His satirist and dramatic painting imbued with sociopolitical commentaries have catapulted Malaysian artist Hamir Soib to fame. One of the prominent members of Matahati, he invariably features in their collective exhibitions.
His work has caught the attention of collectors, critics and galleries only in the last five-six years. Hamir’s talent was first noticed after ‘Tak Ada Beza’ installation (2002) and then his relief mixed-media ‘Tidur’ that won him Young Artist Incentive Award from Shah Alam Gallery in 2005. The founding of Gudang underlined his growing stature. Apart from being his personal workshop plus studio, it also serves as an alternative art space.
In his work, the artist releases pent up anger via the fabrication of horrifying spectacles that deal with death and such apocalyptic themes. Their meaningful contents unravel the tragedies of contemporary humanity. To begin with, he was more interested in Abstract Expressionism to express his emotional turmoil.
His early non-representational work exuded expressive quality and primitivist effect. Capturing the essence of his works, art writer Nur Hanim Mohamed Khairuddin states in an elaborate essay: “The uniqueness of their subdued coloration, illusionist quality and gothic imagery make his paintings appealing. Although we are taken aback by some of his grotesque figures, diabolic narratives and claustrophobic composition at times, we admire his imaginative signification and technical dexterity after a long silence of appreciation.
“The charm of his works is not based on just architectonic arrangements and formalistic patterns. It relies more on his imprisonment within this compositional unity of macabre fantasies and whimsical Nightmares with all the tragic byproduct of his subconscious. In his quest to make his work effective vehicles to convey his message, he depends on his plastic rhetoric as well as plethora of Romantic-Symbolist apparatus to build a gallery of erratic form and scenes.”
The work of this prominent Malaysian artist will feature at Art Expo India 2009. Other artists from Malaysia to feature at the expo are Ahmad Shukri, Mansoor Mohammad Ramli, Bayu Utomo Radjikin, Anurendra Jegadeva and Archana Marshall.