M. Nasir looked most comfortable in the artful surrounds of the spacious Galeri Tapak, where his second solo exhibition Tanda II, has now gained him further mention within the art circles here. This current show, featuring 25 new abstract works, also sold out once the exhibition began earlier this month.
Tanda II features a clearer progression of M. Nasir abstract paintings, with works from 2013 to 2015 pointing to an artist reborn and finding an identity.
“Art is something I do for myself. I tend to sketch and work on portraits when I have the time, but preparing for a solo is another matter,” says the artist, who gravitated towards abstract art for his Tanda and Tanda II series.
“When the first (show) was done last year, Yusof told me to do another show … he didn’t expect another show so soon, though. Not even a year has passed. I had no timeline, I just had this momentum to paint,” he reveals.
The insightful Tanda II catalogue notes from Buddhi also suggests M. Nasir’s art as a reflection of his “lyrical poetics swimming on canvas.”
From the streaks, dabs, daubs and smudges of acrylic on canvas, you find Tanda II making its mark as an exhibition. Riveting pieces like Dewi (2014), Deru (2014), Buka (2015) and Mimpi Merah (2015) catch the eye.
Themes like dreams, certainties, doubts and history – all tied to the man’s understanding of poetic abstraction – span both large and small canvases.
Spirit to spirit
Years after art school, M. Nasir has not forgotten what Russian abstract pioneer Wassily Kandinsky describes in his essay Paintings As Pure Art:
“This art speaks in artistic language from spirit to spirit”.
Abstract art, as M. Nasir maintains, is an artistic voice he is keen to pursue further.
“Are both my shows at Tapak connected in a way? Not really. Perhaps, some can say it’s the continuation of the same kind of expression … and it’s called Tanda II. If you are going through something (when painting), art amplifies it.
“You can see and feel all your emotions. It’s the same thing (like music), but different sides,” says M. Nasir, who, art apart, has various music projects lined up this year, including producing the next Amy Search album and working on his own solo album (the first since Sang Pencinta in 2006).
The Tapak shows have given M. Nasir a solid return to the world of art and a third show, as revealed by gallerist Yusof, is scheduled next year.
“I think M. Nasir is secretly loving the rush of returning to the art scene. His close friends have always known about his passion for art – but now it’s out there.
“The first Tanda show saw a rush of music fans grabbing his art. With Tanda II, we’ve attracted a broader pool of collectors and the conversation surrounding his art is getting more interesting,” says Yusof.
For M. Nasir, he is taking this art “homecoming” in his stride.
“Maybe I’ll have to do another show soon. I still can’t afford to buy a Yusof Ghani painting,” he says with a hearty laugh.
Tanda II is on at Tapak Galeri, 1, Jalan Tanjong 8/28, Section 8, Shah Alam, Selangor, until May 2. Call 03-5510 1329 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org