‘Guardians of the Garden City - Zulkifle Mahmod’, Art Republik, Issue 5, December - February 2015
Zulkifle Mahmod is at the forefront of a generation of sound-media artists in Singapore's contemporary art development, adopting a multi-disciplinary/ multi-genre approach that also includes drawings, prints, sculptures and ready-mades.
Name: Zulkifle Mahmod
Hometwon/ Based-in: Singapore
Gallery(s) represented by: Yeo Workshop
Tool(s) of choice: Sound
Influencers: Joseph Beuys, Jeff Koons, Merzbow
Instagram/ Twitter: @zulmahmod/ @zulmahmodartist
Favourite city to see art: Berlin
Words you live by: 'Believe in yourself'
Could you tell me more about your process?
I like to walk a lot and just observe people and my surroundings. After which I put down all my thoughts and ideas onto my sketch book before I start on the actual artwork where I experiment with technology.
Where do you draw the line between the tehcnological and the artistic?
When technology becomes the main component. I'm always putting the artistic first then the technology. Technology is just a medium like painting sculpture and ceramics.
What artists do you look up to?
I'm always influenced by Joseph Beuys and Jeff Koons. Surprisingly, I'm not so much influenced by sound artists. Well, I do read about John Cage and his work, and it is interesting, but somehow it does not influence my work.
Is sound art something you've always wanted to do?
I was trained as a sculptor. I was introduced to sound work when I was doing my residency in Ona, Norway in 2001 by a Dutch artist. Back then it was more like computer music. So when I came back to Singapore, I explored further into sound.
Working away from a visual aspect most of the time, what does beauty mean to you?
The ability to transform noise into something pleasurable and it be part of you.
What can art communicate that other media can't?
The soul and honesty.
Do you think growing up in Singapore impacted or influenced the way you approached your practice and art in general?
Of course. I can't deny it. It's the most important part of me and my work.
Is there a way you want a viewer to approach your work? Does that enter into your process?
No. Just approach it how they want to. It's better to approach it with an open mind like any other art forms.
Do you think the art and technological worlds are moving closer together, or should move closer together?
I think they should move closer together. It will expand the vocabulary of the work further. Having said that, we should not ignore the soul of the work.Date: 31/01/2015