Bumi + Manusia

Artist: Husin Hourmain

Medium: Photogram, Photography, Print, Bitumen and Charcoal on Canvas

Size: 92cm x 460cm (4 panels)

Year: 2014


What is manipulation?

What is contemporary? The present day..?

What are the current criterias of institutions and collectors in appreciating artistic creation? Curiously so, on many an occasion, repetitive works of old ideas are cherished time and again; while surprisingly mere copies of artworks are now commercially viable, duly celebrated as pioneering and innovative.

“Bumi + Manusia” suggests an answer to the question, be it directly or indirectly; it poses as an individual reflection of the anonymous dark side of the art scene today.

The painting was envisaged from an encounter between the artistic universe of Husin Hourmain and Mohd Azlan Mohd Latib; surrounding the act of manipulation, that may be positive or negative.

The term ‘manipulate’, originally derived from the Latin word “manus” (translated as hand) refers to the concrete idea of transforming or moulding a material manually. Today, however, the term projects a more negative aura and abstract nature; of the manipulation of human consciousness and ideas for lucrative purposes.

Owing to the ambivalent and ever-changing process of manipulation as we know it today, artists Husin Hourmain and Mohd Azlan Mohd Latib were drawn to the need to re-visit their existential relations with nature: their own and that of the world.

In this painting, Husin Hourmain freely integrates and re-interprets two different photography works that were printed in high resolution on canvas, by fellow artists. Husin works to innovate the artwork, sharing a communal chain of thoughts and intention with fellow artists in his bid to uphold manipulation in a positive manner.

It is very important for Husin, the concept of sharing. Especially within the context of art, it is essential to maintain a general openness with each other, so as to grow and evolve in a healthy manner and be ever conducive to nascent ideas.

Only through a balanced combination of discipline, sensitivity and personality (to maintain a healthy ego), can an artist evolve, Husin explains further.

Beside the rainforests, we find the X-ray images of eight leaves by with its tree-like ribs duly superimposed on an ancient philosophical text and handwritten in Arabic. It is important to note that all images are brought together with Husin Hourmain’s masterly skill of working with bitumen as he creatively and manipulatively works the artwork together…to life.

On the right, the artist paints a tree in charcoal, duly indicating the symbol of life from a universe of soil. The artist goes on to insert into the tree’s composition with philosophical symbols such as the cube, duly emphasizing the importance of having a direction in life and meaningful words that upholds one’s spiritual and physical existence.

Akin to the tree that requires the right conditions to live and poses as a natural bridge between heaven and earth, similiarly the artistic creative process requires a certain balance.

You cannot force the art to come out, rather you must feed the soil…the soul.

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