Hazardous Beauty
By Fauzan Omar

Fauzan Omar is an established Malaysian artist known for his layered paintings and process oriented works. Nature has been his main subject matter throughout his practice. Fauzan commits himself to studying the constant cycle of natural processes; such as diversity, growth, decay, blossom and erosion.

The thick black smoke rising from the burning trees, dust particles polluting our air, ash and fumes, hazy skies, low visibility. All this will again become a problem when the haze comes to blight Malaysia again in the coming months. The haze makes us all vulnerable and brings disastrous effects to the environment and wildlife; no matter if it is a result of man’s negligence or greed. Neighbouring countries are often blamed as the cause of the haze. However, are we not to blame as well? Peat fires, prescribed or non-prescribed burning, disposing of waste in open flames. We cause as much, if not more harm to our own environment.

In spite of all the negativity that the haze brings us, Fauzan believes that there is a certain aesthetic quality to it. Provoking new thoughts and feelings and inducing deeper sentiments, that evolve into ideational and emotional responses. The artist believes that the haze possesses some degree of aesthetic insight; he seeks to question if the charred remains of burned trees and the scorched landscapes, can be considered as aesthetic artefacts if placed in an art gallery. Through this body of work, Fauzan has made it his ongoing quest to create discourse about the changing landscape we live in today; to stimulate positive change, initiate dialogue, generate awareness and appreciation of the importance of conservation.

Layered monochromatic paintings, depicting a repeating motif of leaves, covered in a gray wash representing the haze blanketing the trees. Although minimal in colour, the paintings bear heavy meaning in them; black symbolising the trees turning to charcoal as they burn, white being a sign of sparseness, death and the colour of burial shrouds.

Fauzan Omar is currently lecturing as an associate professor in Fine Art at Universiti Sains Malaysia (Penang). Over a career that spans more than 30 years, he has been involved in numerous international group exhibitions in Japan, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and The United States.

The Hazardous Beauty will be showing from 5th April to 1st May 2017 at Wei-Ling Contemporary.

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 0322828323 / 0322601106 or email: weiling.johnlim@gmail.com for more information.