RAGE – Raising Awareness towards Greater Existence
Haafiz Shahimi, one of the most cutting edge Malaysian contemporary artists, will be debuting his pyrography monotype print works this coming May at Core Design Gallery. Only 28 years of age, this emerging Kedahan artist is a rare and raw talent within the genre of printmaking. The method employed is laser cut metal blocks of various fish species. He heats and burns the metal blocks then places them on the canvases to create various images. Besides that, witness also his bold and spontaneous drawings and paintings with his surface reducing techniques.
RAGE or Raising Awareness towards Greater Existence befits the beliefs of Haafiz Shahimi very well. When one feasts his or her eyes on the artworks, a singular thought comes to mind…..the variety of works of a group exhibition. The artworks are so varied in style and subject matter, a spectrum of works ranging from dark gothic figures to colourful landscapes to semi abstract figurative representation to pyrography printmaking. This shows the diversity of the artist’s talent to skillfully handle the various medium and subjects.
Haafiz does not work on a series of works as commonly seen in solo exhibitions. Perhaps it bores him to work on similar works but rather he treats each work as an individual character with its own message to convey. Each work is about his personal observation and reflection of spiritualism, philosophy and most importantly, the existence of his life and his art in this current paradigm. As the message varies, the work of art is transformed diversely in contrast. RAGE possibly represents criticisms and concerns of the young generation that affects them in this current climate; of politics, nature and humanism.
RAGE may seem like an angry theme but the artist wanted to create an oxymoron debate among his viewers when he defines RAGE as Raising Awareness towards Greater Existence. Haafiz undoubtedly carries with him an element of frustration on the surface. However in the core of his inner being, he merely seeks calmness and peace. He fervently understands and remembers the teachings of Islam as a devout Muslim. It is through the progression of this long and arduous RAGE journey, he seeks to gain the recognition and acceptance for his art.
In RAGE, one will be able to absorb in the various phases of Haafiz’s works that depicts his journey for this solo exhibition: from his struggles to the realisation of his surroundings and finally to his maturing confidence.
RAGE is the first attempt of the artist to bring together the diversity of his skills and technique. Only at the age of 28, he has proven himself a worthy young emerging contemporary artist to be taken seriously. With growing maturity in the many years ahead of him, he will definitely be able bring his art to another level with more exciting waves to come.