A Star is Born


This talented young lad has what it takes to begin world domination and his quest will kick off from his first overseas exhibition in Singapore this month.


Suleyman Mosque, Turkey (2009)
Mixed media on paper
28 x 41cm


Najib with a work in progress “Three Siblings”, a charcoal on paper artwork


Siblings (2010)
Charcoal on paper
53 x 78.5cm

Painting, according to Najib Ahmad Bamadhaj, describes the concept of a wall, translated with paint on canvas. The wall is the main image, where as the subject on the surface is the secondary image. The talented young artist born in 1987, completed his Diploma in Fine Art from UiTM Melaka back in 2008 and then pursued a B.A. (Hons) in Fine Art (Sculpture) from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam, Selangor, in 2010. “My interest in the arts began in primary school. I really liked decorating my school books with sketches and I always got excited participating in poster design competitions in school,” he said.

From the time he began his career until today, Najib has participated in numerous group exhibitions including, Endangered, a two-man show with Hirzaq Harris at TAKSU KL (2011), Visual Art Award (2011), LiFest at MAPKL (2011), HIMPUN at the National Art Gallery KL (2010), and many more. This amazing young talent was also a Finalist of MRCB Art Awards at the National Art Gallery (2008), 1st prize winner in the Tanjong Heritage Art Competition in Kuala Lumpur (2010), and a finalist for the Visual Arts Awards in Kuala Lumpur (2011). Najib unveiled his first solo exhibition, Great Migration in October 2012 at TAKSU Kuala Lumpur. This collection saw the highly rated young artist exploring various themes through his endangered animal-centric mixed media artwork on a range of surfaces, including mud, cement, recycled wood panels and zinc.

The artist returned to a theme and style previously worked on in his Endangered series, but his focus shifted from static depictions of mother and child to paintings of larger groups in movement. His previously muted palette has also been enlivened with more vivid blocks of colour, for instance, showcasing a red zebra leaping from splashes of blue water and a purple elephant calf huddling by its mother’s side. His debut solo exhibition sees Najib progressing by developing his own distinctive style. His inspirations are drawn from the more experienced artists like Latiff Mohidin, Datuk Ibrahim Hussein, Jalaini Abu Hassan, Ahmad Shukri and more.

Suleyman Mosque, Turkey (2009) Study of Figure (2009)
Mixed media on paper Mixed on canvas
28.5 x 41cm 61 x 61cm
Crossing Borders
This month, Najib will travel to Singapore on April 17 for an OCBC Bank exhibition at OCBC Bank, Singapore. He will be showcasing his Survival Series, the third series following the footsteps of its predecessors, the Endangered and Great Migration Series. “My favourite work so far is my latest Survival Series because it was pretty much experimented and the painting turned out how it is due to an error while I layered the colours. That particular painting is the beginning of my Survival piece and I can’t help but have a soft spot for it,” explained Najib.
2013 in general is going to be one hectic year for the budding artist. He has already planned out his fourth series in preparation for any exhibition to come. His plans include teaming up with other artists for a show at the National Visual Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, a private gallery and international exhibitions like the one he will be participating at the OCBC Bank, Singapore.
Survival Series #2 (2013)
Mixed media on jute
122 x 183cm
Survival Series #8 (2013)
Mixed media on jute
62 x 122cm