Tuesday, April 16, 2013


'Halus Jiwa Seniman' is probably the most alluring word to define H.J.S in Malay language but the fact that H.J.S mentioned above is the initial of my mentor and a person who's very close to me. Even though by location we are far separated, yet through the Internet, his ideology and teaching indirectly had harness my passion and talent. Hasnul Jamal Saidon. That's what H.J.S. stands for. metaphorically speaking, H.J.S translated through him are Humility, Jovial and Substantial.

Back in 2007, I was working on a very exciting national project Angkasawan Programme - Interactive Wayfinder (Interactive Kiosk) for MOSTI and National Science Centre. Due to this, I began to open up my curiosity about astronomy. Recently, I've been more engaged and indulging myself with digital space painting. I would read Astronomy books and Science magazines like a science geek, exploring about our outer space, quantum physics, dark matter, the universe as a whole and glazing the night sky while driving or swimming at the pool, wishing if I could ever see any shooting star (yeah right lah).

One thing for sure what I would relate Hasnul is that he is an exoplanet. In my own term to be precise, a truly remarkable Malaysian Exo-Artist. Why? For an e-artist, Hasnul had empowered a lot of people to be outstanding in their own way. His work evolved in multi-level and disciplinary, not forgetting his ability to sing while playing his guitar. I notice great artist have amazing art of spoken words. I thought it was even peaceful to watch him performed. Even if I was never his direct discipline, his wisdom and values have transpire through me, just like how I was inspired by our father of Digital Art, the late Ismail Zain. So those who's been or currently his student, you guys are so lucky and privilege to have someone like him.

Hasnul and me at USM, Mid-March 2013

When I gave 'Wacana Minda' talk in USM Penang on March this year, I felt so overwhelmed that my idol had given most sincere, frank, humble opening remark. I could still remember clearly how well and precisely he describes me as Malaysian third generation of Digital Artist, but when he mentioned I am the modern day Ismail Zain, I still felt unworthy to be at par with such title because Ismail Zain is a guru and he had done so much in the Malaysian art history, when I could even barely sustain myself outstandingly. I don't know, perhaps I still felt it's a long journey ahead and want to continue to seek and improve my knowledge. Anyhow, a recognition coming from Hasnul that day, in front of amazing cheerful of students, professors and academicians who attended my talk was indeed overwhelming and beautiful. I was blessed. It's was like a gift.


It was in circa 1997 that I had discovered e-art movement in Malaysia while browsing the Internet, and from there on I begin to flourish my passion in digital art.  Ergo, it makes me established as one of the most proactive local digital artist in Malaysia who had break record to even perform live with Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra to create digital artworks in 20 minutes in Dewan Filharmonik Petronas. I still feel overwhelmed to find out not just 5-8 thesis or paperworks in university thesis archive that the students had 'studied' about my works and me. It was more than I could ever imagine. The joy and humbleness just came down to comfort me.

Of course I can't be too vain about it but please, do not ever get me wrong. It's not bragging but acknowledging my own talent that I should be proud as I change the stereotype perception of how people see digital art. In fact, it was his legacy that I was carrying throughout my works. I am so grateful to God for giving me such talent to witness how I imperfectly evolve from being bullied at my school, harass or abuse by certain individual both mentally and emotionally by calling me stupid and ugly, monkey, big nose guy, faggot, useless and every form of negativity. I bring forth a cheerful attitude and decide NOT to be a victim of my past and be someone who could accept his own imperfection, harness and empower others through great values without taking arrogance into account. I always 'decline' any awards that I received in the past (I recall I don't put it in my current resume at all) because to me, it jeopardize my sense of humility because the more I 'win' something, I am open to be drift away from my good morale value and always fight myself not to misuse my achievements and talent to demoralize others. God, forbid me from being 'prima donna', a snob 'diva' just I because have tons of achievement. No, no no... I want to be a normal creative guy next door, to live a normal and most modest life as much as possible.

Citra Seni ASWARA Bersama Hasnul

Hasnul at Aswara

Today, I managed to clear my busy schedules and meeting to attend Hasnul's talk. I felt like a 10 year old boy visiting a science centre during his talk because I felt a free spirit reborn over and over and it makes me so inspired to continue to progress myself in arts.

One thing that I learn from him is about family values. Like photosynthesis, I felt the crucial need for anyone to work together harmoniously. To collaborate with each other, leave our hierarchy or indifferences aside, and focus on one thing - to revitalize our lives with great moral values without forgetting our roots of life.

So thank you Hasnul, thank you Mak and Abah (Mum and dad), my family, best friends and everyone who have been so patient to believe in my talent, encourage my passion and see my imperfection as a form of evolution.


I'm taking this opportunity to provide every of my readers a special gift, my free ebook called 'Mekarnya Cinta Kata-kata dan Puisi' (Blossoming Love for Words and Poetry). I hope this humble book will let you understand the struggle I've been through as a digital artist and a 'creative economist'.

To light and peace,
Muid Latif