Isa Ishak and Nazreen Nor present ALAM in ZHAN Art | Space, a joint-effort that reimagines the beautiful and vivid Malaysian kampung scenes in still-life artwork form. Their love for the kampung life is captured in two different forms; a more contemporary take by Isa, and a realism approach by Nazreen. The exhibition aims to allow the viewers to appreciate ‘simple living’ and value the miracles offered by Mother Nature. 

Isa, a Fine Art graduate of Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Shah Alam, first conceptualised the idea to present an exhibition on hasil kampung, or the fruits of the village, due to his growing passion for gardening. As a result of Covid-19 pandemic, Isa took up gardening to pass time and distract himself from the uncertainty and uneasiness of the lockdowns. The hardship involved in growing crops made him realise the challenges farmers go through every day, and it inspired him to present a collection of artworks that pay homage to the food that we eat. He also wanted to highlight that small ingredients like ginger and garlic are often mistaken only as garnish, but he believes that something small and mighty can add multiple levels of flavours to the dish. 

Nazreen, also an UiTM Fine Art graduate, draws memories from his childhood days living on his father’s farm, and later on Pulau Indah village as a young man. He aspires to capture the kampung experience at its purest and most honest form, and believes that the method of realism enables him to achieve that. Nazreen has a deep interest in how shadows and lighting are used to bring still-life subjects to ‘life’, and hopes that his works achieves a sense of classical balance and beauty in this exhibition. 

ALAM runs from 9 January to 25 February 2023, with artworks starting from RM850.