Muhammad Syahbandi Samat

Drawing from personal experience and observation, the stupefying technical skills of young artist Syahbandi Samat, using primarily ball-point pens, has been gaining wide attention from the Malaysian art scene in recent years, particularly since winning the 2011 cycle of the Malaysian Emerging Artist Award (MEAA), and more recently, the Young Guns Award 2016.

Syahbandi Samat started drawing since the age of four, but he never thought that he would one day make art for a living. As he simply put it, he just liked to draw. It was only when he was commissioned by a local daily to draw seven portraits of children, and got paid a good sum afterwards that he realised he could make money out of this talent.

His keen interest in art began while still in secondary school, experimenting with various mediums before settling on using the ballpoint pen, catalyzed by his discovery of artworks by Spanish artist and poet Juan Fransisco Casas. His earlier works were portrayals of myths and fairy tales, through the artist’s own interpretive lense, at times twisted but in a humorous sense. Since then his artistic creations have become more introspective, projecting his concerns and fears into surrealistic viewscapes that are often intriguing at first glance.

Syahbandi takes the ballpoint pen well beyond the implement’s typical role as a writing instrument, fuelled by his determination and hard work, continuously improving his skills as a visual artist, and is definitely a talent to watch in the coming years.

Born:
1992 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Education:
Autodidactic (self-taught) artist

Group Exhibitions

2019
Art Jakarta 2019 – Jakarta Convention Center (JCC), Jakarta, Indonesia (with Artemis Art)
Hotel Art Fair Bangkok 2019 – W Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand (with Artemis Art)
Melukis – Balai Seni Menara Maybank, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
AArt Citizen Art Shanghai 2019 – Twelve at Hengshan, Shanghai, China (with Artemis Art)
#SKULL – G13 Gallery, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
It’s Lit – Segaris Art Center, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Art Tainan 2019 – Tayih Landis Hotel, Tainan, Taiwan
Darah Muda – A.P. Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2018
Sanubari (Art Expo Malaysia 2018) – MATRADE Exhibition & Convention Centre (with Artemis Art)
Publika Art Show – The Boulevard, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Merah Putih Biru Kuning – G13 Gallery, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Masks and Stories – Artemis Art, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Sembilan Art Residency Exhibition – Kedai K7, Malacca, Malaysia

2017
(Im)Possibilities – Galeri Chandan, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Primer For A Language – Artemis Art, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The White Mask Visual Art Exhibition – White Box, MAP@Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Mampu Art Market – ChinaHouse, George Town, Penang, Malaysia
We Are 5 – White Box, MAP@Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Collective Individuals – Hin Bus Art Depot, George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Mimpi Jadi Landskap – Taksu KL, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
XS – Galeri Titikmerah, Art Row, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Collective Individuals KL – Urbancsape House, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Mampu Art Market – Hin Bus Art Depot, George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Private Affairs 2 – Galeri Chandan, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Journey: Inaugural (Group Exhibition by Sembilan Art Residency Program) – Creative Space 2, Artiseri @ Seri Pacific Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2016
Exploration x Expression (Sembilan Art Residency Season 4 Exhibition) – Port Commune, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
A Raya Celebration Of Generation In Art – Henry Butcher Curate, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
In Our Own Way 2 – Balai Seni Visual Negara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Versus Animal – Chinahouse, George Town, Penang, Malaysia
ViceVersa -Artemis Art @ Galeri Rumah Jati, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Lukis – Open Studio at Ruang Sementara, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
EhWauBulan Art Showcase – Whitebox, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
MY1LOFF: The Art Inside l`Officiel House – Urbanscapes House, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Mampu Art Market – Hin Bus Art Depot, George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Mampu Art Market Kuching – ChinaHouse, Kuching, Malaysia
Gaul – Hin Bus Art Depot, George Town, Penang, Malaysia

2015
X-Individuals02 – Art Accent, Bangsar Village II, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Extreme Potrait – Gallery Chandan, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Melukis Puisi: Sebuah Pencitraan Puisi-Puisi Pyan Habib – White Box, MAP@Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2014
Siti: An Iconic Exhibition of Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza – Atellier Gallery, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysian Eye Project – Organized by Parallel Contemporary Art, Malaysia
READrawing – Galeri Petronas, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Singapore Affordable Art Fair – F1 Pit Building, Singapore

2013
Locals Only 2013 – Taksu KL, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
NAFAS Residencies Cycle 2 Showcase – Langgeng Art Space, Yogyakarta, Indonesia & Gallery Chandan, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
X-Individuals 01 – Art Accent, Bangsar Village II, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
M50 Selamat Hari Malaysia – White Box, MAP@Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2012
Locals Only 2012 – Taksu KL, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
MARS Transit A4 Exhibition – House of Matahati, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysian Emerging Artist Winner Showcase Award – White Box, MAP@Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2011
Life and Nature – Pelita Hati Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysian Emerging Artist Award 2011 Finalist Showcase – Pusat Kebudayaan Soka Gakkai Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2010
Artriangle by House of Matahati – National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Awards

2016 Young Guns Award 2016, by HOM Art Trans, Kuala Lumpur
2011 Winner, Malaysian Emerging Artist Award (MEAA)

Residencies

2015
Sembilan Art Residency Program (Season 4), Seremban, Malaysia
2012 NAFAS Residency, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

In the media

2018
“Masks And Stories: An Art Exhibition On Our Many Faces” – The Daily Seni, June 30 2018 http://www.dailyseni.com/v4/masks-and-stories/
“The Jungian Persona: “Masks & Stories” @ Artemis Art, Publika” – Tailored Raw, July 4 2018 http://www.tailoredraw.com/2018/07/04/the-jungian-persona-masks-stories-artemis-art-publika/
“Kreativiti zahir perasaan kasih” – Harian Metro, July 5 2018 https://www.hmetro.com.my/nuansa/2018/07/354468/kreativiti-zahir-perasaan-kasih

2017
“Young Guns exhibition series features 16 hotshots” – The Star, January 14, 2017 http://www.star2.com/culture/arts/2017/01/14/young-guns-exhibition-series-returns-with-16-young-hotshots/
“The Borak-Borak Sessions: The Kilometrico Master” – Masses Magazine, April 28, 2017 http://masses.com.my/features/borak-borak-session-master-kilometrico/
“The collective spirit” – The Star, May 3, 2017 https://www.pressreader.com/malaysia/the-star-malaysia-star2/20170503/281814283765364
“The White Mask: The Visuals Of Cyberpunk Malaysia” – The Daily Seni, August 24 2017 http://www.dailyseni.com/v4/the-white-mask-the-visual-of-cyberpunk-malaysia/
“Group show focuses on connections between making and reading art” – The Star, September 12, 2017 https://www.star2.com/culture/arts/2017/09/12/primer-for-a-language/

2016
“Moral Compass by Syahbandi Samat” – ArtQulture, March 12, 2016 https://artqulture.com/2016/03/12/moral-compass-by-syahbandi-samat/
“Exploration & Expression” – BFM Radio (Front Row, The Bigger Picture), May 20, 2016 https://www.bfm.my/sembilan-art-residency-exploration-expression
“Exploration & Expression @ PORT Commune” – Art KL-itique, May 29, 2016 http://artklitique.blogspot.com/2016/05/exploration-x-expression-port-commune.html
“Working the art circuit” – The Star, June 19, 2016 https://www.star2.com/culture/arts/2016/06/19/working-the-art-circuit/
“Myriad of marvels” – The New Straits Times, July 17, 2016 http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/07/158924/myriad-marvels
“With ballpoint precision” – The Sun, November 6, 2016 (original: http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2045186) –
(adapted: https://www.columnlife.com/index.php/biographies/item/297-syahbandi-samat)

2015
“Keunikan karya medium pen” – Kosmo!, June 1, 2015
(online: http://ww1.kosmo.com.my/kosmo/content.asp?y=2015&dt=0601&pub=Kosmo&sec=Varia&pg=va_02.htm) (clipping: https://umlib.um.edu.my/newscut_details.asp?cutid=13479)
“Meet The Sarawakian Who Makes Epic Drawings Using Kilometrico Pens” – Cilisos.my, November 29, 2015 https://cilisos.my/meet-the-sarawakian-who-makes-epic-drawings-using-kilometrico-pens/

2011
“Luahan mata pen” – Utusan Malaysia, December 24, 2011 http://ww1.utusan.com.my/utusan/info.asp?y=2011&dt=1224&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Hiburan&pg=hi_06.htm