Fuad Arif

b. 1976, Sabah, Malaysia

Fuad Arif’s work deals with love and confrontation towards the ambiguous nature of reality. When viewers first look at the graphite sketches of Fuad, you might just see random doodlings of a messy mind – scattered all over a canvas. Yet take a closer look and it’s easy to spot rhythm and reason in the sea of scribbles. The artist’s scrawls fit themselves into irregular columns, grids and patterns of their own design. It’s a strange order from chaos, an organised mess. This, according to the artist, is a tribute to the nature of reality, with all its many mysteries and contradictions. “For me, the reality is paradoxical, it’s very ambiguous. We have ideas of freedom, and predestination as well. We say things are controlled by God, but at the same time, I can make choices. My understanding of reality is not black and white, it’s very abstract,” says Fuad.
Hailing from Keningau, Sabah, Fuad Arif born in 1976, is a well-established artist, who has a Masters in Art and Design from Universiti Teknologi Mara in Shah Alam, Selangor. He has won several art prizes, including The Young Contemporary 2013 (Bakat Muda Sezaman) an award from the National Art Gallery (KL).
According to him, the objective for his artworks is to explore the potential of graphite as a medium and to spark dialogue. The reason he uses graphite, he says, is because he was fond of using it in his youth. “Every artist must have used it once in their life. But it’s very underappreciated, and is very overlooked in terms of research,” says Fuad.
The works by Fuad Arif can be interpreted as incorporating a kind of analytical attitude. Although he did not attribute specifically towards such method, being his inquiry is framed within a phenomenological context and how the idea of “knowing through doing” becomes an embodiment in understanding the poetic nature of graphite pencil, his investigation is nevertheless deemed heuristic. As heuristically there is a kind of classification the already taken-for-granted of the graphite pencil itself within his intention.
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