What’s Wrong with Them?

Azrin Mohd
What’s Wrong with Them?
Wooden Frame Light Box with Electrical Cables, Digital Print on Acrylic Perspex, 3D printing on PLA Plastic Material and Acrylic Paint
Variable sizes: 32cm x 44cm x 7cm (5 Pcs) 44cm x 62.5cm x 7cm (1 Pcs)

Written by Zoey Moo

The recent events in the Gaza Strip clearly have had a huge impact on Azrin Mohd, impacting his subsequent works – Bumi yang Berdarah, which was exhibited at the recent Great Malaysia Contemporary Art II show (GMCA II) and his latest artwork, What’s Wrong with Them?

Continuing from Bumi yang Berdarah where he focused on portraying the senseless destruction caused by war in the Middle East, Azrin steps back to ponder and take into account the wider picture of worldwide history. His work What’s Wrong with Them? illustrates the sombre reality that brutal leaders have existed in the past, exist in our world today and will most likely continue to exist in the future.

Some like Idi Amin, the notorious third president of Uganda, Pol Pot, who committed genocide in Cambodia, and Hitler, ruled with an iron fist. Others like George Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, might have used a more diplomatic method of governing. However, his orders led to similar devastation and loss of life en masse, emphasising Azrin’s point of view that violence comes in many forms, whether direct or indirect.

What’s Wrong with Them? takes on a slight variation from Azrin’s previous mixed media assemblage works. This time, he combines digital prints of the leaders’ faces on one side of the framed Perspex sheets with skulls printed in light grey on the other side of the sheets. These sheets are slotted into wooden boxes and lit from the side by fluorescent lights. When the light boxes are turned off, each of the frames shows a regular portrait, but when the light boxes are turned on, the skulls appear, implying that nothing is as it seems on the outside.

The periphery frames are all linked to the central frame, which displays a brain made from 3D-printed maggots. The artwork leads viewers to question themselves about the factors that foster an ideology or mindset, be it social politics, the environment or even one’s own character. Regardless, What’s Wrong with Them? highlights a grim fact: cruelty is not limited to a particular culture or continent, but is a global occurrence.

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