Lot 073

b. Johor, 1969

NO(N) SENSE, 2008

Signed and dated 'Hamir 08' (lower left)
Oil on canvas
183cm x 152cm

Private collection, Selangor.

ESTIMATE RM 40,000 - 60,000
So, that was Hamir Soib@Mohamad’s take on The Year That Was, a poser and challenge by Lim Wei-ling of the eponymous Wei-Ling Gallery to six artists on what they thought about the year (2008), that was just about to end. Their works were showcased at Wei-Ling Gallery in December 2008. The year, a leap year and the year of the Summer Olympics in China, is best remembered as the year of the 13th general election where (Tun) Abdullah Badawi Ahmad’s ruling Barisan National incumbent government barely scraped through, with a slim majority, and the handover of the Prime Ministership to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was set in motion. In Hamir’s work set against a dense seriesof dark spirals, a hard mould without a face and dismembered into three parts, dominated. While the head mould, made up either of wood or ceramic, does portend something bad – one is left to ponder if it refers to any individual – it is non-commital and detached, like someone broken looking out, to nowhere in particular. Thus,No(n) Sense, the title.

Hamir Soib, a late bloomer among the founding members of the cult Matahati group, has shown a very sharp edge in his socio-political commentaries, related mostly to home. As the founder of The Gudang warehouse art space in 2002, he achieved much in visual art as well as theatre and film productions, where he concentrated his efforts on earlier. Such was that he won Best Art Director with Zuraini Anuar in Perempuan Melayu Terakhir in the 14th Malaysia Film Festival. Not surprising, it was at The Gudang that Hamir Soib made his first solo exhibition in 2005. That year, he also won the Incentive Award in the Shah Alam Gallery Open. Hamir was a finalist in the Sovereign Art Award Hong Kong in 2007. As a Matahati icon, he was from the same ‘Class of ‘91’ graduation from the Universiti ITM. But he had already won a Consolation Prize in the Dokumentasi Kemiskinan competition in 1990.