Solace and misery. Peace and disordered. Joy and pain. Sweet and bitter. Deeds and dreams. Life and death. These are part of the many layers of life; a life that is constantly built upon conflicting issues spread on a canvas of impossibilities. What is the journey of life? Through Paradox, Suhaidi Razi, the talented multi-disciplinary artist, is taking this opportunity to offer collectors and art lovers alike to reflect on both societal and human challenges. The question is, what lies beyond today? Sim Polenn, the curator for this eerily beautiful exhibition, shares his insights into Paradox.
How did you go about curating the space? Did you have certain items of Suhaidi’s work in mind or did it happen more organically?
I started discussing this exhibition with Suhaidi about eight months ago. He has been absent from the art scene for the past four years. For that reason, I wanted to create a strong “comeback” for him, as I think he is a talented multidisciplinary (painting, sculpture, installation, mixed media, etching) artist who lacks opportunities. Which is why, if you visit the gallery, most of his work in this exhibition expresses his lonely fight, struggling to be relevant in the art scene again, the desire to relate and the yearning for freedom. Along the process, I became more confident in organising this exhibition, and at the same time, I think Galeri Prima, with its industrial architectural element, is the perfect venue to host this exhibition. The entire planning has been smooth; indeed, I have only met Suhaidi twice to discuss this exhibition, so it’s mainly based on mutual trust and understanding between me and him.
How was the response towards the exhibition’s opening?
The opening night was great, there were a lot of collectors, art lovers and students who came to support. Overall, the response was excellent, before the opening, we had already sold 13 pieces, mainly the big-sized pieces. We are happy with the outcome. Some people told us: it’s truly a big “comeback”.
When were you first introduced to Suhaidi’s work and what was your initial impression?
I was introduced to Suhaidi’s work back in the days when he was exhibiting at National Visual Arts Gallery Malaysia and Pelita Hati Gallery of Art group show. I actually missed all his solo shows but his work left an impression on me. It was totally by chance when someone submitted his work for consignment in our auction last year, and it struck me that here is a talented artist worth promoting. It triggered me to take action, and now, here we are presenting Paradox, Suhaidi Razi’s latest solo show.
6 March to 5 April 2017
10am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday
Balai Berita, 31 Jalan Riong, Bangsar
59100 Kuala Lumpur