Malaysian contemporary artist, Isa Ishak had spent years working as a blue-collar worker until he made a successful transition to become an artist in 2016.
In his first solo exhibition titled Kisah Isa Ishak at ZHAN Art | Space, he highlights his journey as an emerging artist, new father, a son, doting husband, and what it means to find a sense of belonging while capturing the idiosyncrasies of life.
He explores ideas of belonging and his own battles to fit in a society that feels polarised and isolated, inviting viewers to reflect on their points of view and shared humanity.
There are 16 abstract figurative art pieces as part of the first half of his exhibition ”the self” which demonstrates his search for connection, exploration, questioning, and documentation of key milestones in Isa’s personal life.
The second half “self-discipline” is amplified through nature and inspired by the art of bonsai and the tree’s structural beauty which resembles his invisible processes and growth as an artist.
The 10 pieces of bonsai artworks take a quieter look at human connection through the portraiture of the bonsai trees.
“The artworks are a visual dialogue of moments captured during my journey as a blue-collar worker where I worked on building kampung homes to now as an artist.
“Kisah Isa Ishak is a personal story but also a reflection of the roles I play, as a father, a son, and husband as well as an emerging artist,” said Isa Ishak.
“Isa Ishak’s own desire to belong may form a relatable thread among ordinary Malaysians who are coming out of this lockdown and are looking to find ways to make sense of the psychology of themselves.
“In Kisah Isa Ishak, we want to illuminate certain moments we may never have understood and also document the differences and commonalities of these shared feelings allowing Art to bring us all together,” said Desmond Tong, founder of ZHAN Art | Space.
The exhibition features 26 artworks and are ranged between RM500 to RM6,000.
The Kisah Isa Ishak exhibition is currently running at ZHAN Art | Space, Petaling Jaya from October 2021 onwards. To reserve a spot, direct message @zhanartspace on Instagram.
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All images supplied by ZHAN Art | Space.