Hieroglyphics Meets Technology at the Shah Alam Gallery Open Exhibition

By: Michelle Liew

The combination of Hieroglyphs and smartphone technology is a concept that is stealing the limelight at the Shah Alam Gallery Open Exhibition 2022 (PTGSA 22), starting January 3 2023 until the end of this month.

Salyuddin Yusof, 47, one of the five winners of the Shah Alam Open Exhibition Incentive Award, explained that it took him a month to complete his painting. The process started with him developing ideas through documentaries on ancient history.

The Terengganu native, armed with 20 years of experience as a graphic designer in various companies highlighted the work titled 'Imaginasi Pintar + Komunikasi' which displays the use of smart phones.

"I made the art in the form of Hieroglyphics, which is an ancient painting. I took the concept from those ancient times and made it into a picture of people's daily life today with smart phones.

"This Hieroglyphic drawing carry the meaning of the symbols found in the smartphones.”

"I used a type of blue in the painting called photo negative. We can download the negative of the photo through this application and see the painting in its real colour like the Hieroglyphs in ancient times," he said.

Apart from Salyuddin, the other four winners are Mohamad Najib Ismail (The Uncharted Landscape –Aftermath 02), Mohd Amirudin Rasid (Community Forest: a Biological Biodiversity), Nurain Fatini Abdul Jalil (Thank You) and Yap Chee Keng (Sunshine).

According to the Assistant Curator of GSA, Nur Syafiqah Zainal, a total of 134 works including paintings, sculptures, prints and photography were exhibited.

"Participation has doubled compared to during the pandemic and the works exhibited is of good quality. The artwork is exhibited based on five criteria including idea, context, neatness and materials used.

"Issues are highlighted more on romanticism such as mother's love, global warming considering our theme is 'Free'.”

Every year, this exhibition successfully highlights the talent of new visual art employees, especially young painters in building careers as contemporary artists through the Shah Alam Open Exhibition Incentive Award.

"This visual artwork themed 'Free' gives space for artists to express themselves more creatively through the work.

"Various interesting programs such as Open Exhibition Incentive Awards, competitions such as 'Live Drawing' and Shah Alam Gallery sketches are also held," he added.