Khairudin Zainudin

Chalk and Raddy gets to know the artist behind Senyap Dalam Gege – a solo exhibition of works bringing new dimensions to your daily life. The Kelantanese shares with us some interesting views about art and the world we live in.


What should we know about you?
I’m the eldest amongst my siblings. I am married to Najwa Ramly. I think I am a simple person in and don’t like difficult situations.  My parents were teachers. I come from a background of educators, not art practitioners – hence I am the only art practitioner. However, I have an ambition to become a teacher or lecturer in the future. I am still not prepared to become an educator now as I need to gain as much experience as I can in the arts scene. I hope that I can share the stories about my journey of art in the industry with my students.
I like model kits, like Gundam. This has become my hobby ever since drawing (that used to be my hobby) became my job and carrier. I am able to relieve a lot of stress when I am engrossed in building the model kit.

What do you hope to be known as?
The Artist who specializes in sketches as routine and is not affected by what the outcome is.


What are the three most important things in your life?
Family, my wife, and people around me

Who are your idols?
Suzlee Bin Ibrahim, one of the important abstract artist in Malaysian arts. I learnt a lot from him, especially about the art scene locally and abroad. He also attends art residencies in Malaysia and overseas. This motivates me to follow his footsteps.


What does art mean to you?
The meaning of art is very vast. There is aesthetics in everything we see. For me art is everything, from thought, talk, and action. The way we act on it shows aesthetics in many different forms and this can be very subjective too. The way people think is always different and therefore the product of art varies. This is hence not only fined to visual arts, but also about the art of speaking, art of thought and art of action.

What is the story behind Senyap Dalam Gege and what does the title mean?
The idea of title is about the experience that I feel I am involved in while I am working on observation drawing. The feeling at that time can only be felt by the practitioners of observation drawing. It is the feeling of being alone in your own world, between you and the subject. You are ignorant about what is happening in your surroundings, and you just focus on the subject matter of your drawing.


For the title Senyap dalam Gege- Senyap means silent and for “Gege” it brings the meaning of loud, noisy, and chaotic. “gege” actually is a slang in Kelantanese. The intonation of the word “gege” is different from “senyap”. The expression of the word “gege” comes with the feeling of uneasiness and discomfort; a little anger, but still in control. In Kelantan we use two silent words which is “bising” and “gege”.

What is the message of this series to convey to the viewers?
The message that I want to share with audiences is, to celebrate the routine of our everyday life with a simple and humble projection of artwork (I think). The ideas of this series come along with the experiences of observation drawing that I did over and over. I go to the same place mostly for ten days and try to find a good subject to observe and to draw. Sometimes I just go to experience the environment, and make a connection with the people. From there we can see the same actions happen every day at the same spot.

From there I start to realize the importance of routine. I start to think- what if we can’t do the routine that we always do? Will we feel sick at that time? Has something happened that we  can’t do our routine things?


What will you be working on next? What is it about?
I need to narrow down the theme, content, and context of the artwork. I want to try different compositions, new image inputs, and new material. I am still thinking about it. Most new ideas will come from my sketch books (I have already drawn on 12 sketch books). I need to review my sketch books and find the things that I will or will not do.

Where is your favourite place?  Why?
Anywhere, as long I can generate new ideas for my artwork and I can do what I like to do without being disturbed by anyone. I usually I spend a lot of time thinking and at the same time generating ideas about processes of my artwork.

What would you advise or like to share with Art enthusiasts and art collectors?
I’d like to share about the simple thought in making an art piece. Simple doesn’t mean it is not good as long as the viewer or audience can appreciate our artwork. While we studied art in school or in university we always had been taught to create an art piece where you think “Out Of The Box”. But most of us dismiss and forget about the “Inside The Box”.   “Inside The Box” for me are simple things which are the basics that are very important for us to know and to master. For example, elements of art and the principles of design are basic knowledge.

To art collectors, I hope you can enjoy each and every artwork that you collect. Not many people in this world have ability to collect their favorite art piece from the artists. I hope they are not collected artwork only for making profits in the future, but also collected as a documentation for this country in the future in every aspect such as culture, heritage, important event, religion, race, and thought. We are multi race…we special.

Thank you Khairudin for your time, we wish you every success in the future.

Images courtesy of Gallery G13.


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