“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
- Leo Tolstoy, “Three Methods of Reform”, Pamphlets, 1900
Wei-Ling Contemporary is delighted to present ‘Saring’ (to filter), Hamidi Hadi’s new body of works and culmination of endeavours in his search of a “higher self”. Although the expression is associated to multiple spiritual beliefs, its basic premise refers to being conscious of our “Atma” (true self), as introduced by philosopher Helena Blovotsky in The Key to Theosophy, 1889. As she described, the ray between oneself and the universe is inseparable; one must work on becoming better before initiating any change to his or her surroundings. Hamidi Hadi implements this concept through the act of filtering, which could be elaborated both literally and figuratively. He believes in the dual meaning behind the verb “filter” itself. The first delineation is to remove all unwanted or unnecessary materials, which is straightforwardly applied through the technique of paper recycling using wire mesh. This process involves mixing primarily shredded paper with water, followed by dipping the wire mesh into the mixture. As it is lifted out of the mixture, only the pulps of the paper would stay on the mesh and set to dry as part of the piece, leaving the excess water behind. Hamidi Hadi sightsees this approach as a metaphor of letting go; of the past, and all other matters that no longer serve him well. With this comes the latter definition of the verb “filter”, that is, the act of moving or passing forward in a specific direction. As if going through the mesh himself, with each filtration, the artist takes a step closer towards his “higher self”, trusting that this path would allow him, as an artist, to raise awareness in the society.
The choice of used paper as the main material for this series is due to the artist’s concern towards the impact that human beings have on the environment. He draws attention to paper as one of nature’s gifts that we often put to waste, believing in its potential of being transformed into other forms that may even exceed our expectations. As Tolstoy phrased, “The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” The artist experiments with the density of the paper pulps so as to create intriguing textures, which are strongly present in the pieces Glimpse, VEIL, and Imagining Green. While certain works leave us in awe with what the artist describes as “mystical” colours, as of the intense green in Imagining Green III and the bold red in Lover, others convey calmer atmospheres through different combinations of earthy tones, such as in Serenity, Unforseen, Sarina: Body and Soul, SARING: Witness, and Bathe: Shower Rain.
Deemed as one of the most distinguished abstract artists of his generation, Hamidi Hadi’s works are a constant experimentation and exploration of materials as he seeks to discover and capture the ephemeral and intangible. He received the Bronze Award at the 2018 UOB Painting of the Year Malaysia. In addition to this, he has also received the Bank Negara’s Kijang Award in 2004 and the Philip Morris ASEAN Biennale Art Award in 2000. His works have been collected by both public and private institutions and corporations. Amongst them are the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, Setia Berhad, and the National Art Gallery of Malaysia. He has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions internationally, namely in Singapore, Indonesia, China, the Philippines and the United Kingdom. His recent group exhibitions include ‘Teh Tarik with the Flag’, held at the National Art Gallery of Malaysia in 2018, whilst his previous solo exhibition entitled ‘Dari Langit dan Bumi’ was featured at Wei-Ling Contemporary in 2016. Currently, Hamidi Hadi resides in Seri Iskandar where he also lectures in Fine Arts, at the local UITM Perak.
‘Saring’ is featured at Wei-Ling Contemporary from 5th April – 5th May 2019.
Wei-Ling Contemporary is located at RT01, Sixth Floor, The Gardens Mall, 59200, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Admission hours are Tuesday-Sunday 11am-7pm.
Please call +60322828323/ +60322601106 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.