Date: September 6 – 19, 2018
Venue: The Edge Galerie, G5-G6, Mont’ Kiara Meridin, 19 Jalan Duta Kiara, Mont’ Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur (permanently closed)
Bracing the Heat is the eighth solo exhibition by established artist, Fauzan Omar highlighting serious environmental issues that the world is facing today.
Recently-retired art educationist Fauzan Omar has reached a milestone in his art career. Finally free from the rigours of academia, 67-year-old Fauzan has devoted all his energies in the past year to come up with an astonishing 200-odd pieces of artworks that form 13 captivating sets to express his long burning concern about the dire straits of our natural environment.
In his latest solo exhibition, Bracing the Heat, Fauzan — one of Malaysia’s most respected contemporary artists — offers scorched wood collages and images of orbs as well as his signature paintings and carved motifs to reflect the flora of the Malaysian rainforest under threat from climate change.
But given his technique of intense layering of motifs and colours, Fauzan’s latest works are not overtly concerned about death and destruction. Rather, they are about nature coping with the dire consequences of mankind’s unbridled greed for land resources, and so on.
Land clearing schemes — whether legal or not — come immediately to mind. Large-scale destruction of rainforests in the name of progress to come up with modern plantations will eventually bring consequences, as Fauzan alludes to in his work. To depict bare landscapes would be too conventional a composition. His contemporary works always have a certain delicate element of beauty. To fully appreciate the full extent of their impact, the artworks have to be viewed in a proper gallery setting.
Fauzan has been involved in the arts for some 30 years, devoting most of his waking hours to educating and nurturing art students. He has been a mentor to quite a few artists, including Ahmad Shukri Mohamed, whose Made in Malaysia exhibition was held at The Edge Galerie from
Sept 27 to Oct 13 last year. The senior artist is also a close friend of Shukri’s wife and fellow artist Umibaizurah Mahir @ Ismail, who has also exhibited with The Edge Galerie (Fragile, July 20 to Aug 5, 2016). In fact, it was Umibaizurah who suggested that Fauzan show his work in our gallery.
Since retiring from Universiti Sains Malaysia last year, Fauzan has worked feverishly to transform the long-simmering ideas in his head into the works that we see today. The pieces selected for this exhibition are deemed to be the best in his new series.