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‘Brain invasion’

Ninfa Leonardia

“Brain Invasion” is a two-man exhibition featuring paintings by Malaysian visual artists Nik M Shazmie and Shafiq Nordin.

The exhibit is named after the collaborative title work that unfolds an imaginative world of two different minds combined. As peers in the Malaysian art scene, both have established themselves as promising artists in the industry.

Nik M Shazmie “brings forward his travel experiences and what he encountered along the way as he travelled to South Africa, Shanghai, Japan, Korea, and recently to Taiwan. Along the way, he collects patterns, pop icons from science fiction, and some issues to be embodied in his series. By combining different images, he has created a creature or persona which hasn’t existed before.

While Nik M Shazmie is putting his skills in realistic rendering and his "eyes and lips" signature to capture the personality of each paintings, Shafiq Nordin applies his graphical approaches in the series with pop art colours and animal-like characters. He creates chimeric characters in conflicts, in different situations which create stories of survival, greed, imperialist ambitions and inhumanity.”

Nik M Shazmie is “from Kuala Krai, Kelantan, Malaysia but is now based in their capital of

Kuala Lumpur. A graduate of Diploma in Fine Arts (2012) and Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts (2014) from UniversitiTeknologi MARA (UITM), he describes his style as a fusion of pop art and realism. Among the many prizes he has garnered are the Gold Award at the 2015 UOB Painting of the Year competition, Grand Prize at the 2014 National Petron competition, and Grand Prize at the 2013 and 2014 Nando’s Peri-fy Your Art competition. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions and artfairs locally and abroad, such as the Art Kaohsiung in Taiwan (2016), "Tranquillity" at The Gallery, Shanghai (2017), "Hotel Art Fair Bangkok" in Thailand (2018), “Poetics of Landscape" in the Philippines (2018), and at this year's Art Fair Philippines with G13 Gallery.

His first solo show, "Home Sweet Home", was arranged by Nando’s Malaysia in 2015 in conjunction with his winning the Nando's art competition, and G13 Gallery organized his second solo "Face Fiction" in 2018. In the latter, Nik Shazmie presented a series of figures and characters with pop culture references, patterns, and fonts.”

Shafiq Nordin, on the other hand, has “been most uncompromising and hard-hitting in his works. He comes from Sembilan, Tampin, Negeri Malaysia but has his art practice in Kuala Lumpur. He produces paintings about the victims and casualties of geo-political games, unlike many who choose not to tackle these issues. Shafiq goes straight for the jugular, launching his scathing attacks on the victimizers, which is an assortment of chimeras, usually skinless muscle-bound beasts that represent certain nefarious forces, especially those behind the many manufactured conflicts and naked transgressions around the globe, carried out to serve their capitalistic agendas. These are depicted in various situations, further augmenting the freakishness of their monstrous nature that are driven by imperialist ambitions, insatiable greed and all that is inhumanely base. To Shafiq, the utter absurdity of it all are the effects of pure lunacy and he uses polka dot patterns on parts of his many cretinous beasts as comical effects, underscoring the ludicrousness of the whole farcical situation. Shafiq’s works are noted for strong imagery expressing his indignation, and a stylistic approach with thick coarse outlines of his subjects usually placed in front of repeated patterns and forms which support the wicked notions of the situation depicted, painted to slightly resemble woodcut prints which is the common medium used in proletarian political art.”

“Brain Invasion” opened February 28 at Block 17, Art Space, Art District 2 and is available for viewing this March*

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