Zulkifli Lee

Zulkifli Lee

Zulkifli Lee’s creative practice explores the relationship of personalised and impersonalised forms as well as the language of materials. His motifs usually involve very systematic and rhythmic geometric patterns, but rather than striving for total control, he embraces change and chances. Playing with the phenomenological aspect of his materials’ natural properties and using various substances, chemical treatments and exposure to natural forces, he submits part of the image making to the law of nature, to the disposition of art elements outside his personal control. The marks created by chance, deforms or transforms the images created by the artist and vice versa. Zulkifli is invested in creating works that juxtapose the beauty of the relationship and paradox between humans and nature.

With the residency at Rimbun Dahan, he wishes to focus on experimenting with new processes and materials apart from his trademark iron oxide or corrosion medium. He is keen to introduce more natural media and experiment with new chemical processes for his new series of work and find new ways to play with chances. He is interested to explore natural mediums such as mineral pigments, fungus, heat marks, etc. To work and experiment with these new methods is to further his interest in working directly with the forces of nature. With this experiment he hopes to innovate new potential methods to his creative process and discover new artistic value.

Zulkifli Lee was born in Raub, Pahang & currently works and is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He completed his M.A. in Fine Art & Technology at Universiti Teknologi MARA in 2013 and received the Master Excellent Award. Prior to that he graduated from the same university with a B.A in fine art, majoring in sculpture. A versatile visual artist, he also endeavours as a graphic designer, concept artist and illustrator. Zul Lee’s work can be found online at his website. He is Rimbun Dahan’s Yearlong Resident Artist for 2017, and will be exhibiting his works in our gallery in November 2017.

Azliza Ayob

Azliza Ayob

Azliza Ayob (b. 1975) is an artist who works in many mediums, such as painting, collage, and installation. Her most recent solo show was in 2014, titled All That Glitters, at Wei-Ling Contemporary in KL. She’s been working as an artist, facilitator, and educator for 15 years now (and counting), exhibiting both locally and internationally in Japan, Australia, Sweden, Madrid, and Barcelona. Azliza has also been part of Rimbun Dahan’s collaborative exhibitions with WWF, Art For Nature, multiple times in past years. Nature plays a strong part in her work and her inspirations, as seen in her initial statement of intent below:

I am preparing for the first of my autobiographical paintings in one show. I had started my ‘Adventures of Azliza Ayob’ series in 2009, while building Art History (Eastern Art) modules in a local university. While developing my research on manuscript and miniature paintings from great masters, I discovered that the missing link is to incorporate local elements which I believe can be solved if I photograph, sketch, interview and paint local plants and anything related on the function, purpose and local stories (medicinal). I want to change the function of plants from my previous paintings into a selection of the right flower/plant for the right meaning. Rimbun Dahan’s landscape is perfect for anything creative, it’s fresh, private and acts as a data bank for many leaves, plants and flowers.

Sabri Idrus

Sabri Idrus
Canggai. 2014. Wood, metal, copper & charcoal. 200 cm (diameter).

Canggai. 2014. Wood, metal, copper & charcoal. 200 cm (diameter).

Sabri Idrus was the Malaysian Artist for the Malaysia-Australia Visual Arts Residency 2013.

Artist’s biography:

sabri_profileSabri Idrus, (b. 1971, Kedah, Malaysia) is an artist best defined by his compulsion to experiment with media. Oscillating between a career as an artist and a successful graphic designer, Sabri studied fine arts at UiTM from 1995-1998. Received The Malaysia Young Contemporary Art Award in the painting category in the year 2004 and A Special Mention Award for the UOB Art 2011. Sabri’s works are held in private and public collections in the United Kingdom, Poland, Singapore, America, India, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia. He has participated in residencies in Poland, Indonesia and Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia. Sabri Idrus lives and works in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sabri is a constant researcher in the process of art making, specifically in his endless search in the production of prints, marks and traces as the notion of visual representation that operate as his medium in conveying his research and thoughts.

Disruptive Nature

Disrupting materials and surfaces are the main interests for the development of this series, simply entitled Disruptive Nature. Further developing his interest in mark making – a preoccupation with surfaces, spatial stacking, temporality and organic fluid forms (The Search of the Uncertainties, 1999), Sabri Idrus continues his semiotic-reference in art making by tracing down patterns of nature. Leaves, trunks and twigs were scanned and studied in order to understand the basic properties of these elements of nature. From his earlier experimentation with industrial materials, that had the objective of venturing into alternative media such as painted surfaces, this series of works marks a comeback for Sabri and his object making exercise. These processes of experimentation are a statement that echoes his search for creating new marks on new surfaces. How to create a desired effect on a particular material with its own specific characteristics, to be able to re-produce similar effects on different materials has been explored by Sabri in his long process in art making, and is further demonstrated this interpretation of ‘shadows’ as themed for the Rimbun Dahan showcase.

Taking advantage of his discoveries with industrial materials, Sabri, again, marks a change from his normal material play, venturing into the more subtle realm of natural patterns, forms and characteristics. The natural patterns he has discovered and mimicked on his choice of surfaces reveal their latent qualities in a two-dimensional manner. Sabri’s series of studies were then reconstructed using a very similar method to his deconstruction in order to transform them into three-dimensional sculptures. Only this time, the traces of patterns and surfaces were extruded to create solid forms coupled with the real natural patterns that originated from the material itself. These processes are not an escapism from his earlier ‘difficult’ process in producing his works, but rather should be seen as a new adventure of developing a more advanced understanding of the manifestation of moments that reconcile nature with the unnatural.

Researching within the natural context of Rimbun Dahan, coupled with his seminal research on natural and man-made elements from his residency period in Poland, and through in-depth studies of the architectural works of Anthony Viscardi, Sabri’s latest works examine the qualities shared between art and architecture through explorations of solid and void, presence and absence, static and dynamic, and material and ephemeral continuums. His daily observation of the site-specific elements of his work place at Rimbun Dahan has allowed him to capture measurable details in nature’s natural moment, where tactility and space-time relation of the natural evolution are always visible. The nature of observation places one’s visual sense in an almost circular perspective (looking at the surrounding in 360 degrees) and has been recorded, photographed, memorized and sometime distorted into the physical being of the artwork itself. Sabri’s observations have been replicated in the form of circles, reflecting the way he looks at things around him. The conflicting elements of the natural and unnatural characteristics of these objects were further elaborated through detailing and specific material usage, hoping the artwork would be able to present itself as a signifier of the context that they represent.

What Sabri is interested in is that the work should not represent itself as an object to be confronted, making the viewers merely face the subject, but rather to create a feeling of being wrapped in it, as though it were our shadow.

Shadow and light is a dual reality, the hypertrophy of a double sensation: there can be cavernous, dark, soft, humid, sensorial, crystalized, cold, luminous, and all this can be used like an individual zapping of perception. Return to text…

Masa Series: A Reduction Process (pp. 17). Return to text…

Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro

Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro
Sean Cordeiro & Claire Healy. 'Seal'. 2014. Lego, IKEA foot stool, IKEA glass cup & saucer. Work in Progress for ‘Habitat’

Sean Cordeiro & Claire Healy. ‘Seal’. 2014. Lego, IKEA foot stool, IKEA glass cup & saucer. Work in Progress for ‘Habitat’


The physical description of the project is relatively straightforward: the exhibition contains Lego blocks and IKEA furniture. Installed within the gallery are life-sized exotic animals sculpturally rendered in Lego bricks. These animals intersect IKEA furniture; giving the impression that the animals and the furniture have simultaneously materialised within the same space. The animals are assembled utilising a randomised reduced palette of between 3 and 5 colours per animal.

The IKEA furniture literally penetrates the animals at random angles. The combination of these two elements creates a viewing space that is part menagerie, part showroom. Just as an entomologist pins beetles or other insects upon a viewing board, like a prized taxidermy trophy, our body of work emulates this using IKEA furniture as the skewering device that penetrates the animal.

This fairly uncomfortable scenario (for the animals, at least) draws visual influence from late nineteenth century hoax photographic documentation of ectoplasmic manifestations in which, foreign objects would appear to reveal themselves on photographic plates during séances.

The project is a natural continuation of our line of investigation illustrated in the work ‘Future Fragment’. This work is a sculpture comprised of neatly stacked and bound IKEA furniture- tables, cupboards, and bookshelves structure that hold together a full-sized replica Monolophosoraus fossil: locating human endeavour within the timeframe of natural history.

The combination of fantastic animals with quotidian furniture creates an uncanny situation that hopefully goes beyond the polar juxtaposition of the man-made with the natural, creating a combined sculptural installation that creates an open-ended question into our relationship with our built and natural world.


Artists’ bio:

The collaborative practice of Claire Healy (b.1971), and Sean Cordeiro (b.1974), began in 2001 while undertaking their Master of Fine Arts research degrees at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Their collaborative practice brings together ideas of home, movement and destruction. Healy and Cordeiro create sculpture and installation works that re-use and reform the everyday consumables and detritus of modern life.

In 2005 they were awarded Australia Council residencies at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, and Tokyo, Japan. In 2006-2007 they were Guest Artists at the Universität der Künste, Berlin, having been both awarded the Samstag Scholarship. In 2010 they participated in the residency program at the Akiyoshidai International Artist Village, Japan. In the same year they took part in the inaugural Art Setouchi Festival, which took place over nine islands in the inland Seto Sea of Japan.

Their solo exhibitions include flatpack at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin 2006, The Paper Trail at the Art Gallery of New South Wales 2007, PREMS at La bf15, Lyon 2009, Are we there Yet? at the Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC 2011 and a survey exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2012.

Their work has been included in numerous group exhibitions in Australia, Belgium, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Healy and Cordeiro’s installation Life Span was part of the Australian representation at the 53rd Venice Biennale. Most recently, they took part in the 5th Auckland Triennale, curated by Hou Hanru.

Their works are in public collections including The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, The Art Gallery of South Australia, The University of Queensland Art Museum and The Gallery of Modern Art Queensland.

Jonathan Nichols

Jonathan Nichols

Australian Artist for the Malaysia-Australia Visual Artists’ Residency 2012

jonathan_nicholsAbout the artist

Jonathan Nichols lives in Melbourne, where he works as an artist, and sometimes as a curator and writer. He has maintained a studio-based painting practice since graduating from the School of Art at the Australian National University in 1988 and completing postgraduate studies at the University of NSW in 1989. He has exhibited widely in Australia, including at private art galleries, public museums and artist-run spaces.

About the art

Although the process of his paintings begins by sourcing and selecting digital images that are first collaged on the computer screen, Nichols’ work takes a painterly form that is fundamentally connected to manual ability and his own creative desires—establishing a clear aesthetic distance from more technologically complex methods of production. He is interested in painterly ground rules and ideas as well as the potential for new motifs and chance associations.

Using the computer technology in this way allows Nichols a certain level of introspective inquiry that then independently affects the look and feel of each finished painting.

Nichols is interested in the possibilities that connect and run between people. His subjects found in various digital media or other research material or in person generally maintain their anonymity, however. His paintings have been described as conveying ‘the experience of seeing someone at a distance’, which is recorded ‘as a sort of touch or feeling of proximity’. Jonathan Nichols uses the human figure as a point of correlation or orientation – the figure becomes both cipher and affect.


Residency plans

At Rimbun Dahan, drawing from his experience in Malaysia, Nichols plans to research and develop new figurative motifs which would be sourced from street scenes and popular media; thinking about culture and history, everyday society and forms of portraiture. He is interested in figurative studies (or visual storytelling) that can bridge or define cultural traditions and aesthetics, for example those associated with the Malay, Chinese, Indian and indigenous people. Nichols is keen to spend time discovering how these interconnect with his own knowledge of Western painterly traditions; to learn what is held in common between artists and what is not.

For more information visit http://www.jonathan-nichols.blogspot.com/

Helmi Azam B. Tajol Aris @ Azam Aris

Helmi Azam B. Tajol Aris @ Azam Aris

Malaysian Artist for the Malaysia-Australia Visual Artists’ Residency 2012

Azam Tajol Aris in his studio at Rimbun Dahan with some of his army of clones.

Azam Tajol Aris in his studio at Rimbun Dahan with some of his army of clones.

Azam Tajol Aris is Rimbun Dahan’s Malaysian year-long artist-in-residence. He graduated in Fine Arts from Universiti Institut Teknologi Malaysia, in 2007. Born in Perak in 1985, and growing up into the digital age of internet technology, it is the popular-culture world of graphic novels, anime and internet ‘ready-made’ third-hand or regurgitated information that informs Azam Tajol Aris’ art practice. In the current state of information saturation, a threat that ‘all is rumour’ requiring a challenging critical response is what seems to push Azam towards the satirical in his work in a light-hearted social commentary.

Azam’s current work at Rimbun Dahan is in three-dimensional form. It is the first step in a slight shift in direction. He has made multiple plaster casts of a male figure resembling a soldier to create an army of ‘clones’. There is also a cast plaster figure of one clone-member who must be the general, his mouth in an ugly gape, shouting out an order for conformity.  Instead of a helmet though, the clones all have their hair gathered into a peak at the top, a cross between a headgear found on ancient Ramayanawayang kulit characters and a popular latter day hair style.

As ‘puppet master’ or dalang, Azam himself acts as a conduit for the rapid re-processing and disseminating of information. Gathering a patchwork of data, he re-creates ‘still-life’ mute scenarios or vignettes in three-dimensions. The germ for Azam’s three-dimensional ‘stories’ is information that had already been pre-processed and then re-processed and re-translated. Azam completes the mythologizing process by re-packaging the pieces of information into a critique.


Born 15 December 1983, Taiping Perak.

Address Studio Sebiji Padi, 19A Jalan Unyang, Taman Alam Megah, Seksyen 27, 40000 Shah Alam.
Contact 0125785405, Azam_aris@yahoo.com.


2005 – 2007 BFA (hons.), UiTM Shah Alam.
2004 – 2005 Skim Latihan Graduan, PESDC, Tronoh Perak – MMU
Cyberjaya, 7 Month Training in Video.
2001 – 2004 Diploma in Fine Art, UiTM Sri Iskandar.

Solo Exhibitions

2010 ‘PARANOIA’ R.A Gallery, Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.
2008 ‘FLOAT’ House Of Matahati, Taman Cempaka, KL

Selected Group Exhibitions

2011 Vertical-Horizontal, House of Matahati, Kuala Lumpur.
2010 The Young Contemporaries Competition, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur.
Art Triangle, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur.
BAD@MAP, Solaris, Kuala Lumpur.
2009 Malaysian Contemporary, Conpenhangen, Denmark.
MEA Award, Sokka Gakai Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
B.A.C.A , R.A Gallery
2008 Young n New part 1, HOM KL.
2007 Degree Show, TNZ Galeri, UiTM Shah Alam


2010 Juror Award, Young Contemporaries 2010, National Art Gallery, KL.
2008 Artist in Resident, House Of Matahati.
2007 8th Prize, SCHENKER, Future Transportation Competition.

Rob Gutteridge

Rob Gutteridge


Rob Gutteridge was the Australian Artist for the Malaysia-Australia Visual Arts Residency 2011. In addition to pursuing his own practice, he spent some time during his residency conducting figure drawing classes for interested staff members at Hijjas Kasturi Associates Sdn.


Born in England in 1954, Rob Gutteridge is now based in South Australia. With a Diploma in Fine Art (Painting) and a Graduate Diploma in adult education, Rob teaches in tertiary education throughout South Australia. His work has been featured in Adelaide Central Gallery, are included in the Art Gallery of South Australia, South Australian Museum and Artbank, as well as in private collections in France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, England and the U.S.A.

Artist’s Statement

“Coming from Adelaide, South Australia, with its sharp, hard, bright Mediterranean light, my first impression of Malaysia seen through the windows of KLIA, was of a pale milky wash over the landscape, softening the contrasts and bringing distant colours closer together. In paintings and drawings made at Rimbun Dahan, these close values provide challenging technical problems to explore, as the modulation of colour, tone, saturation and temperature is finely tuned. I have travelled to paint and study art, in New York, and Provence in southern France, and similarly, my initial understanding of place registered at a fundamental, pre-cognitive visual level. It happens long before particularities come into focus. If one is alert, the ambient has a character, providing a starting point and a foundation. Works flowing from such a sensibility inevitably display a kind of environmental portraiture.

Iconographically, I continue a long-standing investigation of the human figure, and clouds. Each represents a fascinating visual topography of the effects of forces acting on matter in space. The human body’s anatomy of skeleton and muscle, conditioned by gravity, reimagines hinge and joint, lever and pulley in slippery darkness beneath the skin. Clouds of vapor deceptively solid from our earthly standpoint, change, grow and collapse, providing a ready metaphor of the human condition.

In anthropomorphic cloud paintings, reflecting on what connects rather than divides, I have become interested in what constitutes the conditions for visual suggestion, or resemblance. In painting, what is the threshold of recognition for an image to be recognized as a cloud or a body? If an image were to suggest a cloud and a body, would it look like both, or for a moment, would it look like itself?”

In-Process Update

I have recently been in the process of completing the 4 largest paintings I will do during my residency. The paintings are 180cm x 220cm and continue the cloud and figure theme I have been exploring during my time here. Each painting is a response to the one that has gone before, and so they form a dialogue of interests and a conversation between issues. They alternately respond and react to each other – complexity in one provokes simplicity in another, subtle colour values give way to strong contrasts. Doing a simple thing on a large scale is deceptively difficult, but the enjoyment is in the challenge of going where you haven’t been before. Its a bit like coming to live at Rimbun Dahan from Australia.

— Rob Gutteridge, November 2011

Haslin bin Ismail

Haslin bin Ismail

Malaysian Artist for the Malaysia-Australia Visual Arts Residency 2011

Artist’s statement:

Haslin Ismail in his studio at Rimbun Dahan, with his work for the 2011 Art for Nature exhibition.

Haslin Ismail in his studio at Rimbun Dahan, with his work for the 2011 Art for Nature exhibition.

“I call the new body of artworks done at Rimbun Dahan ‘Ghost in the Shell’. Taking the same title from the work of Masamune Shirow’s manga and anime adaptation from director Mamoru Oshii, it is an experiment of two main components: the flesh and the machine. The clash between these two elements is highlighted by the creation of robots, machines and human anatomy. They relate to each other and give rise to an expression of function and technology. Visually, both the science fiction and fantasy world that dominate the atmosphere of my artworks present a wide range of routes and exciting explorations. I am a fan of the works of science fiction and fantasy visions such as Jules Verne, HG Wells and the great silent movie “Metropolis” by Fritz Lang. The amazing world of Osamu Tezuka, the super-galactic Star Wars trilogy, the genius of Hayao Miyazaki and Katsuhiro Otomo and so many more great masterpieces from the great masters of sci-fi and fantasy are my stimulation. When drawing, painting or creating works, I feel as if I am in their world, fighting with monsters on/from planet Mars or at war with damaged robot(s).”

Artist’s Biography

Haslin Ismail (b. 1984) from Johor graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) in 2007. He has been creating and exhibiting his fantastical art pieces in various exhibitions since 2000. He was winner of the grand prize for In-Print: Contemporary British Art from the Paragon Press held at National Art Gallery in 2006. His first solo exhibition ‘Exorcismus Persona: Windows Into Fantasy Worlds of Haslin Ismail’ was at the RA Fine Arts Gallery in 2009. He was also the grand prize winner for the prestigious Young Contemporary Award (2010) at National Art Gallery with his entry of a complex and intricate paper/book art installation.He has also participated in group shows at National Art Gallery, Petronas Gallery, Taksu, Zinc, Valentine Willie Fine Art, Wei-Ling Gallery and the Annexe at Central Market.

Jessica Watson

Jessica Watson

Exhibition of Jessica Watson’s Work

Gecko on My Shoulder
The 16th Rimbun Dahan Residency Exhibition
6th to 20th March 2011 in the Underground Gallery at Rimbun Dahan

'Penang Cloud', 2010, fabric ink & silk embroidery thread on cotton, 56 x 142 cm.

‘Penang Cloud’, 2010, fabric ink & silk embroidery thread on cotton, 56 x 142 cm.

Acknowledgements: Hijjas Kasturi and Angela Hijjas, my partner Alex, my daughter
Jacqui, my parents Sue and Geoff, Marianne Erikson, and the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.

Textile Art with glowing colours, growing in Jessica B Watson’s concepts

“…Into the future I would like to continue working with costume, sculptural textiles and art as a profession. I’d like to continue developing and exploring – methods and paths may change along the way but I’m sure that something shall glow and grow…”

These were the words Jessica wrote ten years ago, concluding the report of her Masters’ Degree in 2000. Her project then was called “Flickers” — a colourful swarm of mushroom-like figures, entering trams and spreading out in Gothenburg City, Sweden, as homage to spring, blowing into the gloomy infrastructure after a long winter. — What is this? Confused people asked. This playful group in Jessica’s designed outfits also took part in the Gothenburg Dance and Theatre Festival, which led to further engagements in the international field.

Nature seems to influence Jessica wherever she goes in this world: The structure of the squiggly bark of the eucalyptus trees in her native Australia, the bright red mushrooms with white dots in Swedish forests, the vivid yellow lichens of the grey rocks at the Scandinavian coast and here the tropic vegetation of Malaysia. What inspiration do they bring out in an artists’ mind?

Her motifs are, however, not only aesthetic or decorative, they also reveal a concept. That is what makes them soimaginative. They deal with different phases of human relationships. Some phenomena in nature take a long time to grow; sensitive textile art is indeed time-consuming and sincere relationships between people need time to build up. All to be handled with care!

Characteristic for Jessica are bright colours which vibrate through layers of different materials and are accentuated through light and a number of techniques. Embroidered simple lines or sketchy, but dramatic stitches show an expressive movement in her pictures such as the ambulating salesmen with their dangling goods on the beaches of Rio or heavily falling rain where she is now. Motifs are emphasized, being worked in series and different scales. Her three-dimensional forms show connection to wearable art and costume design.

For an observant and aware artist like Jessica the environment of Rimbun Dahan ought to be stimulating. Her residence is in an old traditional Malay house, surrounded by a large garden. The multicultural society, where Muslim arabesques and lattice screens meet ancient Chinese symbols and Indian kolam applications are incorporated in Malaysian daily life. Here the skilled handicraft is the base of a fascinating blend. The blue sky holds changing dragon-clouds, bringing cosmic energy to people on the earth. Look up and you will see!

Jessica’s titles are often subtexts. “Good things happen in threes” is among her recent works. The three fertilefig trees, supported by the screen, are individuals, each carrying an ethnic issue. Delicate embroidered lines, like nerves in a leaf, shape shou — the sign of long life, still beloved by the Chinese. The polychrome segmented leaves are influenced by the colourful Indian kolam floor decorations. The third plant with translucent, fluorescent flowers is like an attractive part of Malaysian songket (weaving with gold or silver thread). It is a piece of beauty, but it also points at some global complications. People from different regions and religions live together and have to face the problems of coping with each other. Hopefully they will grow together, glow side by side, like the art of Jessica. Intentionally she uses a combination of frottage, songket, screen-printing, hand painting and embroidery to achieve a richness more expressive than in a painting. Being open-minded the spiritual fire will be maintained, developed by concentrated work to multifarious flowering.

Marianne Erikson
Textile historian, Head of the Textile collections at the Röhsska
Museum of Arts & Crafts and Design, Gothenburg Sweden
between 1974-1999.

Jessica Watson embroidering 'Rain Falling on Butterflies', a work for Art for Nature 2010 'SURVIVAL'. Photo by Noor Mahnun Mohamed.

Jessica Watson embroidering ‘Rain Falling on Butterflies’, a work for Art for Nature 2010 ‘SURVIVAL’. Photo by Noor Mahnun Mohamed.

About Jessica Watson

Jessica Watsons’ work is a fusion of 2-dimensional textile art and wearable art. Her interest in the human body, both covering and depicting it, has taken her into the fields of art, costume design and fashion.

Surface, identity and contact are reoccuring themes in her artwork and as a textile artist she subconsciously investigates the boundaries imposed upon textile art from the fine art world. Working predominantly in series, Watson develops and enhances her ideas through repetition and scale.

In 2003 Watson spent three months in the Australian Snowy Mountains where she developed embroidered screenprints based on the squiggly bark eucalyptus for the joint exhibition wouldwork. In 2006 and 2007 she travelled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, dividing her time between ritzy Ipanema and the Rio slums developing the embroidered series Sketches from Rio based on the salespeople of Rio de Janeiro’s beaches and the traditional ‘plein-air’ sketch.

Her interest in textiles, the human body, clothing and movement has also led her into costume design where she has worked with childrens productions, musicals and provocative political drama/dance with Swedish, African and Iraqi choreografers.

Watson started her visual art studies at Newcastle University in 1995 and in 1996 travelled to Sweden as an exchange student. In 2000 she graduated with a Masters Degree in Textile Art from Gothenburg University, School for Design and Crafts in Sweden (HDK). Since graduating she has been exhibiting in Australia and internationally.

She has been teaching fashion drawing and screenprinting for the past seven years and is represented at the Gothenburg City Arts Council, in private art collections and has received the Swedish Artists Associations (KRO) One Year Artists Working Grant and the Gothenburg City Arts Grant among other grants and prizes for her work.

The patterns, colours and textures of plants inspire me; enlarging these to create compositions I move the identity of the plant into another context. I have previously worked with cold climate plants and am now interested in looking at the tropical plants of Rimbun Dahan and what they reveal. I aim to continue exploring the themes of identity, surface and contact using the garden plants of Rimbun Dahan and Malaysian butterflies as sources of inspiration.

Curriculum Vitae

Master of Fine Arts and Applied Crafts HDK, Göteborgs Universitet
Bachelor of Textiles, HDK, Göteborg Universitet
Undergraduate Student, HDK, Göteborg Universitet
Undergraduate Student, Newcastle University Australia
Sketches from Rio, Art in Motion, Frank & Ernest
Sketches from Rio, Galleri mitt i centrum, Gothenburg, Sweden
Sketches from Rio, Galleri Mosebacke, Stockholm, Sweden
Broderia Fantasia, Floras Rike Gallery, Botanical Gardens, Gothenburg
Butterfly Stomach & Hunter, Gothenburg City Library
Hunter, Galleri D Lyx, Malmö, Sweden
wouldwork, Knot Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Watt Space, Newcastle, Australia
Omfång, 25m2 Stockholm, Formargruppen Malmö, Galleri 5 Visby
flickers, Gothenburg, Sweden
Talente, Munich, Germany
Omfång, Galleri Koch, Stenungsund, Sweden
Masters Exhibition, Rohsska Museét, Gothenburg, Sweden
Under det blå tacket, Magnus & Magnus, Gothenburg, Sweden
Centrum, Frölunda Kulturhuset, Frölunda, Sweden
HDK 150 år, Rohsska Muséet, Gothenburg
Karin and Carl Larsson, Nordiska Museét, Stockholm, Sweden
Suecos, Centro Cultural La Santa, Barcelona, Spain
Den Lilla Svarta, Rohsska Muséet, Gothenburg
Teaching, Fashion Drawing, Art & Design, Tillskarakademin in Gothenburg, Sweden
Teaching, Fashion drawing, Screen Printing, Art Collage, Folkuniversitetet, Sweden
Downup & updowN, Costume Design & Makeup, Tortosa Theatre Festival, Spain
’Objector’, Bachelor Examination, Borås school of Textiles, Sweden
Screenprinting workshop, Stenebyskolan, Sweden
Costume for the stage, Assistent, Lindköpings University & Vadstena Akademin
Drömmar (Dreams), GöteborgsOperan, Costume Design, Costumer & Makeup
The Lion King, Beading, Anthony Philips Costumes, Sydney, Australia
Howard Katz & Holy Day, Breaking Down, Sydney Theater Company
Downup & updowN, Dance production, Costume Design
Infra Exhibition, Installation, The Gothenburg Museum, Sweden
pillow room, ’Noll Vision’, Trollhättan, Roads and Trafic Authority, Sweden
The Merry Widow, Costume Design & Millinary, Arbisteatern, Norrköping
Gående bord (Walking Table), Dance production, Costume Design, Göteborg
Lethe-The Urban mytoplay, Costume Design, Gothenburg Culture night
flickers, Costume Design & Production Management
flickers, Gothenburg Dance and Theater Festival & Hedens Lustgård Opening Ceremony
Konstnärsnämnden (Swedish Artists’ Committee) One year Artists’ Working Grant
Företagarna (Association for small businesses in Sweden)
Konstnärsnämnden (Swedish Artists’ Committee)
Gothenburg City Arts Grant
Markarna Lindeqvists Scholarship
Estrid Ericsons Scholarship – group
Slöjdskolans Scholarship
Anna Ahrenbergs Scholarship
Goteborg&Co sponsorship
Stiftelsen Erik och Lily Philipsons Minnesfonds’ Scholarship
Theodor och Hanne Mannheimers fund
Slöjdskolans Scholarship
University of Newcastle Student Exchange Scholarship
2008 Represented
Gothenburg City Arts council
Golden needle, Täcklebo Embroidery Academy, Sweden, silver needle prize
World Wide Wool, Australia
Near Distance, Lochem, The Netherlands, 2nd prize
Fashion Design Competition, Barcelona, Spain, 1st prize
Hunter Institute of Technology, Mardi Gras Costume Design, 3rd prize

Ilham Fadhli

Ilham Fadhli

aka Kojek

Malaysian Artist for the Malaysia-Australia Visual Arts Residency 2010

Exhibition of Ilham Fadhli’s Work

The 16th Rimbun Dahan Residency Exhibition
6th to 20th March 2011 in the Underground Gallery at Rimbun Dahan

The cover of Ilham Fadhli's catalogue for his exhibition at Rimbun Dahan in March 2011, featuring Seasonal Abyss, 2010-2011, oil & collage on canvas, 229cm x 305 cm.

The cover of Ilham Fadhli’s catalogue for his exhibition at Rimbun Dahan in March 2011, featuring Seasonal Abyss, 2010-2011, oil & collage on canvas, 229cm x 305 cm.

When we look at various artworks, a certain definite chemistry sparks our senses. An artwork (should) never lie. Time spent on its surface, every moment of neglected emotions and

Ilham Fadhli Shaimy in his studio at Rimbun Dahan at work on a mixed-media on paper artwork for his contribution to Art for Nature 2010 'SURVIVAL'.

Ilham Fadhli Shaimy in his studio at Rimbun Dahan at work on a mixed-media on paper artwork for his contribution to Art for Nature 2010 ‘SURVIVAL’.

unspoken words turns into images that represent the maker’s sentiments. Again, only interesting artists produce interesting artworks. I find Ilham Fadhli a.k.a. Kojek an interesting person. From his ‘dark realms’ university days back in year 2000 up until now, he is, in my own three words – fascinating, promising and uncertain. These words describe his artworks too.

Some viewers may be interested in his landscapes, while others are more into his cynically narrated paper collages. He seldom sketches. If he did, the drawings were then overlaid with final images on the same canvas. When he starts to paint, I noticed he would almost constantly choose a central dominant image and with this, he keeps the enthusiasm or momentum going by rendering clouds and smokes. The images change so rapidly within just one day that it makes me eager for the final outcome. Small figures against vast landscapes remind one of J.W.M. Turner and Kalkitos (the 1980’s version) game. Kojek would totally immerse himself in the paintings. The artworks are visions of the things that he can never say in words directly. His “apocalypse and the end of the world whilst little people continue to survive” idea is a reflection of what we are today; whatever and however the outcome, we have to make good if not the best.

His current works is similar in concern and stylistically familiar but Kojek has started to insinuate more hope through his selection of images and colours. We can also trace these subtle transitions from the titles and the figures collaged onto his canvases. At first few glances, the viewer often thought that the small figures were painted. This approach with collages blends well with his chosen media. It has become his trademark to merge the smokes from burning buildings or fields with the clouds in the sky. He also develops a habit to watch the clouds while driving from home to Rimbun Dahan and vice versa. His favourite would be the biggest and darkest cumulonimbus against the clear blue sky. Cloud watching has become our pastime and breaks the unspoken silence between husband and wife.

He works every day, at home or at the studio, now or before this residency. Making artworks puts his mind at ease. He is definitely absorbing and benefiting from Rimbun Dahan’s positive atmosphere of fresh oxygen, loyal crew of dogs and his new circle of friends. Kojek’s debut in manipulating oil paint gave him certain pleasures. At first, his oil palette seems more vibrant. However, when the works were completed it looks almost exactly as his acrylics. Talking about such discoveries has become part of our lively discussions and dialogues in the studio at home.

A multi-faceted artist, making little trees or buildings for his (miniature world) dioramas is one of his interests. He also does stop-motion videos. In fact, he co-directed MONOPOL, my instructional video for the Fukuoka Triennale in 2005. Artists have the pleasure of creating and engrossing themselves in their own invented world. Some people may enter this realm, with open arms invitation and some with an extra effort. We can expect a more varied approach from Kojek in the future. Anyway, I saw him first.

Azliza Ayob, Equine Park, 5th January 2011


About Ilham Fadhli

Born in Pasir Mas, 1980. Lives and works in Selangor, Malaysia.

Kojek graduated from UiTM Shah Alam with Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts in 2003. After winning the Major Prize for Young Artist Award 2006 and Consolation Prize for Mekar Citra, Merdeka Show, Galeri Shah Alam, Selangor 2007, his paintings and dioramas were exhibited at renown galleries such as Kebun Mimpi, Pace, RA Fine Arts and Galeri Nasional, Jakarta. Most of his works deals with contemporary issues in an absurd/surrealistic setting with collages of delicate figures. He is nominated for five awards at the IMCAS Iskandar Malaysia Show, to be announced soon. He is currently having his first solo show at PACE Gallery in October 2009. He is married to installation artist Azliza Ayob and blessed with 3 children.

Art Exhibitions & Activities


  • SPICE Show, PACE Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
  • MATAHATI ArtTriangle, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
  • Anniversary Show, PACE Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
  • Once Upon A Time in Malaysia, SOLARIS Kuala Lumpur
  • WWF Art For Nature – SURVIVAL, Rimbun Dahan, Selangor


  • Unfolding, RA Fine Arts, Ampang, Kuala Lumpur
  • Living Room: Art Couple Project, The Annexe Central Market & Jendela KL
  • IMCAS Iskandar Malaysia Art Exhibition, Danga Mall, Johor Baharu
  • WWF Art For Nature, Rimbun Dahan, Selangor


  • Force of Nature, Pace Gallery, KL
  • Palestine Fund Raising Show, The Annexe, KL & National Library KL
  • Anniversary Show, Pace Gallery, KL
  • NIKE Pop Up Space Exhibition, Pavilion, KL (Beijing Olympics)
  • Rapat Umum Merdeka Show, RA Fine Arts, Ampang, KL
  • Friction, Two-Man Show, KebunMimpi, Bangsar, KL
  • Mea Culpa, RA Fine Arts, Ampang, KL
  • BANGUN, LostGenSpace, Taman Seputeh, KL


  • Mekar Citra, Merdeka Show, Galeri Shah Alam, Selangor (Consolation Prize)
  • Jejak, Galeri Nasional, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Not That Balai Art Festival (Performance), Annexe, Central Market, KL
  • SUPERSTAR 00:15, Rimbun Dahan, Selangor
  • Exhibition of Young Artist, Jeri’s Studio, Bangsar
  • Bau-Bau Café Opening Exhibition, Annexe, CM, KL


  • Young Artist Award KLPAC/Gudang/Arts&Earth (Major Prize)
  • TABIK JERI, Balai Senilukis Negara
  • Mural Relief PROJEK 49 Merdeka, Balai Senilukis Negara
  • Video art director & technical assistant for MONOPOL interactive installation, Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, Japan


  • performance & video art : DIGEST THIS, notthatbalai art festival, Taman Seputeh, KL
  • Art4All international : artist & art donation, Bangkok, Thailand
  • video art director & technical assistant for SO, WHY SO SAD? :Footsteps, NAG, KL
  • set designer : Hari Keputeraan Sultan Pahang, Dewan SUKPA, Kuantan.
  • mural artist : Sek. Men. Sains Ulu Yam, NAG outreach programme.
  • interior & logo designer : Treehouse art & craft studio, Sri Hartamas, KL.
  • Art4All special needs children : volunteer, Arab Women Association & NAG, KL.
  • facilitator assistant : Gombak district art teacher refresher course, NAG, KL.
  • set design : PAHANG TOURISM CENTRE.


  • VOLUME Fine Arts Degree show, UiTM Shah Alam.
  • technical assistant for RETURN TO INNOCENCE, the young contemporaries, NAG, KL.


  • crew : SITI DI ALAM FANTASI, Istana Budaya, KL.


  • OPEN SHOW, Galeri Shah Alam.
  • KEMBARA ILHAM group show, UiTM Shah Alam.