Seberang Laut Exhibition

February 13  -  March 13 2016
@ Run Amok Gallery

seberang-laut-poster-01-(resized)3‘Seberang Laut’ (Across the Sea) was Run Amok’s inaugural programme after taking up residence at the Hin Bus Depot Art Centre. This exhibition featured works from a group of artists from Sabah & Kuala Lumpur.

Some of the artists from this group show used to be members of local punk rock bands, and for others, their passions for punk rock music are unmistakable. Many of their works are partly informed by the DIY culture and inspired by the ideal of extreme freedom sought in Anarchism. Collectively, this exhibition presents a range of primarily monochromatic yet exuberant works in drawings, paintings, videos and sculptures.


Introduction text
Since the early 70s, there was an emergence of sub-genres deviated from Punk Rock namely, the Garage Rock and the Proto-punk. This music is often rife with a sense of acceleration, jaggedness, and rawness in the sound made by either vocalist or instrument. Its lyrics are pointed reflections of the socio-political happenings.Championing the DIY spirit, many of the band members have to take on multiple roles other than producing music. These tasks include designing album covers, promotional materials and distribution.This exhibition is a small survey of visual materials in the form of band teaser videos, LP covers design, gigs posters & etc., associated and influenced by the Punk Rock movement.Many of the artists in this exhibition believe in communal living, even though not in a physical setting. This way of living is reflected in the way they share resources and trade skills. For instance, Agu Sto designed poster for the Japanese band Vivisick in exchange for the band’s paraphernalia. This shows their strong friendship, which was built on similar ideology in music.In one of the local Punk Rock bands, Carburetor Dung’s lyric — Hanturaya Putrajaya (2003), in which a verse goes:

Rumah mu yang indah tersergam siapa punya??!
Cuba-cuba naikkan kepala
Kan aku ketuk, aku lepuk, aku luku, aku cantas!

Your stately home, whose does it belong to??!
Try to raise your head
I will knock it, I will smack it, I will give you a Dutch rub, I will slash it!

It questions the hierarchical system in our society and the punishment one receives if one attempts to resist. Hence, many of the imagery used in the creative process delineates a sense of rawness and disappointments, with sickly, malnourished and scrawny looking figures; collapsing buildings; snakes being slit by branches or a well-fed man filling his stomach with a fuel nozzle.

In my view, this selection of works shows the artists’ honest reflection of the issues they put forward. However critical they may be, they are never evasive in their stance and expression. Nothing is more beautiful than depicting the reality of love and death.

Text by Hasanul Isyraf Idris

Exhibition stills

Artist bio

ADAM JAMAL aka Rakus is from Sabah. He works full time as mural painter and illustrator. He was deeply inspired by the documentary ’10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka’ (10 Years Before Independence), directed by Fahmi Reza. Since then, he frequents punk rock gigs around Kuala Lumpur and Sabah. Recently he was introduced to some important figures in the lowbrow art movement, surrealism and graffiti.

AGU STO studied visual technology. After completed his studies, he ran a t-shirt printing business then started making illustration. During his time in Kuala Lumpur, he befriended the band CrimeScene. He was one leading members of the band UnsensoredArahkiri and now Pacman, a neo 80s hardcore bandHis illustration works were featured in Japanese thrashcore punk band - Vivisick and Australian band Scabeater. He now works as a farmer; he sometimes trades his illustration skills with other bands and runs a t-shirt printing business in Penampang, Sabah.

ALAK used to be the vocalist for the punk rock band, Dung & Pusher. He is currently based in Kuala Lumpur and co-owns the record store Tandang and Knot selling cassettes and LPs. He has made drawings for vinyl record covers for bands such as the PusherThe Bollocks and The Garrison.

AMY HAMDAN was originally from Rembau, Negeri Sembilan. He is passionate about underground music, however not musically inclined, he finds pleasure in drawing instead.  He draws inspiration from the band Baroness. He draws incessantly with pen on paper when he is back from his day job.

MAMINK started drawing characters from the famous Japanese manga — Dragon Ball and sold photocopies to his friends when he was in primary school. As he progressed into secondary education, he was introduced to punk and hardcore music. Skull eventually appears as a recurring visual symbol in his works. His draws reference from the visual artist Ken Terror. He has contributed writing for Freaxx zine. At the moment he is studying at a college in Kota Kinabalu whilst freelancing as designer and illustrator for bands, record labels, distros etc.

Since young, RAT HEIST has been observing his parents painting at their garage, absorbing visual stimulus from his father’s zines collection and and The Clash records. His visual approach is predominantly influenced by the U.K. rock band ‑ Crass, which exhibits heavy use of collage and stencil on their records design. Some of his works have been shown in art galleries. He now works as a sculptor, backdrop designer and sometimes makes woodblock prints.

After quitting his day job, RIZO LEONG started conducting silkscreen and woodcut printing workshops by using plywood in different parts of Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia with the intention of sharing his experience and technical skill. He was a member of Punk Rock Made In Kilang, based in Ranau with the ideology to build and inspire a self-sufficient and autonomous community.