It’s always a wonderful thing watching an artist grow from strength to strength. Even more so when the said artist is relatively new and already producing works which are thought-provoking and more importantly, fresh. Hidayat Arshad, fresh from his solo, Construction of Creativity is one of the latest additions to G13 Gallery’s G13 Project Room, which functions as a new stage with the objective of supporting new talent.
Construction of Creativity deals with the artist’s private trials in dealing with the practice of crafting his oeuvre. Hidayat deliberates the link between right and left brain and how the rational side and imaginative side are inclined to “defy” each other.
Hidayat exploits a curious replication of perfunctory streaks to generate physical arrangements whilst incorporating arbitrary biological forms to disrupt the severity of the outlines. The artist originally plotted out his blueprint by positioning these lines tactically to build these configurations as an allegory on how the left brain functions.
In the meantime, the organic theme that was depicted subsequently signifies the artistic side of the brain which involuntarily dares the artist to complement both of the ostensibly lop-sided focuses of his portrait. To recapitulate: the artist desires to validate how these two fundamentals are inter-reliant as opposed to being regarded as neither ebbing nor prevailing that revokes one out of the two.
The artist says: “In my opinion, an artist functions as one who utilises his/her gifts and interest to produce interesting works in any medium. Art possesses its own unique aesthetic values, which sometimes, well, many times, are things the public is unaware of. I’ve been privileged and blessed to have several mentors, both formal and informal.”
During his diploma course, Hidayat was the “artist assistant” to Muhd Sarip Abdul Rahman. His practical sojourn meanwhile was under the intense tutelage of Professor Zulkifli Yusof.
Says Hidayat: “All my lecturers have been integral to my life, and I carry what I’ve learnt in my heart and mind to this very day.”
State of mind
In the seven works produced, Hidayat gives us a winning and animated affair; it’s like mirror neurons, where we feel like we’re doing exactly what the artist “performs”. The effects of looking at art, any art, can most times become blurred, but it’s always absorbing. Taking mirror neurons again as an unequivocal example: they’re activated when we witness actual performances, moving objects, and theatre, but the question is, if the objects are static, like most art, does the rule apply?
We think so. Art after all, is that real action which in the end occurs in our heads.
Hidayat’s works are brilliantly wacky edifices reminiscent of architectural and organic prototypes. They appear as if made with feverish earnestness at times, and slowly at others, liberally intertwined with rigid lines. At a glance they look like the workings of a draughtsman on the verge of a serious meltdown.
Projecting the powerful states of the mind, the artist’s works are busily contagious and sensuous in a funky strange way. Constructing Creativity isn’t just about the struggles of a young artist, but perhaps, also about the mysterious skirmish of perceptions.
True, these are works which get our brains doing crazy pirouettes, but where is the fun if they do not? And what makes this particular artist shine is his ability to take the language of painting and make it his own: the perverted lines, the roaring torrents of shapes, and the vertiginous sense of falling.
When asked what sort of message he wishes to communicate through his art, the artist is quick to reply that every person has different kinds of intelligence and potential. Some are more attuned to the left side of the brain and become lawyers, architects and doctors whilst those who are right-brained inclined become painters, actors and film makers.
Says Hidayat: “Oftentimes parents tend to coerce their children into doing things they don’t want to. My message is that it’s important to delve into both brain hemispheres and follow what it intuits.”
And all this from an artist who in the end deadpans: “If I weren’t a painter, I’d be a chef. It was my second choice when applying to school. But things turned out the way they were supposed to. It’s the left and right brain both in collusion.”
Construction of Creativity
WHERE: G13 Gallery, GL13, Ground Floor, Block B, Kelana Square, Jalan SS7/26, Kelana Jaya, Selangor.
Exhibition Hour: Open daily : 11am - 5pm (Closed on Sunday and Public Holiday)