b. Johor, 1984
MAGIC CIRCUS, 2008
Signed and dated ‘h 08' lower right
Mixed media collage on paper
78.5cm x 109.5cm
Private collection, Singapore
ESTIMATE RM 6,000 - 8,000
|Haslin is a UiTM graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Art, and has recently garnered much attention and recognition for his surreal and fantastical art pieces. His elaborate works intertwine surreal and outlandish elements which stem from an imagination rooted in fantasy, comic books and science fiction.
Haslin had a solo exhibition in 2009, titled ‘Exorcismus Persona - Windows into the Fantasy Worlds of Haslin Ismail’ at RA Fine Arts, Malaysia as well as numerous group exhibitions spanning 2008 to 2012 including ‘Young and New: Part I’ at House of Matahati, Malaysia (2008), Malaysia Emerging Artist Award (MEAA) 2009 at Soka Gakkai Malaysia, and ‘18@8 - 1 Malaysia: Beyond the Canvas’ at Wei-Ling Gallery, Malaysia (2009). An artist-in-residence at Rimbun Dahan in 2012, Haslin has also won numerous awards, the most significant of which is the Grand Prize for ‘In-Print: Contemporary British Art’ in 2006, as well as the Grand Prize for the prestigious ‘Young Contemporary Art Award’ at National Art Gallery Malaysia in 2010. Haslin’s works have been collected by respected private collectors and institutions both locally and abroad.
New and imaginary worlds emerge in Haslin’s paintings and mixed media works. In one of his earlier works - Magic Circus, his inimitable style that has brought him considerable acclaim is evident. Fictional characters or monsters with features that are almost human as well as other disembodied figurative elements are spread across the work. The portrayal of puppetry and the expression of control by external forces come to the fore in this piece, as strings hooked and held by crooked hands seem to restrain the monster. Big brother elements abound; an eye outlined in blue, a generic face looking dispassionately on the scene reinforce this feeling of authority and mastery, a theme that is a leit motif in Haslin’s works to this date. The title Magic Circus is apt, and perhaps alludes to people being restrained and controlled by unseen or higher powers as beasts in a circus. While the piece has a feeling of circus vibrancy, it still retains a dark and moody ambience seeming to pose the question, are we part of a metaphoric ‘circus’, beasts controlled by unknown influences?
IMCAS, Danga City Mall, Johor Bahru 2009
Space, Taksu Gallery, Kuala Lumpur 2008