To water is a verb well embedded in human nature and sensibility. It forms the intentional act to nurture, form, develop and extend “something”. At times it reaches towards the height of a dream so profound. It is a daily routine, consistent and repetitive in essence. Otherwise, everything stops, life comes to a halt, dissipating into the realm of death.

Through tools and materials, Faizal tries to explore the possibilities in printmaking, drawing, painting and others. This exploration resembles a trial or a search for the self, for such impetus is common for a young artist. Searching is a proof of existence, as breathing is the sign of life. Thinking is similarly vital, for it is the pulse of the mind.

Now he stands on the spread of earth which he recently toils. With tools such as machete, mattock, hoe, or does he now use machine? Perhaps the seeds, fertilizers and herbicide are all of the organic varieties, or does he plan to use the insecticide and herbicide from Monsanto! Decide as one wishes, simply.

Faizal’s art reminds me of a conceptual fragment from Nusantara poetics, which goes: “together, we dip into the microbe’s heart and devour that of the elephant”. Two very distinct elements fuse into each other, each needing and feeding the other to form the depth and truth of understanding on the meaning of life. It is not my intention to assimilate Faizal’s art into our classic literary masterpiece, but such is the nature of thinking in this region. Or, we may add;

What is not complete about the belida [1]

It has the look as well as bones

With couplets weaving

The yam accumulates flesh in silence

The couplets above allude to humility, albeit one that is filled with effort and conviction. The humor in his work actually exists within the fold of our old literature, such as the idioms; “the leash is bigger than the monkey” or “elephant swallowed by ular lidi [2] ”.

This brief note concludes with the assertion that nature is our life. Faizal has already stood in front of the stream, its water speeds away, with a force capable of carrying his dream to Beijing, Singapore, Manila or even Australia. And further to an even deeper ocean …

[1] Species of freshwater fish from the genus Belida
[2] A type of small snake from the species Coluber Mycterizans.


Juhari Said
Akal di Ulu
4 Mei 2011

(Translated into English by Izmer Ahmad)

(Taken from the solo exhibition Faizal Suif ‘A piece of land’ Gallery Shah Alam, 2011)