June 20, 2024
Art Gallery

Exhibition to highlight role of art expression in economy

KUALA LUMPUR: Penang-born Ali Nurazmal Yusoff’s 8th solo contemporary art exhibition, “Artconomics”, was opened by Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz yesterday.

The exhibition, which will end on July 2, is open to the public at the art gallery on Level 2 of the main library at Universiti Malaya (UM).

Organised by the UM Economics Society in collaboration with the UM Art Gallery, the event promises a captivating showcase of contemporary art.

In a statement, UM said the exhibition objective is to increase student awareness on the role of artistic expression in the dynamic fabric of the economy.

“The exhibition is an exploration of the dynamic relationship between art and the economy, inspired by the minister himself,” it said.

Speaking to theSun, Ali Nurazmal, 46, said he has participated in numerous national and international art competitions since he was 16.

“I often draw inspiration for my artwork from Malaysian lifestyle and culture.

“The exhibition features 43 of my finest works that span from the 1990s to the present. It embodies a unique style in which I seamlessly blend the intense chiaroscuro of Caravaggio’s Baroque realism with contemporary elements.

“Chiaroscuro is an Italian term which translates as light-dark and refers to the balance and pattern of light and shade in a painting or drawing.

“This technique causes the light and dark parts to contrast, making the subjects look very real. I also mixed old and new things, such as mentioning Manchester United and smartphones in my art,” he said.

Ali Nurazmal, who graduated from the Universiti Teknologi Mara fine arts faculty, said he prefers working with oils and canvas, as he believes the medium brings his subjects to life.

Reflecting on a career as a painter, he said he has been active in the art scene for 30 years.

“Being an artist these days comes with opportunities and challenges, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Through my art exhibition themed ‘Alism’ in 2012, I established myself as one of the best in figurative paintings.”

After the success of his fourth solo exhibition “Realism” at Art Stage Singapore in 2016, Ali Nurazmal said his art-themed “Resurrection” gained international recognition as one of the Truly Asia artworks featured at the same event.

He said he was invited by the National Art Gallery to host his seventh solo exhibition in 2020, titled “Project ‘A’: Last Man Standing”, which featured a collection of paintings inspired by Caravaggio.

The exhibition has garnered positive feedback from local and international art viewers.

Despite the joy of being a painter, Ali Nurazmal – who does not believe in shortcuts – said artists often encounter numerous challenges that must be confronted.

“You can’t depend solely on talent, even if you have it. Build a foundation, hone your skills and learn the history of art. Only then can you position yourself as an artist.

“We need self-discipline, to elevate our thinking and cultivate strong entrepreneurial skills.”

He also said it is important to utilise available resources instead of relying on external sources and to proactively create opportunities rather than passively wait for them to appear.

Ali Nurazmal said by following these principles, an artist has the autonomy to shape his artistic journey and realise his creative vision.

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