Established in 2012 by the creative division of UiTM Holdings, Segaris Art Center is a commercial art gallery that promotes Malaysian contemporary art. Located at Publika Shopping Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Segaris Art Center operates as a private entity and has mounted over 70 exhibitions over the past seven years. As a subsidiary of UiTM Holdings, Segaris Art Center aims to provide an avenue for the university’s alumni as well as for local emerging and established contemporary artists to showcase their artworks.
Entitled Independence, the exhibition is a celebration of Malaysia’s National Day or Hari Kemerdekaan, which falls on August 31 during Art Jakarta weekend. The show also celebrates Indonesia’s Independence Day, which was held on August 17. The artworks on display also offer elements of freedom and devotion.
Segaris Art Center believes that the featured artworks by the specially selected artists will pique the interest of the Indonesian audience. Themes ranging from historical landscape, abstract expressionism and figurative paintings as well as sculpture offer viewers a diverse style of Malaysian art today.
Ahmad Zakii Anwar b. 1955, Johor, Malaysia
This Day in History
Acrylic on linen
144 cm x 297 cm
Entitled This Day in History (Hari Ini Dalam Sejarah), Ahmad Zakii Anwar creates an idyllic landscape as the backdrop for his ever-intriguing narrative. Resembling the romanticism of Mooi Indie, Ahmad Zakii Anwar immortalises an intact bay only perturbed by a cloud of smoke in the distance – a warfare iconography. The earthy tones of the idyllic scenery make up a nondescript landscape unique to the Nusantara region.
Standing in the foreground is a distinguished yet anonymous gentleman discerned by his dapper Western wardrobe adorning a top hat and a cane. Such Victorian accoutrements reflect a healthy gentleman’s wealth and stature. The gentleman’s elusive identity masked by a white void on his face is the artist’s trademark, made popular by his earlier Smokers series. The iconic imagery of ambiguity
that represents dichotomy constantly appears in Ahmad Zakii Anwar’s creative oeuvre. In this instance, the commanding figure is present yet absent at the same time.
Accompanying him is a white English bulldog, a popular pet with a longstanding cultural association with England. Suggesting colonisation, this painting depicts a shared history between Malaysia and Indonesia. Both nations may have been colonised by different empires but the will to fight for liberation by her people is similarly experienced.
The title Hari Ini Dalam Sejarah is an appropriation from a short series of TV programme first produced in 1979 by Malaysia’s pioneering broadcaster Radio dan Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) aimed to educate the public on local historical events.
Since graduating from UiTM School of Art and Design in 1977, Ahmad Zakii Anwar started his career as an illustrator prior to painting professionally. He held his first solo exhibition at Valentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur in 1997. Some of his lauded solo shows abroad include My Shadow’s Shadow at Baik Art, Seoul, South Korea (2018); Love + Lust at Galerie Huit, Start Art Fair, London (2015); Pleasure + Pain at Gallerie Huit, Hong Kong (2014); Bones and Sinews at AndrewShire Gallery, Los Angeles (2011); Nafsu at Nadi Gallery, Jakarta (2010); Being at NUS Museum, National University of Singapore (2009); Kota Sunyi at CP Foundation, CP ArtSpace, Jakarta (2007); Subliminal at The Drawing Room, Manila and Numthong Gallery, Bangkok (2006); and Presence at Barbara Greene Fine Art, New York City (1999), among others.
Rafiee Ghani b. 1962 Kedah, Malaysia
Oil on canvas
122 cm x 91 cm
Rafiee Ghani’s mastery in colour is articulated by way of abstract expressionism – a genre that he recently advanced from painting vibrantly-hued abstract gardens or “interior- scape” featuring domestic objects. An avid traveller, Rafiee Ghani often finds inspirations from his sojourns to exotic lands such as Thailand and Myanmar and as far as Tunisia and Morocco.
Predominantly painted in red and pink, The Promised Circus (2018) is composed of bold streaks of lines in white, yellow, blue and a speck of gold.
White Lies (2017) illustrates gestural streaks of pastel-hued palette in varying shapes and form. Its dynamism is marked through layers of green, pink, orange, purple, blue and white reminiscent of a garden of flowers.
In Rose Hill (2016), Rafiee Ghani employs various mark- making technique such as scrawls and scratches to achieve the desired composition. Comprising contrasting palette of black, red, white and pink with shades of grey, this painting depicts Rafiee Ghani’s spontaneity in expressing his visual language.
In 1980, Rafiee Ghani attended a printmaking workshop at De Vrije Akademie Voor Beeldende Kunsten, The Hague, Netherlands. He received a Diploma in Art and Design (Fine Arts) from Institut Teknologi MARA in 1985 followed by a Master in Fine Prints (MA) from Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, United Kingdom in 1987. His career as a professional artist spans nearly three decades with a number of exhibitions in Malaysia and abroad under his belt. In 2018, he participated in a two-man show with Malaysian abstract expressionist artist Suzlee Ibrahim at Nou Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan. Some of his past solo exhibitions include Adventure in Wonderland at Vallette Gallery, Kuala Lumpur (2017); Homeland at The Edge Galerie, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur (2016); Desert Rose by Rafiee Ghani at Galeri Chandan, Kuala Lumpur (2014); and Room of Flowers at Carcosa Seri Negara, Kuala Lumpur (1993), among others.
Hanif Khairi b. 1972, Perak, Malaysia
Recycled plastic & recycled wood
68 cm x 55 cm x 24 cm
Sculptor Hanif Khairi produces abstract form sculptures made from sustainable materials such as recycled wood and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic to achieve the concept of “assimilation” for his Kepiting (The Whimsical Crabs) series. Elegantly shaped, each sculpture is intricately constructed using an amalgamation of small units of wood and colourful plastic, much like the process of building blocks for a modular design. The components are bound together using fastening devices such as clamps and once the desired form is attained, the curing process of lamination commences.
Inspired by one of his travels to Indonesia, the Kepiting series originated from the Indonesian word ‘crab’. Unaware of its meaning at the time, Hanif Khairi soon learns that the term differs from Bahasa Malaysia’s ‘ketam’. Amazed by this discovery, Hanif Khairi feels compelled to “portraythecorrelationvisually”. Thus,HanifKhairiexpresseshisinterpretationofassimilation between both cultures and linguistics by uniting diverse objects, colours and shapes through the fabrication of the Kepiting series.
Recycled plastic & recycled wood
60 cm x 28 cm x 20 cm
Titled Kepiting Busuk, Rumah Kepiting and Anak Kepiting, these unique table sculptures are delightful works of art. Their layered quality also resembles kek lapis, the Indonesian traditional delicacy. Malaysia’s multi-coloured version of the finely layered cake is made popular in Sarawak. Hanif Khairi’s Kepiting series is a rendition of diversity at its finest.
An academician, Hanif Khairi obtained his PhD in Art and Design from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia in 2012. He is currently the deputy dean in Faculty of Art & Design at UiTM. His education includes Master’s and Post-graduate diploma in art and design from De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom (2002 and 2001); and Bachelor’s degree in fine metal design from UiTM, Shah Alam, Malaysia (1994). Specialising in jewellery design and metalsmithing, Hanif Khairi ventured into sculpture-making as artistic research for sustainable design. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions namely It’s Lit at Segaris Art Center, Kuala Lumpur (2019); Arcadesa II (Second International Exhibition Symposium 2018 – Art, Craft, and Design in Southeast Asia) at UiTM, Selangor, Malaysia (2018); and Alami Belas Be Loved KL Biennale 2017, Gesturz at UiTM, Selangor, Malaysia (2017), among others.
Fadilah Karim b. 1987, Johor, Malaysia
Oil on linen
152 cmx152 cm
Figurative painter Fadilah Karim creates large-scale paintings that capture the intrinsic emotion and ambience of her subjects. Often inserting nonfictional references into context, her themes are based on personal experiences that conjure feelings of contentment and affection. As a new mother, Fadilah Karim finds the journey of parenthood extremely rewarding and all-consuming. As a result, she yearns to capture endearing moments of her 12-month old daughter, Aira.
Volatile Love depicts the artist reading a book, lounging comfortably on a corner of a long bench. Her relaxed posture – one hand holding a book while the other resting on her lap; the tip of one foot touching the ground and another leg raised midway off the ground – suggests some downtime to unwind. Also portrayed in the composition is Aira who is gleefully sitting on a wooden rocking horse positionedattheoppositecornerofthepainting–gazing
outward. Fadilah Karim’s predetermined configuration is inspired by French modernist painter, Balthus whose brilliant pictorial composition as seen in The Living Room (1942) becomes her primary stimulus. In Balthus’ work, the 19th century Rococo Revival furniture play an integral role, as equally important as the two young girls depicted. But in Fadilah Karim’s adaptation, her minimal interior allows her viewers to focus on the mother-and- daughter bond.
Oil on linen
152 cm x 122 cm
Appropriating Balthus’ Girl at the Window (1955), Fadilah Karim illustrates a self-portrait in the same manner for Greener Pastures with the addition of her infant, Aira, tiptoeing against the stool that Fadilah is resting her knee on while she leans against the window sill. In this painting, both mother and daughter explore their inquisitiveness together, albeit at separate paces.
Fadilah Karim obtained a Master’s in Fine Art and TechnologyfromUiTMin2013.Herfirstsoloexhibition – presented at the age of 25 – entitled Vague (2012) at Pace Gallery (now known as Nadine Fine Art), Selangor, Malaysia propelled her meteoric rise in the Malaysian art circuit. In 2016, her second solo exhibition entitled Secret Lies at Taksu Gallery, Kuala Lumpur was highly successful. Since then, she has participated in numerous international art fairs namely Art Busan, South Korea (2016, 2018 and 2019); Art Stage Singapore (2016, 2017 and 2018); Art Basel Hong Kong (2017); Art Stage Jakarta, Indonesia (2016); Art Taipei, Taiwan (2015 and 2016); and Art Fair Philippines (2017), among others.