ROAR brutality in art – StarMetro Paper

Transforming raw material into sculptured art pieces

MY HEART beats more for a raw, average art , which doesn’t live between sleepy fairy-tale moods and poetry but rather concedes a direct entrance to the fearful, commonplace, splendid and the average grotesque banality of life- Max Beckmann

Art can be defined as the process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the sense , emotions and intellect. Take raw material such as aluminium or metal, as examples. Seperately, they are merely chemical elements. But when spanners, motorcycle chains and objects found in a typical tool box are put together to form a goat sculpture, it is known as Brutalism.

Unlike what its name suggests, ROAR fo the Brutalists is far from anything to do with being brutal. Infact, the term is derived from Swiss-born French architect’s Beron brut, French for ‘raw concrete’. The 1950s saw the birth of Brutalism into the architectural world. From the 1950s till the 1970s, Brutalism was adopted as the style of choice in the United Kingdom as communities and the government needed inexpensive design and construction methods to provide government buildings, low cost housing as well as shopping centres. “The appeal of Brutalist architecture, apart from its expensive features is the honesty it portrays. The function of the structure is laid bare for all to see, minus the fanciness and the un-inclusion of any design of no structural relevance. It is raw, direct and very serious,” regaled Core Design Gallery director, Scarlette Lee.

From now until Aug 31, Core Design Gallery presents ROAR of the Brutalists -the latest raw, anomalous and original art works created by 20 local artists comprising Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) graduates, based on the Brutalism style.
Feast your eyes on the different designs and plans, ogle and be marvelled at how stiff, unpliable raw materials such as concrete, metal, stone and wood are crafted into curious sculptures and intricate installation artworks. “We are the first gallery in Malaysia to have adopted the Brutalist sculpture show. The displays are all in its raw forms. It is interesting to see how creative these artists are using scrap metal, automobile parts and water pipes to create art,” added Lee.

Today, this form of architecture is largely unused due to its contradicting public opinion. However, Brutalists has found an interesting new home, with inspiration artists adopting this style to create revolutionary artworks. To truly appreciate Brutalism, one must embrace the raw honesty or brut honesty, if you will, that comes with the style. It is a style that expresses and exposes its structural material as well as forms on its exterior-emphasizing in the rawness of what you see, without the need to decorate it under a façade.

For Mohd Ali Azraie Bebit, his Makhluk Biru , 2011 (blue creature) sculpture combines the use of metal, a plasma globe and resin representing a direct correlation between humans and the advent of Facebook. “The colour blue symbolizes the colour of Facebook. This is an interactive piece of art because if you put your finger on the plasma globe, the inner light beam will migrate from the inner ball to the point of contract, which is a reflection of how people enjoy staying connected to social networks.” said Ali, who spent a month creating the Brutalist sculpture.

Ramlan Abdullah uses bits of aluminium to create his 2010’s Still Connecting piece. “You will be surprised with what you can find at a scrap metal junkyard. There are some valuable materials such as steel and aluminium which has the potential to be explored. The older Malay generation used the method of tekat which is similar to weaving gold thread in songket. “I wanted to establish some form of continuity in my art which explains Still Connecting,” said Ramlan.

For inquiries, call Core Design Gallery at 03-5633 4348.


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