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a solo exhibition by

sabri idrus
6 — 10 DEC 2008

Ahmad Zakii Anwar’s Gallery at the Back of the House
Saturday, 6 DEC 2008 — 8pm @ 11 Jalan Haron, 80100 Johor Bahru
Talk by Ramlan Abdullah (curator) and U-Wei Hj. Shaari — 4pm
Sabri Idrus was born in Kedah on December 30th 1971. As
a painter, he began his early involvement in art education
studying Graphic Design in 1990. He later furthered his
studies to do Fine Arts at UiTM between 1994-1998.
His first solo exhibition, entitled The Uncertainties was
in December 1999. During this show, he developed a
philosophical work of incorporating a broad range of image
that becomes motives for his paintings. In this exhibition
he concentrated on tropical plants as the primary motive.
To achieve a luminous depth in his layered and image
driven ideas, he uses a shiny and smooth surface as a
base foundation, namely aluminium and zinc sheets, that
is layered with fibreglass and industrial paint. These works
emanate themselves with translucency that speaks out the
motives throughout the last layer.

In April 2004, after four years in a silent period, he exhibited Lorek-Lorek. The
idea of Lorek-Lorek is loosely translated as ‘the making of marks beyond the
picture plane: painting as a play of light and shadow’. The body of work presents
a matured exploration between images and motives. The work cross-references the
Fibonaccian mathematical concept in relations to nature and his personal account
on a journey of crossing borders. He interpreted his journey and environment from
an analytical point of view that feature lines as motive representing space, time and
motions of nature. Lines are seen everywhere.

Using design as the foundation of his artwork, Sabri expresses himself using wide
spectrum of medium and technique such as galvanized irons, aluminium, zinc and
wax instead of canvas and brush. In his fourth solo exhibition entitled Keroncong
Series, Sabri Idrus explores the indeterminate labyrinth between painting and
music. The exhibition showcases three sets of artwork varying from the moulding of
different layers of epoxy resin.

Bangau Oh Bangau is a lullaby. The fact that it is sung with a Chinese rhythmic
dialect is ironic and subversion intended to overshadow the Malay dilemma. What
Bangau Oh Bangau metaphorically implies is the conflict between man and his state
of being by reasoning through logical excuses that eventually disregard the truth
or accepting what is being given. This lullaby that particularly chants the chain of
‘passing blame’ as a search for a scapegoat embodies Sabri Idrus’ third exhibition.

As a whole, the exhibition recognized the prerequisite forces formulated during
2008: “myDomain” will consist of approximately 13
pieces that are emblematic of my most recent body
of work. My current pursuits have me exploring
museums, streets, places and locations, addresses,
measurements etc in search of the most commonly
used numbers with its own story, more like every
single space has a number tagged to it.

Unable to leave well-enough alone (painting), I’ve
incorporated the printmaker’s discipline onto my
body of work. In short, my work is about stimulating
questions and dilemmas for the viewer to solve.

Lorek-Lorek that became the comfortable niche for visual dialogues. Therefore, the
simultaneous respond for the body of work revealed an extended accumulation of
the artist’s intimate encounter with the everyday mundane and banal surrounding.
It is by a visual fact of acquiring similar line gestures and cultural symbols that the
language be brought forth and contested again. At this instance, this body of work
unfolds Sabri Idrus’ critical notion towards both, the social condition and the parody
against the institution that secures the definition between painting and crafting

2006: Keroncong is a musical style that was originated from Java in the 15th
century. The music has since played a large role in the development of local and
traditional contemporary music. Keroncong is also considered as an idiomatic
preference that associates the human feeling towards something which is sublime
and yet unresolved. The artwork shares a mutual atonality with the music
through the resonant of layered monochromatic tones that is frozen in organic
form as depicted by the fluid compositions of epoxy resin. The layers intertwine
as a natural and physical phenomena reacting toward time, gravitational force,
chemical reaction and reflexive within its contextual milieu. Just like oil and water,
they will never amalgamate. Sabri’s works therefore represent the split second
coalition between painting and music in which it is frozen in a momentary lapse
of time while allowing chance and coincidence to react naturally. At this instance,
Keroncong Series try to project a desire to liberate the social and cultural dogma
towards reinventing a new form of symbol in art. There lies the soul to his works
and to the ambiguous term of ‘physical listening’.

Essay by Wan Azhar Sulaiman (CODA), studied architecture in UiTM and The Bartlett School, UK. Currently confined
to teaching in UiTM while continuing his seminal research on ‘ Design by Chance (Architecture of Reflexivity) ’.
Sixty-nine. 2008
acrylic, oil paint and lacquer on canvas
101 x 122 cm
Champion. 2008
acrylic, oil paint and lacquer on canvas
101 x 122 cm
Sixty-four bit. 2008
acrylic, oil paint and lacquer on canvas
101 x 122 cm
Houses. 2008
acrylic, oil paint and lacquer on canvas
122 x 163 cm
First born. 2008
acrylic, oil paint and lacquer on canvas
101 x 122 cm
UV filter 77mm. 2008
acrylic, oil paint and lacquer on canvas
101 x 183 cm
The beginning. 2008 (reserved)
acrylic, oil paint and lacquer on canvas
163 x 211 cm
Architecture. 2008
acrylic, oil paint and lacquer on canvas
163 x 211 cm
For information & preview +6012 382 8642 +6012 345 8642

Published by Sabri Idrus & Ana Works Sdn Bhd on the occasion of the artists’ 5th solo show titled My Domain Series,
6th - 10th December 2008 at Ahmad Zakii Anwar’s Gallery at the Back of the House, No: 11, Jalan Haron, 80100 Johor Bahru.

Measurements are given in centimeters height before width.

Cover: Photography by Adam Areal Tungia, 2004. All Rights Reserved - Sabri Idrus © The Painting Hall 2008.