Suzlee and The Monsoon Series: An Introduction
Visual language is a universal language being the key to the knowledge of science communication. It is a vehicle to passing knowledge, interaction between human being and advancement to life quality improvement.
The process of producing art may look easy to some people. However, to those who are involved in the making of art knew that it took very long hours, days, months and sometimes years to produce good arts. No doubt it is tiring but the result of a good piece of art is worth the effort. High spirits and strong beliefs in what you do is the secret to stay long in scene and produce excellent art with souls and high quality.
“The artist is a receptacle for the emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web.”
- Pablo Picasso
A good art is the expression of its creator. The artist should make art from love, sensitivity, desire, responsibility, likes, dislikes, anger or inner expression that has lost words but anxious to come out from the artist’s mind.
The latest of Suzlee’s work clearly walks towards these aggressive and wild feelings of expressions. The Monsoon Series (2009) is an advancement of a short experimental work named the Ombak Series (Wave Series) in 2007. Both series started after the very long year of Movement Series, which started in 1995 – 2005. In the Movement Series, the action involved psychomotor skills of the artist’s mobility. The brushes and painting tools moved and danced on the canvas with the artist’s instinct and mood experiencing nature. In both Ombak and Monsoon Series, his experience with the wilderness of the Monsoon season becomes the drive to initiate actions.
Suzlee was born and brought up in Kuala Terengganu, in the east coast of the Peninsular of Malaysia. The east coast receives massive rain towards the end of the year due to the Monsoon season. When he was small and at tender age, his witnessed pain and strive of the kampong people whom many were rubber tappers, farmers and fishermen survived the season.
It is a season that keeps sad, sad stories of kampong people that sheltered underneath roofs made of leaves and wooden houses. Their agony, their worries and pains do not receive any sympathies from the fierce winds that blow down the kampong or heavy rain that drown the land.
The memory of the heavy rain and harsh seas of the monsoon season have inspired Suzlee to paint the new series named the Monsoon Series. Still, without concentrating on any images, he expressed complex brush strokes, textures and skilled composition using limited colours on the canvases, producing purely abstract expressionist -‘action paintings’.
For the past 20 years, both acrylic and oil are the two main medium used on canvases for his all paintings.
Although both Ombak and Monsoon Series are his memories of the seas in his hometown, Ombak Series paintings have different mood. It is less aggressive in its presentation and use vibrant colours as highlights. The Monsoon Series focuses on dark, murky weather of the monsoon season and strong waves and current made from strong winds. These are shown in the use of limited secondary colours and fast, strong strokes on the canvases.
Suzlee is not new in Malaysian art scene. This exhibition is Suzlee’s 16th solo exhibition. Suzlee obtained his art education from the Institute of Technology, Shah Alam (1987) in fine arts. He showed his works in more than five hundred group exhibitions, local and overseas such as the United Kingdom, USA, Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Brazil, Cuba, Spain, Canada, China, Japan, Argentina, Greece, Poland, UAE, Australia, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Among the collectors of his artworks from the previous series are National Art Gallery / Balai Seni Lukis Negara (Movement Series, Highgrove, 2001), Central Bank of Malaysia / Bank Negara (Movement Series, Tulip 1, 2004), EMAAR Properties, Dubai, UAE (Space Series, Construction 4,2005), Remise Academy, Brande, Denmark (Spirit of The Wind, 2002), The City Gallery Leicester, England (Between the lines) and Blue Sea / Lautan Biru (2005) from the last of Movement Series is the collection of His Majesty The Yang Di-pertuan Agong Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin.
For this exhibition, Suzlee specially presented 27 pieces of the best of Monsoon Series displayed at the Pinkguy Gallery, Kuala Lumpur. It is Suzlee’s main concern to let Pinkguy Gallery as his representative to the new and definitely exclusive arts for serious collectors and art enthusiasts.
Commentary: ‘MONSOON’, Pinkguy Gallery, Kuala Lumpur 2010 (ISBN 978-967-5563-00-3)
Born in Kuala Terengganu (Malaysia) in 1967, Suzlee Ibrahim is one of the nation's most notable abstract expressionism painters. Suzlee has been in the art scene for more than 25 years.
He started to paint seriously since he was 19. After he graduated from Universiti Teknologi MARA Malaysia he worked in graphic department at advertising and publishing companies before he returned to the University to teach. Since then, Suzlee had taught Fine Arts full time and part time at four higher institutions in Kuala Lumpur.
After the Movement series, Suzlee embarked on the Belantara series (2003), Space series (2005/2006), Foundation series (2006), Ombak series (2007) inspired by the sound of crashing waves, Batik series (2007/2008), Root series (2008), Sakura series (2008/2009), Wall series (2008/2009), Melody series (2009) inspired by music, the Monsoon series (2009/2010) was full of coldness while the parallel Sahara series (2010) is fiery and restless. And The Kingdom (Kingdom Series), his latests exhibition at Pinkguy Art Gallery Kuala Lumpur from January 6 - 18, 2012.
Suzlee's wide understanding and network of art beyond our borders is translated in riots of colours and brushstrokes on canvas. Suzlee has had 20 solos and is now preparing for his 21st. Suzlee's works are widely exhibited; England, USA, Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Brazil, Cuba, Spain, Canada, China, Japan, Argentina, Greece, Poland, UAE, Australia, Bangladesh and Nepal. He is also recognized as jury in art competitions, art curator and advisor. Suzlee Ibrahim is an example to many young artists, art students, artist in the making and colleagues. He motivates them to paint and move forward in art. Sometimes Suzlee give lectures in art workshops organized by corporate and government bodies. Upon recognition for his participation in Malaysia art scene, Suzlee was awarded Anugerah Citra Kencana (Citra Kencana Art Award) by the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia/ National University of Malaysia (2011).
Suzlee’s works are collected by corporate organizations and private collectors in Malaysia and outside the country such as Remise Academy (Denmark), Emaar Properties (UAE), Bank Negara Malaysia/ Central Bank of Malaysia, Balai Seni Visual Negara/ National Visual Arts Gallery of Malaysia, Securities Commission Malaysia, Muzium Seni Asia (UM), Soka Gakai Malaysia, NST, UiTM, UKM and Lautan Biru (2005) his last piece of Movement Series is with DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-pertuan Agong Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin (The King of Malaysia).
SUZLEE BIN IBRAHIM
1, Jalan Indah Teras Jernang
Bandar Baru Bangi
+6 01 260 25 260 (hp),
Anugerah Perkhidmatan Cemerlang 2003, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Shah Alam, Selangor D.E
In Recognition of Outstanding Creative Excellence, Emaar International Art Symposium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Japan-Malaysia Art Friendship Ambassador, (Ministry of Culture Arts & Heritage Malaysia & World Arts and Culture Exchange Malaysia) Malaysia Tourism Centre, Ampang, Kuala Lumpur
Anugerah Perkhidmatan Cemerlang 2010, National Academy of Arts, Culture & Heritage (ASWARA), Kuala Lumpur
Anugerah Tokoh Seni UKM 2010 (Anugerah Citra Kencana), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Bangi, Selangor
Anugerah Khas Juri, Pameran Rasa Alam 2012, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Bangi, Selangor
Grants / Residencies / Workshop
2002: 10th International Workshop for Visual Artists, Remise Academy (Remisen), Brande, DENMARK
2005: Emaar International Art Symposium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates / UAE
2006: Malaysia-Poland International Painting Workshop, Faculty of Art & Design, MARA University of Technology, Shah Alam, MALAYSIA
2006: Peti Seni Di Sini, Laman Seni Kuala Lumpur, National Art Gallery, KUALA LUMPUR (1- 28 Feb 2006)
2007: Japan-Malaysia World Arts & Culture Exhibition for Friendship in 2007 (Art Workshop), MATIC, KUALA LUMPUR (29 July 2007)
2008: Art For Earth Aid (Art Workshop) Taito Hall, Tokyo, JAPAN (29 March 2008)
2010: The 8th International Visual Arts Festival in Monastir, Monastir, TUNISIA (20-30 Sept 2010)
2011: Malaysia-France International Painting Workshop (MAFE) Art Workshop, Galeri Aswara, National Academy of Arts, Culture & Heritage (ASWARA), KUALA LUMPUR (12-15 July 2011)
2012: Life Figure Drawing Workshop (In conjunction with the duel Amron Omar Exhibition), National Visual Arts Gallery, KUALA LUMPUR (28-29 April 2012)
2012: Ausrtia-Malaysia Art Friendship Workshop, Pangkor Island Beach Resort, PERAK (17-20 Oct. 2012)
International Honorary Artistic Committee
- International Honorary Artistic Committee for the three mail art exhibitions in Greece, Museum G. Katsigra (Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa), Larissa/ Thessaly, GREECE (8 December 2007)
- A backer of "IN the PINK", launch the 1,000,000 people (art project by Connie Noyes), CHICAGO (November 2011)
: Membership of The Persatuan Pelukis Malaysia (PPM)
: Membership of The Angkatan Pelukis Semenanjung (APS)
: Membership of The Friends Institute Life Study Group, Moseley Road, Highgate, Birmingham, ENGLAND
: Membership of The friends of Bankside Gallery, London, ENGLAND; (Royal Watercolour Society and The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers)
: Membership of The friends of The City Gallery, Leicester, ENGLAND
: Membership of The Kelab Seni Lukis Hulu Langat, Selangor
: Membership of The Avisen-Avk Art Gallery, Rodby, DENMARK
: Membership of The Millennium Art Gallery, Vancouver, CANADA
: Membership of The CONNEX24H Artists, Kangasto, FINLAND
: Membership of The International Miniart Exchange Group, Porto Alegre, BRAZIL
: Membership of The ARG Group (ARG-Artists Respond Globally), Chicago, USA
: Membership of The One Million Pink, Chicago, USA
: Membership of The International Society of Assemblage and Collage
: Membership of MRM /Majlis Rekabentuk Malaysia (Malaysia Design Council), Wisma MBSA, Shah Alam SELANGOR.
Appointed Judge for Art Competition/ Invited Speaker
- Appointed Judge for 60th Anniversary Utusan Group Logo Competition, KUALA LUMPUR
- Invited as a Panelist for ‘Bicara Seni’ Expression Exhibition 98, Ipoh, PERAK
- Appointed Judge for Art Competition, PKNS Complex (Bandar Baru Bangi), Kajang, SELANGOR
- Appointed Judge for Art Competition, MPPJ (Hari Kitar Semula), PJ, SELANGOR
- Appointed Judge for Art Competition, Recycle Campaign and 3rd Anniversary Shah Alam Bandaraya, Shah Alam, SELANGOR
- Protem Committee, AD Reunion, National Art Gallery, KUALA LUMPUR
- Invited Speaker, Visual Art Workshop 2004, UKM, Bangi, SELANGOR
- Invited Speaker, KL Fashion Week (Sulaman Kreatif), Legend Hotel, KUALA LUMPUR
- Art Talk (Dubai Experience), Galeri Seni, UiTM, Shah Alam, SELANGOR
- Art Talk (International Workshop), Children of Art, UBU, KUALA LUMPUR
- Appointed Judge for Art Competition, ‘Good Agriculture‘, Kementerian Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani Malaysia, Putrajaya, WILAYAH PERSEKUTUAN
- Appointed Judge for Art Competition : 'Warisan Terengganu', Muzium Terengganu, TERENGGANU
- Appointed Judge for Art Competition : 'KENYIR', Ketengah, TERENGGANU
- Appointed Judge for Art Competition : 'Citra Terengganu', Muzium Terengganu, TERENGGANU
- Appointed Judge for Art Competition : 'Memahat Sejarah Mencipta Tamadun', Muzium Terengganu, TERENGGANU
- Invited Speaker, Sculpture Workshop (MRSM), AnCasa Hotel, KUALA LUMPUR
- Appointed Judge for Art Competition/ Exhibition: Shah Alam Open 2008, Shah Alam Gallery, Shah Alam, SELANGOR
- Appointed Judge for Art Competition: Terengganu Open 2008, Muzium Terengganu, TERENGGANU
- Appointed Judge for Art Competition/ Exhibition: Shah Alam Open 2009, Shah Alam Gallery, Shah Alam, SELANGOR
- Invited as a Panelist ‘Curriculum Brainstorming’ (Faculty of Art & Design, Universiti Industri Selangor), Straits Meridian Hotel, MALACCA
- Appointed Judge for Poster Competition, SME Bank, Menara SME, KUALA LUMPUR
- Appointed Judge for MMK0910, University Malaya, KUALA LUMPUR
- Appointed Judge for Selangor Young Talent Awards 2010, Dewan Sivik Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya, SELANGOR
- Visiting Lecturer, ‘Program Seni Budaya’, Pusat Perkembangan Profesional INTAN, Bukit Kiara, KUALA LUMPUR
- Invited Lecturer, Figure Drawing (Short Course), National Academy of Arts, Culture & Heritage, KUALA LUMPUR
- Appointed Judge for Art Competition/ Exhibition: Shah Alam Open 2010, Shah Alam Gallery, Shah Alam, SELANGOR
- Appointed Judge for Art Competition; Terengganu Open 2010, Muzium Terengganu, TERENGGANU
- Appointed Judge for Art Competition/ Exhibition : ‘Media Seni IX’, Dewan Tunku Canselor, Universiti Malaya, KUALA LUMPUR
- Invited Lecturer, Figure Drawing (Short Course), National Academy of Arts, Culture & Heritage, KUALA LUMPUR
- Visiting lecturer, ‘Program Seni Budaya’, Pusat Perkembangan Profesional INTAN, Bukit Kiara, KUALA LUMPUR
- Invited Speaker ‘Cadangan Inisiatif Pembugaran Mata Pelajaran Pendidikan Seni Visual Di Sekolah Rendah dan Menengah’, Bahagian Teknologi Pendidikan Negeri Selangor,Seksyen 13, Shah Alam, SELANGOR
- Appointed Judge for for ‘Bakat i Lukisan’, Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), Angkasapuri, KUALA LUMPUR
- Appointed Judge for Selangor Young Talent Awards 2011, Dewan MBSA, Shah Alam, SELANGOR
- Art Talk (Action Painting), Center Point, Kuantan, PAHANG
- Invited Lecturer for Four Days Abstract Painting Workshop, National Academy of Arts, Culture & Heritage, KUALA LUMPUR
- Invited Judge, Hari Kesenian & Kebudayaan Citra Legasi, Dewan Serbaguna Intan, INTAN, Bukit Kiara, LUALA LUMPUR (25 Mar 2012)
- Visiting lecturer, ‘Program Seni Budaya’, Pusat Perkembangan Profesional INTAN, Bukit Kiara, LUALA LUMPUR (Jan - Mar 2012)
- Invited Speaker, Seminar & Bengkel (Painting & Scupture) utk Guru-Guru MRSM, Institut Latihan MARA, Jawi, PENANG (16-20 April 2012)
- Invited as a Panelist, ‘Bahasa Melayu Dalam Lukisan Impressionnisme Daeng Ramli Akil’, DBP Gallery, DBP, KUALA LUMPUR (20 Jun 2012)
- Appointed Judge for Art Competition; Citra Terengganu 2012, Muzium Terengganu, TERENGGANU (23-25 Jun 2012)
- Invited Curator, Ausrtia-Malaysia Art Friendship Workshop, Pangkor Island Beach Resort, PERAK (17-20 Oct. 2012)
: Movement Series I, Shah Alam Gallery, Shah Alam, SELANGOR
: The Notion of Gesture, Elm Quay Fine Arts Gallery, KUALA LUMPUR
: Movement Series III, The City Gallery, Leicester, ENGLAND
: Movement Series-UK; Galeriseni, FSSR, UiTM, Shah Alam, SELANGOR
: Movement Series V, Shah Alam Gallery, Shah Alam, S SELANGOR
: Movement Series VI, Main Lobby, Balai Berita, NSTP, LUALA LUMPUR
: Open Studio I: Artist Studio, Jalan Mempari, Meru, Klang, SELANGOR
: Open Studio II: Artist Studio, Jalan Mempari, Meru, Klang, SELANGOR
: Open Studio III: Artist Studio, Jalan Mempari, Meru, Klang, SELANGOR
: Artists Space, Concorde Hotel, Shah Alam, SELANGOR
: Recent paintings, Maya Gallery, Bangsar, LUALA LUMPUR
: Foundation, Gemarimba Gallery, Bukit Tunku, LUALA LUMPUR
: Artist Collection I, Galeri Pusat Kebudayaan, Dectar, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, SELANGOR
: Artist Collection II, Artists Space, Concorde Hotel Shah Alam, SELANGOR
: RED Wall, Shah Alam Gallery, Shah Alam, SELANGOR
: Monsoon Series, PINKGUY Art Gallery, LUALA LUMPUR
: Variety 1, Subang Olives, Subang Jaya, SELANGOR
: Road To Sahara, Muzium Seni Asia University of Malaya, LUALA LUMPUR
: Waterfall, Malaysia Tourism Centre, Ampang, LUALA LUMPUR
: KINGDOM, PINKGUY Art Gallery, KUALA LUMPUR