Spirit of Earth-Deep Forest, 2001 by Fauzin Mustafa
Fauzin Mustafa is a key contributor to the development of the Malaysian mixed media movement, an important genre as the local art world transitioned from a modernist movement into the contemporary. His early artistic career parallels the emergence of a strong contemporary movement locally, one with roots firmly grounded in mixed media, as Malaysian artists drew their distinct local experiences while working on transnational styles of art. Coming to prominence with critical and commercial success in this early period, Fauzin established himself as a pioneering Malaysian mixed media artist through a rigorous practice which involved the regular production of seminal artworks, cementing his position as a central figure in the Malaysian art canon.
Immediately after graduating from UiTM the Perak born Fauzin formed one of Malaysia’s earliest contemporary artist collectives with three contemporaries: Mhd Nor Mahmud, Hasnul Jamal Saidon and Taufik Abdullah. Calling themselves Empat Persepsi (which translates to four perspectives) this collective was important not only as a source of support for the four young artists, but also in the furtherance of a mixed media movement at a time when the local art establishment was still focused on modernist painting. In 1989 Empat Persepsi held their first, and to date only, group exhibition at the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur. Concurrent to his activities with Empat Persepsi, Fauzin regularly participated in several group exhibitions and competitions, often to great success, demonstrating an experimental and diligent commitment to his practice.
Prior to his 1987 graduation Fauzin had artworks on display at the National Art Gallery’s Young Contemporary Exhibition, going to take part in several local and regional art competitions. Fauzin won his first award, the Bakat Muda Minor Award in 1988, going on to receive several prizes since, such as the 1991 Salon Malaysia Minor Award and 1994 Philip Morris Art Award. Most recently his Satu Dan Lima series garnered first place in 2010’s 1 Malaysia Mural Competition. Fauzin has participated in several group exhibitions both in Malaysia and abroad as well as had three highly successful solo exhibitions, Dari Bumi ke Bumi (1994), Fauzin Mustafa (2001) and Life Between the Dots (2016). In 1992 Fauzin was chosen to represent Malaysia at the Container 96 - Art Across Oceans exhibition in Copenhagen, Denmark, with a mixed media installation, Against Nature! Are We?. An international art event, Container 96 showcased the works of over 96 artists from across the globe; this inclusion was a nod to his position as an artist who was receiving both critical and commercial success from an early stage in his career. Artworks by Fauzin have been acquired by several art collections, amongst them the Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan, Tosuko’ Resort Hokkaido, Japan, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines, Petronas Carigali Berhad, Kuala Lumpur, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur and The AFK Collection.