Bifurcation 1 & Bifurcation 2

Written by : Zena Khan

Bifurcation 1 and Bifurcation 2 are two 2013 laser cut steel and paint sculptures by the celebrated Malaysian sculptor Multhalib Musa. Multhalib is well know for his decidedly “fluid metal sculptures” which flow in an effortlessly liquefied manner despite their inert medium, in a method he has been refining his Involute series.

Bifurcation refers to the separation of a single unity into two segments, which is how Multhalib came to conceive these pieces, which are the division of a distinct pattern. Multhalib explains the way he began in his comfort zone, producing patterns on the computer, which then projects an isometric view of how the pattern will sit as a three dimensional form. In fabrication, the main body was divided into two parts, symmetrical and asymmetrical, each branching out and away and then reunifying at various intersections.Disconnecting and reconnecting the patterns in construction generated new and unexpected forms, pushing the boundaries of sculpture and the spatial area it occupies.

Although Multhalib has stayed true in part to his traditional methods of working, which involve computer aided design and laser cut steel, Bifurcation 1 and Bifurcation 2 are a shining example of the artist’s constant quest to bring on board new techniques and ideas to further his understanding of sculpture. In a rare move, the sculptures have been finished with thick coats of paint, Bifurcation 1 in gold and Bifurcation 2 in red. The graphic colour blocking effect sits in contrast to his regular raw rusted metallic surfaces. Multhalib feels that while painting his sculptures is almost secondary in comparison with developing form and fabrication, it nonetheless has added a new dimension to his work.

Bifurcation 1 and Bifurcation 2 can be seen as an extension in linear form of Multhalib’s acclaimed series Involute, which embodied sliced metal spheres hung in the manner of mobiles, creating a play of light and fluidity with the negative and positive spaces occupied by the metal slices and the gaps between them. Multhalib’s latest works travel even further in that they are a linear expression of the spatial principles evoked in Involute. The artist observes that these new works have a fragile quality about them, as if he subconsciously attempted to replace the elements of strength and weight traditionally associated with steel with transparency, translucency and light, almost as if the medium is fabric and not sturdy metal. Despite the fact that he has presented the basic idea previously, his knowledge of space, light and his craft has allowed him to almost change the nature of the medium to present his concepts in an entirely new manner to his audience, hence cementing his reputation as the foremost sculptor of the Malaysian Contemporary Art scene today.

Artwork Caption 1 :

Artist : Abdul Multhalib Musa

Title : Bifurcation 1 -Gold Piece

Size : 240 cm X 95 cm x 22cm

Medium : Lasercut Mild Steel with Paint

Year : 2013

 

Artwork Caption 2:

Artist : Abdul Multhalib Musa

Title : Bifurcation 2-Red Piece

Size : 240 cm X 95 cm x 22cm

Medium : Lasercut Mild Steel with Paint

Year : 2013


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