New Straits Times, 9 July 2008
Carving his mark on Beijing Olympics
by Malini Jeya Palan
KUALA LUMPUR: Penang-born Abdul Multhalib Musa is one of Malaysia’s leading contemporary sculptors.
Multhalib, who studied architecture in Australia, has won many international awards and residencies through his work.
He has been commissioned by the Chinese government, following his participation in an international competition, to create an outdoor sculpture for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“All my exhibitions have been different, but mostly architectural oriented designs,” he said.
Multhalib received the Australian High Commission Residency in 2004 and was selected for the Rimbun Dahan Residency in 2001.
Multhalib expressed confidence he would make his mark as a sculptor on the international front.
He is current having an exhibition entitled “Twist” at the Wei Ling gallery from June 26 to July 10. The pieces on display are unique and contemporary.
Q: When did you develop a love for art?
A: My parents told me that I began drawing at the age of three. I drew on their walls using crayons and pencils. I also remember winning a gold medal for art when I was just six years old. I was encouraged by that and have pursued art ever since.
Q: Were your parents supportive of your career?
A: They always have been supportive. My mum was a teacher and my dad a civil servant. They used to send me for art classes and encouraged me to be creative. They also bought me art stationery. My sister on the other hand is a computer whiz and is not into art.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I was born in Penang in 1976 and went to primary school in Bukit Mertajam before my family moved to Kuala Lumpur.
Q: Q: Have you always like art and designs?
A: I have always wanted to be an artist. If I can just paint or draw and make things, I will be very happy. I love my work so much that even if I’m not physically doing anything I’ll be mentally planning my next sculptures. I’ll look at something and get inspired and that immediately triggers lots of ideas. It can be from just looking at people or talking to them or even through political issues. I have some pieces inspired by political issues.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: Like anyone my age, I like hanging out with friends at the mamak shop and catching up on things. Maybe catch a game of football. The people I hang out with are usually my school friends. Sometimes I hang out at the gallery.
Q: What do you enjoy most about life?
A: Being able to do what I want to do when I want to without having to follow a timetable. Basically not to have any pressure except the one that you put on yourself.
Q: Have you done anything recently that you are proud of?
A: Yes. One of my sculptures which was commissioned by the Beijing government for the Olympics has been placed in the Beijing Olympic Park City. Actually, I was commissioned after entering an international sculpture competition in 2005 and through that I was selected along with a group of artists for the project.
Q: What are your future career plans?
A: I don’t have any concrete plans. I’ll just see where my work takes me. If opportunities present itself then I’ll take it. You can’t really plan anything when you’re doing art work.