Hasanul Isyraf Idris is a Malaysian artist who works with a variety of different materials to present his often intricate and surreal ideas, inspired by his home country’s colourful history. Hasanul Isyraf Idris’s fourth solo feature with Richard Koh Fine Art took place last week, showing at VOLTA art fair, New York. Titled Environment of Naga and Doubt, it is a continuation of his series Higher Order Love, which began in 2016. It depicts stories and memories of Malaysia’s past, including the racial riots which took place in Palau Pangkor in 1959. He talks about love, his childhood and the Malaysian art scene.
Your series is titled Higher Order Love. In the latest feature it deals with topics like racial riots, migration and alienation. How do these topics fit under the umbrella of a higher love? Do you think love can be found even in difficult times or places?
I feel that love is at its strongest once it is tested. I witnessed this through my parents’ experience of survival on a fisherman’s island with four children, [my dad] crossing the ocean to the mainland to secure for us a better life. For me the bond and survival is a symbol of his unparalleled love.
Your work draws a lot on Malaysia, your childhood there and the culture of the country. Does that inspire you?
The issues that I brought forward are a repeat of history. Stories, memories and the past become my subjects of interest in my creative practice. I also reflect on current global issues from my own personal angle and perspective.
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