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Asian Artists to Watch 2024: Nor Tijan Firdaus

Asian Artists to Watch 2024: Nor Tijan Firdaus

Each year, we identify the Asian artists on the rise, shining a light on the exciting and provocative works enriching the region’s artistic and cultural landscape. Malaysian artist Nor Tijan Firdaus shares her story.

While studying for a masters in fine art and technology in 2015, Nor Tijan Firdaus attended a sustainability seminar that profoundly affected her. She was juggling her academic and artistic careers with raising a young family, and became conscious of the amount of waste resulting from the current “throw-away” culture. Questions of commercialism arose in her mind, particularly with regards to the constant encouragement to update our technology. She wondered if she might extend the shelf life of computers, tablets and phones by repurposing them into art materials, giving rise to her distinct brand of E-Waste Assemblages. 

Artist to Watch 2024: Nor Tijan Firdaus
Artist to Watch 2024: Nor Tijan Firdaus

Reassessing such “waste” immediately provides broader critical context to Firdaus’ practice. Sifting through materials sourced from her own home, or bought from friends and recycling and waste plants, she generates commentary into sustainability, materialism and post-formalism. Electronic waste in particular, with its strong colours and minute detailing, becomes a base material from which she builds up forms and aesthetics to speak about the Malaysian condition, and all while seeking new ways to engage with the traditions of sculpture and assemblage art. 

Nor Tijan Firdaus, The Quest (2024)
Nor Tijan Firdaus, The Quest (2024)

It’s no surprise Firdaus’ art has quickly found a local and international following. The women-led Malaysian contemporary art gallery Core Design Gallery has presented Firdaus’ art around Asia, notably Bangkok and Busan in 2019, and at the Art Busan fair in 2022. Currently, Firdaus is pushing the boundaries of technology as a form of medium by creating extra-large sculptures of barcodes and QR codes that produce information when scanned with viewer’s phones.

See our Art Basel Hong Kong coverage here.

(Header image: Nor Tijan Firdaus, Balloons of Hope (2024))

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Source: Prestige Online

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