Richard Koh Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur
Hasanul Isyraf Idris HOL (Higher Order Love)
Chapter 2.3, Wound: Environment of Naga and Doubt
Childhood stories and mythologies are deeply ingrained in my memory and as I grew, these stories would often grow and evolve alongside . The drawings from this series are a compilation of tales harvested from my childhood in Pulau Pangkor (Pangkor Island), they relate to ancestry and heritage, and touch on issues like racial riots, migration and alienation.
The main means of living in Pulau Pangkor was fishery. My father, who worked in a factory supplying ice to fishermen, volunteered as a fireman back then and would occasionally stumble across suicide scenes during tough times. He would tell me of these stories as a child. These were stories of interwoven cultures and intermingling of languages as a result of island culture. I vividly remember imagining stories of tattooed sailors from China living aboard junks with vegetation on board. These diverse cultures co-existed on the island until a racial riot occurred post-independent Malaysia. The situation was dire, and nobody was spared. It spread like rapid fire across the tiny island.
Through revisiting these individual narrations, I reflect on global situations within the historical and current context. These depictions are of a scenario from the aftermath, where people are divided, assigned roles and function under surveillance. Everyday decisions are being made on what categories would be eradicated, while those which remain are to be sanitized and cultivated. I reflect on the diversity of species and heritage as a manifestation of these decisions and through them record my response towards the historical, the current and the future.
— Hasanul Isyraf Idris; January 2018, Pulau Pinang