Hisyamuddin Abdullah

b. 1989, Terengganu, Malaysia
Lives and works in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Hisyamuddin Abdullah describes his own creations as ‘painting-drawing.’ He exclusively works with charcoal and acrylic in most of his artworks. They can be distinguished by its moments of serenity, but at the same time it is powerful and filled with tension; these qualities are further emphasised through his choice of colour, tones, and composition. He works with a more realistic approach, or sometimes he will opt for a more cartoon-like sketch to create quirkily, but also dramatic illustrations. Satire, humour, and sarcasm are the foundations of his work. His self-portrait series, which might appear a bit narcissistic at first, is actually rhetoric that conveys his personal beliefs about the current socio-political climate of modern-day Malaysia.

Rather than being inspired by a certain space or place, Hisyamuddin finds that his work changes according to the different phases of his life. For example, when he was in school and felt homesick, his work would reflect that sense of longing for home. His creations then focused on family bonding, particularly exploring his relationship with his father. ‘But now as I begin to live my own life in society, my work tends to have more emphasis on current issues that affect the people of Malaysia at large,’ he reveals. His work is based on pop realism, using figurative language as a narrative device to express his ideas. The concepts he prefers to explore tend to revolve around the world around him, from personal experiences to national events. Hisyamuddin believes that an artist’s creativity and the view they try to share with the world will only be meaningful if it’s based on reality.

Hisyamuddin received his bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from UiTM Shah Alam in 2012. During his years of study, he was exposed to life in a metropolitan city like Kuala Lumpur. For him, being far away from the familiarity of home and having to navigate his life around a city was emotionally and mentally taxing. He considered that period of time as a crucial part of his personal creative journey. In 2013, he had two art residencies, one in Bali, Indonesia, and the other in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. That same year he was also the third Winner in Drawing for the Tanjong Heritage National Level Art Competition. In 2014, Hisyamuddin had a solo exhibition with TAKSU in Kuala Lumpur titled ‘SArKAs’ followed by his most anticipated second solo exhibition in TAKSU Kuala Lumpur titled ‘KOTA(k) MAGIS’ in July 2021. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.


Country: Malaysia