The Violence in Shahrul Anuar Shaari’s art
Like all good art, Sharul’s is concerned with composition, the way swaths of greens or bars of reds or patches of browns joists for dominance. By dominance I mean the centre of the artwork, where the colours clash, overlap, entangle, and crosshatch. The vibrancy thus generated keeps the viewer on edge, challenging him to decode the meaning of rawness, the subtlety of thought, and the threat of chaos. All these coalesce, eventually because the weight of multiple exertions that impede the retreat of cool colours and provoke the attacks of the warm. The reverse happens as well: when the cool is in the offence – the blues descending in a thunderous show of force – the warm hastily disperses to the sides, lying low, regrouping, and waiting for the right moment to re-assert.
I suggest that Shahrul’s artworks be viewed in these combative terms because they provoke the viewer into thinking how best to make violence visually palatable.
Dr. Zakaria Ali
1 August 2007