Ain Rahman, The Paradox of Philocaly I, Video Art, 1920 px x 1080 px 29.970 fps (05:11 minutes), 2021

It’s a struggle to juggle with ones faith. I’m no saint myself. This is of cause, only becomes significant to those who are truly engage in its significance, although a sinner they are. The problem with Ain’s work is I’m in total envy with it. It is beautiful and haunting. Her visual taste are opulent and exquisite. Yet it also feels seductive and pretentiously detach from her. She is of course a ‘Malay’ and a ‘Muslim’. My reaction to this as a judgement is unapologetic and I do not need to explain myself. Yet I am not a person who likes to judge with ones own struggle. Ain could be struggling with her own glitter in life, her own body. I too have mine.

 

- Dr. Fuad Arif

 

The problem with beauty is that it is quite impossible to describe. Does it make it/he/she more important if it/he/she is beautiful? Just like works of art, humans need not be beautiful for us to consider them important. Just like Marcel Duchamp’s “ready” made urinal, which we have a hard time to consider it  beautiful, yet it is widely accepted and is one of the most important works of art in the Western art history. As beautiful as Ain’s works are, whether it is her charcoal drawing, sculpture or her videos, she somehow always manages to tell a deeper story to highlight something that’s more important than the beauty of her works.

 

In her work we can trace the smooth endless smear of the charcoal on canvas, the frustrating knots of string in the sculpture and the place of her body as she moved about intuitively in the videos to complete her artwork. The complex set of ideas, stories and experience captures me beyond the final artwork. My felt response to her works does not answer questions of particular situation or story, yet it is more universal than that. I am aware of the beautiful artworks done by Ain and surely her own beauty as a person, but her felt experience of beauty in the struggles of her creative thought and making process is the more important highlight and that shows in most of her works.

 

Behind this confident and beautiful figure that you see in front you, lies the mysterious, delicate, struggling character, whom still is trying to figure it all out. 

 

-  Hana Zamri