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Syahbandi Samat

b. 1992 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
 

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Self-taught artist

When Syahbandi Samat was selected as one of the five winners in the 2011 cycle of the Malaysian Emerging Artist Award (MEAA), he was at just the tender age of 19. But even then it was evident his skill with the ballpoint pen was extraordinary.

Drawing from personal experience and observation, the stupefying technical skills of this young Malaysian artist have been gaining wide attention from the Malaysian art scene since MEAA. And more recently, being one of the recipients of the Young Guns Award 2016.

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 lens, at times dark and twisted but in humorous ways. His works have greatly evolved, becoming more introspective, projections of 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. Not satisfied with resting on his laurels, he has expanded his repertoire of work in recent years, continuing to explore new forms and ways to express his ideas.

As is widely accepted, folklore, proverbs and myth are stories that have been created and retold time and again for the sake of entertainment and education. They were passed down from one generation to the next and whilst many of the tales are related to human behavior, the examples in these stories are often illogically nonsensical – especially in today’s circumstances.

But, what if examples from these tales really come true? What if a cat could really grow horns? Or if the moon could really fall onto someone’s lap? If the noses of liars really grow as long as Pinocchio’s, then this world would surely be filled with people walking around with long noses.

Solo Exhibitions

2024

Beautiful Torture, HIn Bus Depot, George Town, Penang (in collaboration with Artemis Art)

2023

The Road Less Travelled, HARTA Gallery, Kuala Lumpur (in collaboration with Artemis Art)

2020

Museum Mimpi, MONOCHROME (six in one solo), Breeze Art Space, BSD City, Tangerang, Indonesia (Art Serpong Gallery X Artemis Art)

2018

Dichotomy, Galeri Titikmerah, Art Row, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2017

Bond, Boundaries & Bondage, Galeri Titikmerah, Art Row, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2016

Moral Compass, Hoopla Lounge, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Group Exhibitions

2024

Alchemy, Vinyl On Vinyl, Makati, Philippines (in collaboration with Artemis Art)
Art Fair Philippines 2024, The Link, Ayala Center, Makati, Philippines (with Artemis Art)
Xavier Art Fest 2024, Xavier School, San Juan, Metro Manila (with Artemis Art)

2023

1000 Tiny Artworks 2023, The Back Room, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Art Fair Asia Fukuoka 2023, Marine Messe Fukuoka Hall B, Fukuoka, Japan (with Artemis Art)
MoCAF 2023 (Modern & Contemporary Art Fair 2023), The Grand Ballroom, Fairmont Makati, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines (with Artemis Art)
Nasionalism, Segaris Art Centre, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Art Taichung 2023, The Lin Hotel, Taichung, Taiwan (with Artemis Art)
Leaving Traces, Hin Bus Depot, George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Volta Basel 2023, Klybeck 610, Klybeckplatz, Basel, Switzerland (with Artemis Art)
Rekindle the Child Within (Titikmerah Collective Group Exhibition), Hin Bus Art Depot, George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Art Fair Philippines 2023, The Link, Ayala Center, Makati, Philippines (with Artemis Art)
Xavier Art Fest 2023, Xavier School, San Juan, Metro Manila (with Artemis Art)

2022

Asia Now Paris Asian Art Fair 2022, Monnaie de Paris, Paris, France (with Artemis Art)
Art Jakarta 2022, Jakarta Convention Center (JCC), Jakarta, Indonesia (with Artemis Art)
Simulacrum Titikmerah Collective Group Exhibition, Zhan Art Space, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Art For All, GMBB KL, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (with Artemis Art)
Art Future 2022, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan

2021

Intuitive Perceptions, Artemis Art, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (virtual exhibition)

2020

Letter to Basquiat, Artemis Art, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
OPPO Art Jakarta Virtual 2020, Online virtual art fair, via https://artjakarta.com/ (with Artemis Art)
Gallery Weekend 2020: Right Here! Right Now!, Artemis Art, The Backroom KL, Core Design Gallery, Richard Koh Fine Art, and Suma Orientalis – in Kuala Lumpur & Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
UNTHOUGHT KNOWN, Greydea Studio, TTDI, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Conversation with Basquiat, Artemis Art, Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2019

Art Jakarta 2019, Jakarta Convention Center, 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 (with Artemis Art)
Darah Muda, A.P. Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2018

Sanubari (Art Expo Malaysia 2018), MATRADE Exhibition & Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (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 Group 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 Artemis Art 5th Anniversary Exhibition, 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

Sembilan Art Residency Season 4 Exhibition : Exploration x Expression, Port Commune, Petaling Jaya
A Raya Celebration Of Generations In Art, Henry Butcher Curate, Kuala Lumpur
In Our Own Way 2, Balai Seni Visual Negara, Kuala Lumpur
Versus Animal, ChinaHouse, George Town, Penang
Lukis, Ruang Sementara, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Eh Wau Bulan Art Showcase, Whitebox, MAP@Publika, Kuala Lumpur

2015

X-Individuals 02, Art Accent, Bangsar Village II, Kuala Lumpur
Extreme Potrait, Gallery Chandan. Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Stories of 11 Artworks, HOM Art Trans, Kuala Lumpur
Melukis Puisi : Sebuah Pencitraan Puisi-Puisi Pyan Habib, White Box, MAP@Publika, Kuala Lumpur

2014

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

2013

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

2012

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

2011

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

2010

Artriangle by House of Matahati, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

Awards

2016

YOUNG GUNS Award, HOM Art Trans, Kuala Lumpur

2011

Winner, Malaysia Emerging Artist Award (MEAA), Kuala Lumpur

Residency Experience

2015

Sembilan Art Residency Program (Season 4), Seremban, Malaysia

2012

NAFAS Residency, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

In The Media

2023

Malaysia artist journeys through surrealist dreamscapes with ballpoint pens – The Star, December 26 2023
Syahbandi Samat’s Evocative Ballpoint Art Now At HARTA Gallery – Eksentrika, December 26 2023
“The Road Less Travelled” exhibition by Syahbandi Samat at HARTA Gallery, Malaysia – CBNT Channel, December 16 2023
The Road Less Travelled – Front Row | The Bigger Picture, BFM 89.9, December 15 2023
“The Road Less Travelled” art from ballpoint pens (in Thai) – MRBADBOYGO, December 14 2023
What’s in store for Art in 2023?, The New Straits Times, January 8 2023

2020

Right Here! Right Now! in Kuala Lumpur, Art & Market, October 8 2020

2019

Is a fine art degree really worth it?, Penang Art District, May 2 2019

2018

MEAA 2012: Winner Showcase, Syahbandi Samat, Malaysia Emerging Artist Award, October 4 2018
Kreativiti zahir perasaan kasih, Harian Metro, July 5 2018
The Jungian Persona: “Masks & Stories” @ Artemis Art, Publika, Tailored Raw, July 4 2018
Masks And Stories: An Art Exhibition On Our Many Faces, The Daily Seni, June 30 2018

2016

With ballpoint precision, The Sun Daily, November 1 2016
Myriad of marvels, The New Straits Times, July 17 2016
Working The Art Circuit, The Star, June 19 2016
Exploration & Expression @ PORT Commune, Art KL-itique, May 29 2016
Exploration & Expression, BFM Radio (Front Row, The Bigger Picture), May 20 2016
Moral Compass by Syahbandi Samat, ArtQulture, March 12 2016

2013

Snippets: Q3 2013, The Art KL-itique, October 12 2013

2011

Luahan mata pen, Utusan Online, December 24 2011
MEA Award recognises emerging artists in Malaysia, The Star, November 24 2011

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