Ajim Juxta (Raja Azeem Idzham)

Ajim Juxta (Raja Azeem Idzham)

Ajim Juxta is a pseudonym and a stage name for Raja Azeem Idzham (b. 1983) as a frontman for his band. He came from a family that has a strong art and music background and was enrolled in Architecture school only to find that it is lacking as a channel for him to be artistic. He had delved into various form of arts before focusing on fine arts and exhibiting widely since 2011. Ajim has also won various awards and received residencies since his journey as a full time artist. He was the recipient of Khazanah Nasional and ACME Studio Art Residency Sep- Dis 2017 and Beneficiary for Emerging Artist Incubation Funding 2018 under CENDANA.

As for my practice as a visual artist; music, science fiction and Architecture remain as  interests in developing my ideas and the way they grow organically and they are at times a respond to my surroundings. From drawing, painting and making installations I have find ways to express the ideas of the future in a dystopic manner hence it became the visual language and the tone that define my work.

You can check out more of his works at his Instagram.

Wong Xiang Yi

Wong Xiang Yi

Wong Xiang Yi (b. 1987, Kuala Lumpur) received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2010 and her Master of Fine Arts from Taipei University of the Arts in 2016. Wong majored in ink painting and is trained in traditional Ling Nan Chinese Ink painting. She’s strongly affected by China’s new ink painting movement, Japanese style painting (Nihonga), and the impact of and trend of thought related to ink painting that she was exposed to while she was studying in Taiwan.

The medium of ink painting has always reminded Wong of the relationship between humans and the natural and how it contrasts with the rapid pace of life surrounding artificial objects. Wong can anticipate and work with fractional and overwhelming information through tedious preparations before painting. This process is like a ritual, a vacuum interval, where all the prattle of information is slowly processed, to intercept a process of thinking. She believes that a private natural space (Rimbun Dahan) will be a perfect place to calm down and experience ink painting media meeting the natural face to face.

Wong Xiang Yi is our Yearlong Resident Artist 2018 and will be exhibiting her works in our gallery in January 2019. To find out more about Wong, please check her website here.

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.