Discover the Sembilan Collective in Marie Claire's Jan 2016 Issue
Behind the scene footage of the Marie Claire interview and photoshoot of the ladies of sembilan at Awesome Canteen & Awesome Gallery. Grab a copy of Marie Claire's January 2016 issue for the full article. More info at marieclaire.com.my
Season Six: September - December 2017
Hailing from Penang, Sofia Haron spent her growing years in Kuala Lumpur, where she explored the world of art since the tender age of three.
What began as innocent sketches and drawings soon morphed into participation in various art competitions. Whilst the universe of video games, anime, comic books and cartoon characters provided young Sofia with an endless stream of fascination – her curiousity into the world of fine arts soon led into her enrolment of UiTM Malacca’s Diploma of Fine Arts.
This journey was further cemented with her eventual graduation from UiTM Shah Alam with a Degree in Fine Arts, where she majored in painting and ceramic. Even as a student, Sofia regularly had her works exhibited at various prominent galleries around Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Shah Alam and Penang.
Though she defines her style with figurative works today – we believe that with her open, experimentative nature – works of Sofia Haron will positively and progressively evolve in the years to come.
Tomi Heri is a multidisciplinary artist based in Kuala Lumpur. In his work, Tomi challenges the ideas and utilities of his own character through everyday experiences & infuses them with an imaginative visual to push the boundaries of his creativity. He tries to access parts of himself to render significant explorations of experiences, expressions and cultural investigations into forms that transcends mere objects. By expressing his character, he is able to transfer his environmental circles and surroundings into pieces of art. He also combines traditional artwork techniques with new media formats.
Tomi graduated with a Bachelor of Creative Technology from University Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) and has exhibited his works in various galleries across Malaysia, such as the National Visual Art Gallery, Pelita Hati Gallery, Muzium Negeri Terengganu, and Hin Bus Depo art space. He has also participated in group exhibitions in several countries around the region, such as Indonesia and Korea. Tomi's list of achievement also includes being a recipient of multiple awards from both Malaysia and China - Tomi placed second in the 'International Collegiate Snow Sculpture Contest' in Harbin China consecutively in 2013 & 2014.
Season Five: August - November 2016
Born in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, Ahmad Rais’ interest in art started at a very young age. His love for art only grew over time leading him to complete a Diploma in Fine Arts from UiTM Lendu, Melaka and then a Bachelor of Fine Arts from UiTM Sri Iskandar, Perak.
His education in Fine Arts has given him a chance to explore and experiment with various types of medium giving him a degree of versatility in the works he has produced. Through his artwork, Rais’ fascination and understanding of the formalistic aspects of his subject matters is apparent in the realist style of artwork he has adapted.
In his pursuit to expand his artistic experience and knowledge, Rais has travelled to Singapore as an assistant art teacher. He has also recently learned about stage craft through his participation as a prop artist for the theatrical performances of ‘Bangsawan Nyiur Gading Puncak Mahligai’ at Auditorium DBKL, ‘Zombie La La La’ and ‘Ombak Rindu’ at Istana Budaya Kuala Lumpur.
Ahmad Rais has exhibited his works at various galleries in and around Malaysia such as Gallery Chandan, Aswara Art Gallery, Pelita Hati and Kapal Lorek Art Space. He has also participated in a group exhibition in Aceh, Indonesia.
Hailing from Shah Alam, Tajrin Faruqi’s childhood obsession with comic books saw him scribbling and drawing from an early age. Despite having a law degree to his name, Tajrin has continually and passionately pursued a life in art. Today, Tajrin is a full-time artist who founded ‘4idkstudio’ through which, he sells his artworks. Tajrin’s works can also be found on wall murals and commissioned works for local bands such as Monoloque, Dish and Iqbal M.
As an artist, Tajrin experiments with various mediums, from the humble mechanical pencil to oil pastel, from spray-paints to oil paints, and the list continues. Tajrin often aims to portray matters involving comparisons (x and y, positives and negatives) and questions about life, society, as well as historical information infused with contemporary criticism and political philosophy.
In his works, Tajrin pairs the heavier topics he chooses to paint with juxtaposing elements, often incorporating poetry, hysterical images, symbols and satire characters alike to encourage change and transformation. Tajrin does not believe that art should be contained, on the contrary, he believes that art should be released, discharged, expressed and most importantly, it should be honest.
Season Four : November 2015 - February 2016
Anahita is a painter and photographer living and working in Kuala Lumpur. Anahita is from Iran - a land rich in history and culture.
Her love for art developed from growing up with an archaeologist father with a passion for artistic artifacts. Her father believed that self-knowledge comes from an understanding of one’s past, and he encouraged his daughter to learn and understand the country’s culture and traditions. They traveled around the country visiting museums, reading history books and poems, and listening to folk music at home. These experiences features greatly in her artwork.
She studied a Bachelor of Arts in Painting, and then pursued a Master of Illustration at one of the best art universities in Iran. While studying her Masters, she taught art part time, imparting the skills and knowledge she gained from her experienced professors to her young students.
Anahita is equally as comfortable holding a paintbrush or a camera. To her, artwork is beyond medium. Sometimes, camera and brush do come together in magnificent synchronization to create a masterpiece which tells a wonderful poetic story. She finds both photography and painting powerful each in its own unique way and she always aims to make the best of both crafts.
Muhammad Syahbandi Samat
Syahbandi Samat - a self-taught artist from Sibu, Sarawak - is fast gaining recognition in the local art scene after winning the "Malaysia Emerging Artist Award "(MEAA) in 2011. He has since participated in numerous group exhibitions, preferring to work exclusively with ballpoint pens.
During secondary school years, Syahbandi developed a keen interest in the arts and began experimenting with various mediums. He soon settled on the unlikeliest of mediums – the humble ballpoint pen (following his discovery of works by Juan Fransisco Casas).
Using a medium that is widely available worldwide - Syahbandi has successfully created world-class art pieces that explores various social contemporary issues. The quality of artwork produced by Syahbandi using the humble ballpoint pen serves as visual evidence that the potential of any medium is limitless in art – so long as passion, dedication and hard work persists.
Syahbandi has exhibited with various esteemed art institutions in Malaysia such as Pelita Hati, Art Accent Gallery, National Art Gallery, Matahati, Taksu and Gallery Chandan.
Season Three : June - October 2015
Originally from Russia, Elena Kravchenko is an illustrator and visual artist who currently calls Kuala Lumpur home. She is an independent artist, who also works as an illustrator of children’s books.
Elena’s journey in the field of art began very early in life. Starting with several years of art classes, eventually graduating from the school of arts in her local hometown. She started her career as an illustrator for a postcard company in Moscow back in 2005. At around the same time, Elena also commenced her studies in Graphic Design with the British Higher School of Design and Illustration (Moscow) from which she graduated in 2009. Her impressive resumé also includes working experience as an Art Director in two major advertising agencies – McCann Erickson and Ogilvy & Mather.
Growing up in a coastal town in Southern Russia, Elena has developed a deep spiritual connection with the sea that remains an integral part of Elena’s dreams and art. She also draws inspiration and imagination from drawing with children and from her adoration of myths, fairytales, fantasies, legends, and North East European folklore.
Motifs from Elena’s childhood as well as her fascination with folklore and mythology feature prominently in her works today. Elena’s works displays a powerful balance and bursts of colours, composition, symmetry and space.
Voted by LifestyleAsia.com as one of the “5 Malaysian Artists to follow on Instagram”, Aleff Ahmad – a holder of a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Sri Iskandar, Perak – is a much-welcomed breath of fresh air in the Malaysian contemporary arts scene (and a serious contender to boot). Like many, it all started as a young boy’s hobby. Today, you will find many of Aleff’s mural works adorning the walls of private and public spaces – as you will his works on canvasses in the homes and galleries around Malaysia.
Aleff gravitates towards being in the outdoors. It is of no surprise that his love for nature has found a way into his artwork with traces of floras and faunas almost always leaving a mark in his visual messages. Aleff works with a multitude of mediums ranging from watercolour pencils, right through to industrial paints.
Over the years, his artistic style has progressed from that of an illustrator to one of a cultural story-teller. Taking great joy in reminding viewers of forgotten tales, Aleff reinvigorates visual memories with the fine use of his pop-surrealist and realism artistic ability.
Whilst Aleff hails from Petaling Jaya, the regular balik kampong entails a hundred kilometers drive up north to Slim River, Perak where he reunites with his family – his greatest source of inspiration.
Season Two : January - May 2015
ERYN (Winnie Cheng)
ERYN is a manifestation of Winnie Cheng’s psyche. Winnie is an artist living and creating in Penang, Malaysia and stories are a big part of her life. She loves to read folk tales, myths and stories in the fantasy, horror and science fiction genre. The creation of characters and scenarios set in an alternate reality is a common theme in her art and she strives to draw and paint the invisible such as emotions into her work. ERYN is the space which allows Winnie to create infinite possibilities in her imagination. Her intention is to show a deeper truth to life that is possible through our imagination.
Winnie is inspired by a diverse range of influences from books, music, illustrations, computer games, nature and experiences in life. Some of the authors whose stories continue to impact her art include Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood and Frank Herbert. At the same time she is influenced by the art of Edward Gorey, Mike Mignola, Tsutomu Nihei, Hieronymus Bosch, H.R. Giger and M.C. Escher.
Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Raja Azeem Idzham grew up in Taiping and Ipoh, Perak and was interested in art from an early age. He came from a family with strong art and music background. Back in his school days, he used to draw a lot in his textbooks and exercise books. This made his parents and teachers mad at him. He is an Architecture graduate from UiTM (Malaysia) and has flaunt his skills in Architecture and Animation. Other than contributing in the development of Malaysia's thriving building industry, he has also worked on 'Bola Kampung' and 'SupaStrikas', airing on Disney Channel Asia. Azeem also does lead vocals for his band- JuxtaposeD, which he formed with his brothers. He and his family own their own recording studio/gallery - Juxta Art Production.
He currently resides in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail - Taman Industri Bolton.
Season One: September - December 2014
Jaël Estrella derives great satisfaction in providing her viewers with an explosive visual experience of her exploration in non-figurative art. Her work, mostly known for its beauty in balance and symmetry, draws inspiration from the greatest artist of all - Mother Nature.
Jaël observes that all of man's aesthetically appealing creations can be traced back to a natural source - be it the steady crouch of a stalking jaguar or the simplicity of a single blade of grass. Her works therefore reflects her perception of nature's intricate patterns, shapes, forms and colours.
In the journey of completing each of her art piece, she often leaves ample time and space for reflection and improvisation. This enables her to give each work a natural form of progression as she gradually layers strokes, texture, drips and blends towards arriving at its final form. Jaël's work often incorporates acrylic, ink, watercolour and even collages.