Culture / Art Republik

Artist Spotlight: Naufal Abshar

Naufal Abshar explores themes of national identity

Oct 15, 2017 | By LUXUO

Naufal Abshar, ‘Merlion’, 2017

Using laughter as a central motif, Indonesian artist Naufal Abshar explores socio-political landscapes through vivid, highly stylised paintings. Most recently, three of his works, including ‘Majulah Singapura’, a painting of the Merlion, the mythical half-fish, half-lion national icon, was shown at ‘RISING 50: The Contemporary Art of Singapore & Indonesia’, an exhibition marking 50 years of diplomatic relations between neighbouring countries Singapore and Indonesia.

A graduate of the LASALLE School of the Arts, Naufal is represented by Singapore-based gallery Art Porters. His works frequently take on the form of social commentary, and ‘Merlion’ is no exception, in which he explores the elements that constitute Singapore’s national identity as represented in a laughing depiction of its national mascot.

“I draw my inspirations from day-to-day life, especially the act of laughing,” says Naufal. “We often associate laughing with something humorous when in fact the behavior contains loads of layers beyond that — when you laugh, you can laugh at things that aren’t funny, such as when you are laughing at yourself or other people.”

Here are some of his works:

Naufal Abshar, ‘Self Portrait: Through the Looking Glass’, 2017. Image courtesy Art Porters

Naufal Abshar, ‘Golden Anniversary’, 2017. Image courtesy Art Porters

Naufal Abshar, ‘Senior and Junior Connection’, 2017. Image courtesy Art Porters

Naufal Abshar, ‘High-end dreams’, 2017. Image courtesy Art Porters

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