(b. 1971, Kedah, Malaysia)
Sabri Idrus is one of Malaysia’s most visionary contemporary artists. Known for his obsessive experimental approaches, he often combines painting, graphic design and industrial materials in efforts to reinvent the definition of art. In his country where figurative work exerts primacy in the art scene, Idrus purposefully pushes the boundaries of what art can be and parodies institutions that bring rigidity into the art world. The process of art making, to him, is an opportunity to advance his technical and material skills. Through his extensive portfolio ranging from paintings, installation and sculpture to more digital realms like graphic design, multimedia and video production, we thus see his propensity for adventure.
Idrus’ works are also known to involve a complex process of applying, layering and shaving off of acrylic impasto paint. This method produces the effect of flatness at a distance and a patterned texture upon closer observation. His technique of spatial stacking then creates a unique sense of fluidity and movement which tricks the eyes into seeing a shifting, shimmering veneer. The genius of his colour selection reveals itself through the surface of his seemingly pulsating paintings. In the form of abstract visual patterns, Idrus then indulges in the creation of paradoxes. Besides having the impression of illuminosrity, many of his works also submerge themselves in the liminal space between decaying beauty and beautiful decay.
Idrus studied fine arts at UiTM and received The Malaysia Young Contemporary Art Award in the painting category in 2004. Despite teetering between his career as an artist and graphic designer, he has exhibited in both private and public collections in the UK, Poland, Singapore, America, India, Hong Kong and Malaysia.