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Indepth Arts News:

"Reissue: by Mohd Razif Rathi and Mohd Suhaimi Ahmad"
2005-10-19 until 2005-11-02
Pelita Hati
Kuala Lumpur, , MY Malaysia

Reissue is an exhibition showcasing the works of two young Malaysian artists Mohd Razif Rathi and Mohd Suhaimi Ahmad. The two artists takes a critical look at man’s relationship with nature and the outdated mentality of a community. Although their paintings are social commentary in nature, they have taken a serious approach in producing good art. Their works are testimonial to their talent and skill they have acquired early in their painting career. Suhaimi who has been doing prints shall now show his paintings “Katak di Luar Tempurung” series on canvas. Razif whose earlier works were bright and colorful, takes on a more dark and serious approach in “Saksi”.


The main issue raised by the artist is the laziness and insensitive nature of some of the Malays towards the challenges and the needs of the present times. The Malay proverb, “ Katak Di bawah Tempurung ” forms the basis of his artworks.

Although many of the Malays can now be regarded as educated, successful and holding high corporate positions, there are still Malays who are left far behind. To them, education is regarded as not important. This is observed in articles and statistics published in the media. Among the many references used in this research are statements of our leaders that often discusses the behavior and destiny of the Malays. It cannot be denied that there are Malays who are still left behind from the education and economic point of view which are key factors for a successful paradigm shift.

Every generation have their own phrases to express their thought, so for the old phrases no longer used nor understand. So in these artworks, it is sort of the cynical and teasing for the certain part of the society, that still with the old fashioned way and doesn’t bother of the current needs and challenges.

“Katak di Luar Tempurung” is the new phrase that will be used or the approach in these artwork, to portray in such a cynical way. Nowadays, the need to become sensitive toward knowledge and skills is a must. For that to happen, as in the phrase mentioned, the frog can no longer comfortable lives under its coconut shell and it is time to move on.


With the theme of the environmental issues that lead to nowhere, it’s bring us to the question “ Saksi ” is where we take all of our body parts, senses as a witness to the destruction created by mankind itself.

Issues on environmental has been debated for a long time among the intellectuals, that consist of the environmental activist, environmentalist, animal right, Eco-feminism and also by artist itself through their work of art, but there is no end to these topic.

So in this artwork is sort of an involvement towards the argument and debates as mention above. Human is the main subject in this debate because the main cause of earth destruction is because some of the humans contradict with the purpose and responsible they were bringing to the earth.

In the Holy-Quran and the Islamic way, human is created by Allah SWT to be “Khalifah“, where they should take care and manage the world eco-system. But these don’t just mention by Islam, every religion such as Buddha, Hindu and else also told not to make destruction on earth.

But in Islam, there is a saying that everything mankind do on earth start by their brains and the doing of their whole body. When judgement day comes, all the human will be evaluate and their whole body will be the “Saksi” ( Witness) of the whatever the things they have done. Every each one of their body parts will speak the truth. Every body part will speak with their point of view and aspect from the aspect what the eyes sees, what the nose smells, what the hand does? And where the feet steps?...the eyes is to see and understands, not to manipulate the understanding...as goes for ears is to listen and nose to smell...not to smell profit while doing destruction...hands are far doing good thing and leg is use to walk as far as they can...not to lead for destruction...and lastly the brain is used to think and calculate whatever they see/saw... not the last thing they should used...

Selection of ‘Saksi-saksi’ (witnesses) are the most vital subject in this artwork are to lead the art enthusiast to look back at their past for their wrong doing to the mother nature.

These art pieces is more stressed on the texture on the surface and also the minimal color selection. The selection of composition and the minimal color is referring to the Chinese painting and also Japanese panting. Those paintings emphasized more on the spacing, and it is good for emotion effect. In these artworks, black & white color is also used to reinforced the effect. Mixing all the media such as oil paint, acrylic, charcoal and natural resources and industrial resources such as used lubricant oil is used to make the effect of nature/ environment exploitation.

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