Moral Compass by Syahbandi Samat

Was it the pen or the imagination that is telling his stories?

The ball-point pen is not commonly seen as a fine-art tool, but where applied to the arts, it carries with it literal drawings of landscapes, portraitures and objects. It also takes a person to be obsessed, if not partially eccentric to master the use of a simple kilometrico pen to produce fine art to this scale.

Syahbandi Samat’s solo exhibition brings some food for thought in current times, where societal behaviours are reactive or very often a response to higher authorities, rather than intentional and purposeful on its own.

Self-trained, Syahbandi’s patience and attention to details produced works which could be appreciated in any size or distance.

Twisted Fairy Tale Series - Rapunzel
Twisted Fairy Tales Series : Rapunzel ( The Twin with Blind Father) Ballpoint Pen on Canvas 35 x 89 inch 2014


In this first solo exhibition, the young artist proved that his conscience is clear. Instead of shouting out loud like a rebellious teenager, he prefers to present his brazen undertone works, masked by a layer of aesthetic beauty. It is interesting to observe his current position as an artist in the society – and how it is currently possible for Syahbandi to avoid hypocrisy.

Twisted Fairy Tale Series - Pinnochio
Twisted Fairy Tales series : Pinnochio (Still The Old Me) Ballpoint Pen on Canvas 158 x 84 cm 2012


Politikus Ballpoint Pen and Collage on Canvas 42 x 70 inches 2014

 There is space for Syahbandi to remain humble yet profound. It could be said that Syahbandi is fortunate at this juncture as the evils of success has yet to present him with difficult decisions. There may come a time when we wonder, how can an artist be critical of unfairness in society that he in turn benefits from? How do you stand against an establishment when you are offered to sit in the inner circle? When these questions arise – as I suspect it will with his phenomenal talent – we hope that his moral compass will continue to guide him in his quest, as it has in the past.

Exhibition Duration: 18-Mar-2016 until 15-Apr-2016

Venue: Hoopla Lounge, No.72-1 Jalan 27/70A Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia . Contact 03-6211 6484




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