Physic prints a burning image for Haafiz’s Art

Written by: Sonia Belani


Self-taught contemporary artist Haafiz Shahimi is a moving force in Malaysia for pyrography monotype print works.

Pyrography is the art of decorating materials, normally wood, with burn marks through the controlled application of a heated object.

Using laser -cut metal blocks of various fish species, the metal blocks are heated and burnt on PVC-based canvases to create various images.

“The interesting part is the accidental beauty image. The burn marks are not perfect. But nothing is perfect, right? This is what creates the characteristics to my artwork,” explains Haafiz, 27, at Core Design Gallery in Subang Jaya recently.

Born and bred in Sungai Petani, Kedah, Haafiz was already representing the state at the National Visual Arts Gallery Malaysia for exhibitions when aged 16.

“I started liking art when I was in kindergarten. I knew fine art when I was in primary school. I was into painting and sculpture,” reveals Haafiz with a big grin, who hold a Fine Arts degree, majoring in print-making, from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

“I wanted to experiment in an alternative way in art making, rather than the traditional way. At UiTM, I did in-depth research and tried to combine principle of physics with art-making.”

His approach marries well with his “poor artist-mad scientist” look of bandanna on head, white t-shirt, jeans and slippers.

Haafiz reveals that he has a rebellious past and his pyrography monotype print works were rejected many times. But he was inspired to go on by his former lecturer, whom he refers as Master Hashim and mentor, ” Tuan Arif”.

” They opened my mind to better things.”

After three years of research into the use of pyrography in art, Haafiz completed a series of impressive works with fishes as his theme.

These fishes were primarily self-made metal blocks from scrap metal pieces, imprinted onto PVC in varying patterns.

One example is the artwork called Kembali Bernafas. Championing nature’s beauty, Haafiz synchronises hues of green and his blue waters suggestive of the richness of cool blue water.

Kembali Bernafas proves to be not a mere eye-pleaser but provides a more powerful personification of the human character – our strong will and perseverance to rise victorious above all challenges and competition, explains Haafiz.

“I’ve realised that I’m not rejecting the traditional way (of artworks). I’m just trying to expand the possibility of art making.

“I have no reference. I did my research and gathered that there is no print maker or visual artist who uses pyrography in print making.

“I feel this is a fresh idea to apply to print making.

Haafiz, stammering when trying to explain his ideas, says: “Most artists gets their inspiration from their surroundings in the art world. I realised that there is something beyond the art work itself. I don’t just rely on art books, but seek knowledge from physics and to combine it with art-making….all on my own.

“My work is not to share a beautiful piece of art or to show off my skill, but to trigger some emotions between the audience and myself.

“A good piece of art leaves a lasting impression.

Haafiz will showcase his latest solo exhibition called RAGE – Raising Awareness towards Greater Existence, at Core Design Gallery (87, Jalan SS15/2A, Subang Jaya, Selangor) from tomorrow till June 27.

Apart from his pyrography printmaking, art lovers will also get to view his bold and distinctive drawings inspired by silat and B-boy dance at the gallery.


Published by The Malay Mail on 23rd May 2014

Comments are closed.