Presenting four of Malaysia's top private collectors and their dynamic collection of Malaysian artwork, BAZAAR observes the transnational nature of contemporary art, as seen from the strokes that speak of cultural identities.
Tunku Datin Myra Madihah
‘Awal Huruf, Asal Huruf’ is considered a watershed moment both in the career of Husin Hourmain as an artist, as well as the contemporary calligraphy genre in Malaysia. Consisting of 30 canvases created over three years, it was the first time contemporary calligraphy was expansively exhibited locally, showing calligraphy as an icon imbided with social, cultural, and aesthetic values. As a blueprint, Husin transformed Arabic alphabets into visual components, through closely clustered, individual brushstrokes. ‘Awal Huruf, Asal Huruf: Working Drawings’ was produced throughout the tenure of the series, and displayed as a single set, providing creative relief by breaking up the momentum of working on a series of larger, intensely coloured canvases. This allowed the artist critical space and distance to reevaluate the series over its entire production span. ‘Awal Huruf, Asal Huruf: Working Drawings’ was love at first sight for Tunku Myra. “Every alphabet has been filled with depth and detail. Despite its clean, contemporary format, the work also resonates with a spiritual richness. Today, this series is described as transformative for both the artist as well as the local art movement–but also has had a similar effect on me personally. By hanging it in the entrance of my home, it brings me great joy and calm.”