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.