Gone but not forgotten – StarMetro Paper

Charity exhibition pays tribute to the late Syam Asmawi

CORE Design Gallery Sdn Bhd in Subang Jaya is holding a charity exhibition for one of their contemporary artists, the late Syam Asmawi, who passed away recently at the age of 38.

The Tribute Charity Exhibition — The Late Syam Asmawi, featuring works by 17 artists including Syam’s unsold pieces, is aimed at raising funds for his wife and two young children.

“The exhibition from now till July 8 will showcase 26 pieces of artwork by the local artists and nine paintings by Syam. We hope to raise about RM20,000 or more which will be fully donated to the family,’’said Core Design Gallery director Scarlette Lee.

It is heart-warming to know that fellow artists have come together to help raise funds for his family even though they did not know him personally. That is how strong the bond is between local artists.

“When he passed away, we decided to hold an exhibition to sell some of his works and a few artist came forward to put their paintings on sale and to support the cause as well.

“We all grieve at the death of a brilliant artist and it is so sad that Syam passed away so suddenly in May.

“He did not even get to see his second son who was born earlier this month,’’ she said.

The 17 artists who have pledged a painting each include Jalaini Abu Hassan, Fauzin Mustafa, Husin Hourmain and Ali Nurazmal. Their works range in price from RM200 to RM6,000.

According to Lee, Syam, who was from Bagan Datoh, Perak, was a very talented self-taught artist who started out 19 years ago as an artist in Central Market.

“A few years back I met Syam through another artist and three years ago, he joined my gallery.

“That is the point he changed from a Central Market artist to a fine art artist,’’ she explained.

Syam’s medium for his paintings were mainly oil on linen, oil on canvas, charcoal and acrylic on canvas and mixed media on wood and featured famous personalities such as Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Salvador Dali and Robert Rauschenberg.

She said that she has represented about 80 local artists but she has not met an artist like him. His work is very detailed, special and has a realist feel to it.

“His technique is really unique to him.

“Self-taught artists use strokes and techniques that are peculiar but relevant to them, unlike artists who are formally educated.

“His stint at Central Market probably helped him perfect his own style due to the repetition, practice and struggles. These things made his pieces very special.

‘’What I like about him is the effort he put in his work and his perseverance. Perhaps his passion was the driving force for his hard work.

“I am very thankful to him. We grew together as a gallery and as an artist,” she said.

Lee added that when Syam joined Core Design, it was still new.

“So from an unknown gallery and artist we both grew and developed ourselves. Moreover, I could always count on him for high quality work,’’ Lee said of Syam.

In his three years with Core Design, Lee managed to hold eight exhibitions with some of Syam’s best works.

Last week, two of his painting were sold at RM3,000 and RM4,800 and all the money was donated to his family.

Lee said Syam was well liked by fellow artists as he was a nice guy, humble and helpful.

For an artist, he had all the right attributes as he was willing to improve on his pieces, receptive to opinions and criticism and he was hardworking.

‘’It was his dream to hold a solo exhibition. We were planning to do that in November but I encouraged him to share it with another artist.

“I can just imagine the kind of work that I would have gotten from him for the exhibition.

“It is a pity that he couldn’t realise that dream of his,’’ she added.

Maybe his dream is being realised with this exhibition held in memory of him by Core Gallery Design.

The Tribute Charity Exhibition – The Late Syam Asmawi will be held at Core Design Gallery which is located at 87, Jalan SS15/2A, Subang Jaya.

Visit www.coredesigngallery.com or call 03-5612 1168 for details.

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