Art Detail | Ilham Gallery
Okir No. VIII
Okir No. VIII

Okir No. VIII is a freestanding vertical wooden sculpture carved with an abstract composition of pyramidal and wave-like forms. The artist’s carvings are confined to the surface of the wooden block’s dark, flat face, with one corner carved into a recessed, textured support painted in red. The sculpture derives from Juhari Said’s OKIR series (2007), representing the contemporary printmaker’s first exploration of printmaking in three-dimensional form as part of his attempt to challenge the conventions of traditional printmaking. While previously producing woodblock prints on paper, here, as with the rest of the series, Juhari explores the potential for the woodblock itself to become the printmaker’s main artistic product. The idiosyncrasies of his wooden tool—its softness in receiving the artist’s mark making, its ability to be painted, its naturally-occurring sculptural forms—becomes the vehicle for contemplation. Such an attention to the artist’s tool places emphasis on a specific aspect of the printmaker’s process, that being the various pressures of the artist’s hand in carving, scratching, and chipping away at his material until the desired image is formed. And in doing so, Juhari Said also challenges his viewers in their understanding of how contemporary printmaking may be displayed and occupy space in a gallery context. 

Wood carving and oil on wood
169 x 31 x 7 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Juhari Said
About Juhari Said

Juhari Said (b. 1961, Malaysia) is a contemporary printmaker widely recognized for his black-and-white prints and carved woodblocks. After graduating from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in 1983, he studied traditional Japanese printmaking under the renowned Japanese artist, Yoshisuke Funasaka. Juhari has held several solo exhibitions over the years, including Death of a Princess (1983), Garden Series (1985), Baju Kurung dan Secawan Kopi (1983), Kilimanjaro in Nagasaki (1995) and Katak Nak Jadi Lembu (2003). In 2005, after 23 years of printmaking, Juhari expanded his vision and produced artworks that are no longer prints procured from a block of wood but the actual woodblocks themselves. Focusing on the form and the surface, he began to explore sculptural artwork showcasing the carved wooden blocks in collaboration with Wei-Ling Gallery during his solo exhibition, OKIR (2007). With his open and exploratory approach to art, Juhari continues to experiment with different techniques and materials, even taking wood carving techniques and applying it onto ceramics.

Sources: New Straits Times, Wei-Ling Gallery

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