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