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Artist Khairullah Rahim: On Going Back To The Fundamentals During These Uncertain Times

Twelve creatives give us their perspective through never-before-published works that reflect their frame of mind mid-circuit-breaker. Here, artist Khairullah Rahim shares how the disruption of the circuit breaker has changed his work as an artist.

The work

During the circuit-breaker, I developed a series of accidental assemblages with materials lying around in my bedroom that was meant to be thrown out. This piece, Untitled (circuit breaker exercise #3), is one of several from this body of experimental works. Upon close inspection, viewers may notice familiar objects like cardboard boxes and masking tape, drawing parallels to my recent exhibition, Gathering Of Flocks (that saw Khairullah transform the mundane into ornate sculptures, making one re-evaluate their worth).”

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On the disruption of current projects, and working around it

“Recently, my solo exhibition titled Gathering of Flocks held at Yavuz Gallery, Gillman Barracks had to close barely a week after opening to the public due to the circuit-breaker. It saddened me deeply as we have worked very hard for the exhibition. Nevertheless, I understood why it was necessary.

However, we have taken several actions to continue promoting the exhibition, albeit virtually. More information on the exhibition and works can be found on the gallery’s website. Recently, I have also been offered the opportunity to speak and share about the exhibition via live streaming on Facebook on a platform called Really Really Free Chat Roomwhich was initiated by Post-Museum.”

“From sparking discourse on dire issues to providing entertainment and leisure as coping mechanisms, art has been central in problem-solving, especially now.” – Khairullah Rahim

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On his changing approach as an artist amidst the pandemic

“The situation with the pandemic right now and the circuit-breaker which was implemented recently has been extremely challenging and taxing both physically and mentally for everyone. Many people I know, including myself, are still trying to get a grasp in navigating our daily lives as everyday routines have been affected to an undesirably great degree. As an artist, this lockdown period has provided me the time and space which were relatively scarce before, to go back to the fundamentals; making sketches and experimenting new materials.”

On how essential the arts is

“I don’t know if art should be considered essential, but I strongly feel that it can and has been pivotal in providing a vehicle to trigger action towards solving basic human issues. From sparking discourse on dire issues to providing entertainment and leisure as coping mechanisms, art has been central in problem-solving, especially now.”