Rimbun Dahan presents Everlasting Love, a showcase of recent works made by Malaysian artist Azliza Ayob who, in her 16 year career, has worked in many mediums such as collage, painting, sculpture, and installation. She has spent her year in residency exploring the possibilities of creating art from discarded and unwanted daily items to sustain and survive in the field that she loves most, which is making art. The exhibition also ties together the themes of labour, community, tradition, and sustainability.
DATES: 27 November – 4 December 2016
OPENING HOURS: Weekends 10am – 6pm, Monday to Friday by appointment
Admission is FREE. For the event page on Facebook please click here.
There will also be a free guided tour of Rimbun Dahan’s grounds and traditional village houses at 9am on 27 November, conducted by Angela Hijjas. Our other current resident artist, Si Jie Loo, will also be having an open studio 10am to 6pm on Sunday, 27 November.
Nature plays a strong part in her work and like many previous Rimbun Dahan resident artists, Azliza took inspiration from the surrounding grounds and the various types of flora and fauna growing in the gardens, using her time cleaning the lawns in front of her cottage to understand different types of leaves. In that process, she also got acquainted with the inorganic things accumulating (and “growing”) within the grounds as well as in the surrounding village. Azliza started out with one studio and a small collection of plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). One year on, the scale of her work has required her to utilize two studios to house pieces made from an estimated 2000 PET bottles and other materials. The bottles were either handpicked from the roadside and the trash or donated by fellow artists, friends, family, and eateries and shops from Kuang all the way to Kuantan.
“I am fascinated with the transparency of PET bottles,” says Azliza. “I’m fascinated by its longevity and how it’s so easily accumulated to the point where it is ‘haunting’. [Through working with the material], I became more sculptural. The process is so tedious, but the result is satisfying.”
Azliza learned various traditional crafting techniques from a young age and put this knowledge to use to both figuratively and literally weave together her unconventional and modern materials into softer forms, organic shapes, and detailed sculptures and collages. She has used plastic bottles in an interactive site-specific installation titled For Our Daughters (2011), glitter to fill thousands of mushroom forms and pink rain drops for her residency exhibition at Fukuoka Art Museum in 2012, and paper collages in her 2014 solo at Wei-ling Gallery, All That Glitters. New materials joined her repertoire in making work for Everlasting Love.
“I made weavings by substituting plastic strips, wires and wire mesh for traditional mengkuang, I incorporated glass and plastic beads, rhinestones, oil paints mixed with spray paints, recycled printed items, glitters, stuff from local hardware stores and all-in-one convenience shops. The materials [I use] must be considered trash, unwanted, or too ordinary and unimaginable to create art, it must show the laborious process of art.” She supplements these with the inclusion of a more sentimental material – batik cloths from her own personal collection, mostly wedding presents from her mother-in-law’s Kelantanese family. Ordinary perhaps, but certainly not trash or unwanted. “These batik cloths have gone through and withstood the vigorous activity of a mother, wife, artist, and best preserved in art.”
The use of everyday materials was both a matter of principle and necessity. Azliza says, “I find being creative is somehow connected with being frugal. Working with limited finances is possible with good interpersonal skills and when you work together in a supportive community. In this way, I think of creating art as a way to empower our economy, to live cleaner and greener, to help us think of sustenance and sustainability as a way to maintain our freedom (to love, to be, to do).”
Rimbun Dahan is also a proud participant of Gallery Weekend Kuala Lumpur, a festival tour of the rich and innovative arts and culture scene of the city happening 25 – 27 November 2016.