I was awarded top 5% in the world (7/7) for my IB Visual Arts examinations in 2018. My Exhibition aims to question our identity by providing a new perspective on everyday normalcy. I have shared my pieces in this post below. Another component of the examinations were Comparative Studies and Process Portfolio. My Comparative Studies titled ‘Representation of Pain as a Human Experience Through Paintings’ examined similarities and differences of conceptually similar pieces by artists from various eras (Egon Schiele, Zeng Fanzhi & Pablo Picasso).
How ‘The Other’ Feels
Stereotypes are often misinterpretations of a certain group that are observed and developed by society over time.
Just like how this prayer mat has been stained by gun symbols, some stereotypes misdefine certain races and religions. This misinterpretation forcefully labels victims in our society, causing them to feel trapped and restricted by what others may think of him.
For those who wish to break free, these stereotypes will always hold him back, keeping me restricted and judged as ‘lazy, limited and incompetent’- just like how many people misperceive Malays in our society to be.
Is Religion a Gift or Constriction?
Ironic how many people today view religious practices as ‘forced actions’ and a ‘hassle’ in their life, rather than what is was originally: a gift to connect with God.
The act of wrapping showcases prayer as a gift but upon closer look, we see how this wrapping forcefully creates ridges on the sculpture- questioning if it is actually a constriction instead.
Too Rare to Die
Inspired by Islamic Pottery, I sculpted a pot as a self-portrait; using its form to capture my character with my Arabic name relief-sculpted into its form.
The narrow and tapered tip leading to its lips embodies how little I share to others. The many ears around its body reflect just how much I listen, creating an imbalance between the two and leaving me bloated with my own thoughts and emotion.
The Idea of Having Fake Friends
Growing up with friends from wealthy backgrounds made me wish if there was a way for me to fit in. Be it made-up stories or jokes just to get their attention, there was a need to avoid being an outsider.
By misconfiguring my Arabic name to fit various forms of glasses, it is used to metaphorically assume a persona that is attracted to the wealth and gold inside. Yet, in forcing myself to adopt these traits to fit in, it changes my identity which questions the authenticity of these friendships and whether the memories shared were real.