young artists when they were isolated for some time, which, over the course, had felt repressive and demotivating due to being unable to create as they used to in their old studio. Fast forward to 2022, a mutual decision between the two, a change of thoughts and perspectives was realised.

Freshly moved into a new, yet-to-be-named studio was a decision that proved to be detrimental for their ambitious, broadening expertise, in order of expanding their horizon, as well as acclimating once more to the thought of creating, sans the excessive presence of one too many studio mates. The idea of moving out of the norm of shared dormitory-like space became the core of attention in the body of works that they have presented. Due to this, both of them are keen on exploring space as a concept; visibly for Shahnaz, the exterior space and Syafiq, the interior space.

Shahnaz Azlin is changing his direction toward cooler colour palettes, setting first his utmost appreciation of tonality and values to the forefront. His execution entails a seasonal change of pace in prescribing emotive moods after moving into a new studio, described by the artist as looking forward to something peaceful, filled with gratuity and contentment. The new studio space has helped demonstrated and moulded this particular change quite drastically if one is familiar with his previous works, which emitted a darker and moody atmosphere.

His universal constant is undeniably the inexhaustible image of mental landscapes, painted with imaginative radiancy and glorified in their expansiveness despite the smaller scale of what he used to work on. He expresses his attachment to outdoor nature as something to ponder on appreciatively — reimagining the actual landscapes that he sees, cataloguing their intimate natural occurrence, and demystifying their godly touches. Due to his romantic inclination to express himself, it is without preamble that he was able to come up with a series of works that denotes his undying interest in nature’s beauty.

Possessing affluent knowledge of mural art techniques, he also implemented them as a way of demonstrating the misty yet mystical effects of the colours. While it certainly has felt like a reinterpretation of contemporary colour field paintings, Shahnaz’s meticulous play of colour does stem from a few reference artists that he has researched before, primarily one that seeks to elevate the experience of looking at a landscape.

Syafiq Kholid’s idea of space however differs greatly in terms of execution. Termed a three-dimensional sculptural painting, Syafiq’s approach to art making has been about using materials to their fullest potential. The use of corrugated cardboard as his primary medium is to be experimental, despite it being the first time he utilised it. The assemblage of used boxes were ‘fragments’ of the memories from his past childhood, recalled through the red rocking horse, and the interior of his bedroom as can be seen in Isolasi and Statik that was made to respond to his immediate surroundings during the pandemic.

Syafiq’s experimentation with cardboard is an embodiment of thoughts that linger in his conscience, constantly peeking at the past while still anticipating the future. The correlation between the playful, happier times in his childhood is understood by how accessible the cardboard material was to play around with at the time. He conveyed that it was also the start of commencing ideas of the interior of his home for an actual work of art, propelled by the limitation in the isolation that he had faced because of the pandemic.

An amalgamation of the desire to achieve peacefulness, for both of them, the absence or presence of space regardless of whether physical or mental, has become the ultimate point of intrigue — by pursuing in-depth of its interpretations, Shahnaz Azlin and Syafiq Kholiq are bound to rediscover its significance in their art practice, and consequently in their future endeavours too.