Malaysia – 365 Days of 2008
Noor Azizan Rahman Paiman
Malaysia – 365 days of 2008 is a compilation and documentation of the year 2008, as seen through the analytical mind of the important social/political Malaysian artist Paiman (Nor Azizan Rahman Paiman). Born in Malacca in 1970, Paiman received his art education in both Malaysia and the United Kingdom and attained a MA in Fine Arts from the Manchester Metropolitan University in 2001. Since 1991 he has exhibited widely both in Malaysia and on an international arena, including the ‘1st Fukuoka Asian Art Trienniale 1999’, Japan, and at the ‘Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT5)’, Queensland, Australia in 2007. A selection of Paiman’s distinctive works can also be seen in the collection of the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) in Australia.
Over the years Paiman has made a name for himself with his unique imaginary, caricatures which are juxtaposed against statements by important Malaysian figures in a witty commentary on Malaysian life. He has often said that he considers himself a ‘backdated reporter’ and that ‘everything changes in the world, and more often than not there are issues or incidents that we have forgotten or ignored’.
In this set of works he spent the whole of 2008 going through all the major papers of the country on a daily basis in an arduous task to extract one statement that best reflected the sentiment that day. Armed with this statement, he stenciled the quote onto the corresponding page of an Islamic diary, and then rendered his wonderful fantastical figures over them, ending up over the course of a year with a diary filled with the ‘essence’ of 2008.
The artist aptly says:
“MALAYSIA 365 days of 2008 is a fragmented arrangement of a particular moment in time as the country came face to face with many difficult situations. I played my part as a Malaysian to record everyday life in a creative way. Provocation has everything to do with perception. Perception is controlled by a world view and world view is controlled by a counter situation.”
The seminal exhibition ‘Malaysia-365 days of 2008’ by Paiman runs at Wei-Ling Gallery from 11th May-29th May 2009.
MALAYSIA – 365 days of 2008
Conceptually the artworks are installation drawings. I have chosen the title because all the works are related to the situation in Malaysia over 365 days in the year 2008, namely from the 1st Jan 2008-31st Dec 2008.
I used an Islamic diary of 2008 to document my ideas. Above each page of the diary there is a ‘DOA’ (prayer) for all the obstacles that we may face in our daily lives and on the bottom of each page is a preaching by one of the Prophet’s disciples.
There are lots of entry points in this artwork and I have used the inventory system below to build this work;
- TEXT WHICH EXISTS FROM THE DAIRY
The printed text (from the publisher) in the diary is something which is connected to religion (Islamic). The diary is useful to write the events in one’s everyday life but when the diary has a connection to something religious it becomes spiritual.
- IMAGES WHERE ITS COME FROM NO WHERE
All the images which I have drawn are derived from my imagination and they take their form when my ‘tools’ touch the paper. Drawings are old tools of communication.
- QUOTES FROM IMPORTANT FIGURES.
Over the course of the year, I would read all the mainstream newspapers on a daily basis and analyze the quotes contained within. However, I would only choose one quote by a prominent member of Malaysian society to incorporate into my work. As a thinking person I offer myself as a moderator of sorts, to select the most compelling quote for the day. Sometimes or most times, the person will forgot what he/she has said.
- MALAYSIA SOCIAL HISTORY
My artwork always has something to do with social history and I believe it is an alternative way to look the historical landscape of a place.
MALAYSIA 365 days of 2008 is a fragmented arrangement of a particular moment in time as the country came face to face with many difficult situations. I played my part as a Malaysian to record everyday life in a creative way. Provocation has everything to do with perception. Perception is controlled by a world view and world view is controlled by a counter situation.
When I juxtaposed the four topics listed above in my archive of 365 drawings , silent languages suddenly started appearing but in a democratic way, and they all somehow connected to one another. All this is of course dependent upon how the viewer responds to it.