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Friday, 1 March 2013

FAIRUZ SULAIMAN


It gives me a great pleasure to introduce Fairuz Sulaiman. Fairuz is the son of Sulaiman Esa and Khatijah Sanusi, two iconic figures in the Malaysian modern art scene. Knowing their works and writings, I always wonder how they have shaped Fairuz, perhaps through their intellectual probings and philosophical rantings on Islamic cosmology, formalistic interplay of structure, colors and so on so forth. Naturally, one would assume that Fairuz will turn out to be an artist churning out paintings like them. But no, he did not turn out to be that kind of artist, even though he looks like a clone of Pak Leman's younger days look. He is nevertheless an artist, not in a conventional sense, but in a deconstructed, re-defined, up-graded, value driven form. Still, I have this lingering suspicion that his brain, that so called neural path or his quantum field, has been greatly shaped by his parents. For that I offer my salutation to them. Fairuz's repertoire of creative practice, is of course different than his parents, but more in tuned with the imperatives of the 21st. century. He represents a new breed of artists who creatively respond to the cultural impact of the tools of his time, electronic, digital and new media technology. There are many of them, other than Fairuz, perhaps not as visible as those normally highlighted by commercial galleries. Fairuz, throug his multi-dimensional and trans-disciplinary approach to creative  practice, is one of the latest re-flowerings of a dalang or puppeteer who mesmerizes us from behind the veil, the computer or tv screen, the projection screen, the speakers. He is the epitome of a changing Malaysian contemporary art scene, a kind of artist that I and my friend Niranjan Rajah used to envision back in the 90s when we were at UNIMAS. Therefore, I cant help but to glow with pride when I witness his works, including his awesome projection mapping projects he did in Penang. He is comfortable with the tools of his age, both analog and digital, flirting across many fields of creative practice, collaborating with experts from diverse backgrounds both local and international, never shy to entertain, to have fun, unpretentious yet not without a pinch or two on certain pressing issues related to our contemporary reality. I congratulate Fairuz for his creative spirit, his parents and family, his team, Japan Foundation for sniffing his talent and for supporting his residency in Japan, to the National Visual Art Gallery for giving him a space to showcase his unique talent, and to all of you for coming. Ladies and getlement, friends, brothers and sisters, I present to you, Fairuz Sulaiman.

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