Exhibition Period:  18th November 2015 - 15th January 2016

Core Design Gallery’s X Canvas exhibition is designed to present the expressions of Malaysian contemporary artists with their diverse backgrounds and experiences in a variety of non-canvas mediums, be it sculptures, installations or mixed media.

In its most basic interpretation, X Canvas can mean “no canvas”, meaning works that do not involve paint on canvas. The title can also mean “ex-canvas”, referring to artists who started out as painters and later moved on to a multidisciplinary approach to art, or even “cross canvas”, i.e. using the canvas in a more unconventional way.

Either way, the exhibition gives each of the artists a free rein to produce works that address issues that are especially close to their hearts, allowing the story and narrative to determine the medium. Together, the two- and three-dimensional works compose an overall narrative consisting of veiled figurative commentaries on various matters, be it social or political, internal or interpersonal, which are universal but also relevant in this particular time and place in history.

Without being bound by any limitation of materials – of course, save for paint on canvas – the artists also are free to tread into lesser explored waters as far as their techniques are concerned and delve into their fascination with different materials. As a result, the X Canvas show becomes an interesting collaboration of sorts as the artists directly and indirectly spur each other to experiment and expand their artistry.

Masnoor Ramli’s Moulding the History: A Child and Monsters They Made – his second installation after Inner Self – Looking for the Truth (2002) and Moulding the History: Speculation Goes Viral on the Wall (2015) – this time incorporates video into a site-specific installation, producing a major work that is as visually powerful as it is emotionally stirring.

Several artists take a diversion from their usual canvas artworks; Ali Nurazmal Yusoff, for instance, reinterprets one of his recent works on a different medium altogether – engineered wood particle board, while in Beringin, Raja Lope Rasydi takes to painting his well-known hyper-detailed fantasy and wayang kulit images on staggered wooden slat blinds.

Ever eager to expand his understanding of art-making methods, Haafiz Shahimi steers his technical research along an intriguing path in his new artwork, The Reminder: A Sign from Destruction, leading him to not only craft with fire, but with acid.

Faizal Suhif, too, translates his minimal visual vocabulary and land-inspired life philosophy onto cement board in The Promised Land… presenting the cement boards as the final artwork instead of using them as a printing matrix.

While Al-Khuzairie Ali is already known for his ceramic works that call attention to the subject of endangered wildlife, this time he creates the three-dimensional sculpture X-AnimaLE, allowing his audience to appreciate the detail and unique beauty of his artwork from all angles.

Emerging artist Nor Tijan Firdaus rounds up the selection of artists featured in the exhibition with her intricate artwork Untitled Note, formed from various discarded and preloved items.

In actual fact, Malaysia has a fair amount of artists who produce non-canvas works. However, to create works that possess conceptual strength while giving careful consideration to factors like the works’ durability, long-term value and aesthetics, is a whole new challenge altogether. In X Canvas, it is one that is tackled with infectious enthusiasm by this group of artists.

Al- Khuzairie Ali

Ali Nurazmal Yusoff

Ashriq Sudin

Faizal Suhif

Haafiz Shahimi

Jamil Zakaria

Masnoor Ramli

Nor Tijan Firdaus

Raja Lope Rasydi Raja Rozlan