Art Detail | Ilham Gallery
Boxed In
Boxed In

Boxed In is a freestanding sculpture composed of a series of identical four-pointed, star-shaped blades stacked to form a vertical spiraling structure. The structure is organised above a black, circular granite base. 

This sculpture was displayed as part of Multhalib Musa’s second series responding to a suite of paintings by the contemporary Malaysian painter, Yusof Ghani, entitled Biring (2007). The Biring series’ central motif of a cock fight, exploding actions of flurried feathers on canvas, inspired Multhalib Musa to find that same evocation of motion in static, three-dimensional form. More specifically, this was about capturing the sensation of lightness and pliability out of hard materials (in this case, mild steel). That lightness is achieved in this sculpture, crucially, in the ability for motion to be expressed from all angles of the sculpture: from above, the artist offers us the image of a single blade spiralling downward in slow motion; viewed from the side, we see twisting columns that break into sharp undulating lines, seemingly forever in repetition. The younger artist’s interest in this dialectic between art and architecture is informed by his educational background in Architecture, and condenses itself in Twist in the play between monumentality, light, strokes, mathematics, and the expression of movement.

Laser-cut mild steel with granite base
120 x 120 x 40 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Abdul Multhalib Musa
About Abdul Multhalib Musa

Abdul Multhalib Musa (b. 1976, Penang) is a contemporary Malaysian sculptor known best for his ‘fluid metal sculptures’. Multhalib Musa’s sculptures principally explore the contradiction of transforming a hard material like metal into a supple, pliable form which catches and bounces light off it. This in part stems from his educational background-an architect by training: he pursued his Bachelor’s Degree in Design Studies from the University of Adelaide in Australia, thereafter returning to Malaysia to obtain his Bachelor of Architecture from MARA University of Technology, in 2000. He was selected for the Rimbun Dahan Residency in 2001, and was the recipient of the Australian High Commission’s Gunnery Studios Residency Award in 2004. In 2002 he was honoured with the Second Prize Award of Excellence at the 6th Oita Asian Sculpture Exhibition & Open Competition in Japan and in the same year the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia presented him with the Juror’s Award at the Young Contemporaries Awards Exhibition. In 2003, he received an Honourable Mention at the Philip Morris Malaysian Art Awards. In 2008, Multhalib Musa won a competition to design a major outdoor sculpture for the 2008 Beijing Olympics in China. In 2015, he was selected for the 2015 Cité Internationale des Arts residency, funded by the French Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Multhalib had undertaken major commissioned works for Petronas, The Hilton, The Grand Hyatt, The Westin, Aliya and Farouk Khan and UMW Toyota. Some of his major works can also be found at the Putrajaya Convention Centre, KL Hilton, Prince Court Medical Centre, and Wisma Selangor Dredging in Malaysia, and abroad at the Fumio Asakura Memorial Park in Japan and Newcastle University in Australia.

Source: KL Lifestyle

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