2014 - 2018

Memory Vinyl

“Memory is a funny thing.
When I was in the scene I hardly paid it any attention...”

based on ‘Revolusioner : Jilid 1’
Bintang Biru Kristal Salju
Pitahati, 2011.

A series of watercolour turned digital artworks based on songs shared among my closest friends. Started as a postcard sent to bestfriend back home, the songs, or rather playlist formed part of my daily rituals during student days. often listened over long period of walks to nowhere in particular.

(weather condition might have contributed to song choices).

text by Nazmi Anuar

“Memory is a funny thing. When I was in the scene I hardly paid it any attention. I never stopped to think of it as something that would make a lasting impression, certainly never imagined that 18 years later I would recall it in such detail.”

Haruki Murakami,
Norwegian Wood

based on
“They Move On Tracks Of Never-Ending Light”

This Will Destroy You, This Will Destroy You, 2008.

Memory is indeed a funny thing, for one, memory is more than a mere recollection of facts, or even the recounting of things as they happened. memory involves interpretation; or rather it should be understood as an editorial process. moments or vignettes that we fondly recall as memories are in fact – if you really think about it – edited versions of events. They are altered facts. memories are always the product of an unconscious selection process. They are how we chose to remember events, people and situations. memory is also funny in the way that it often chooses to leave us when we need to recall something or someone the most and in the way it suddenly resurfaces in the moment we least expected it to. like how someone else’s name is blurted out in addressing someone else, memory is a funny thing.

The act of memorizing is a process which works differently with different people. it is not simply an act of the mind as an act which involves all our senses. how often have a particular scent carried on the breeze reminded us of a place, a particular person and a moment? Similarly, a certain colour or texture on a certain piece of fabric brings to mind an acquaintance that has long since passed. memories are obviously tied in with all our senses. however i would argue that among all the senses, the power of a piece of music is unequalled in the recollection of memories. music has a way to open up our – selectively – stored memory bank and send a shiver through us. The opening quote, taken from haruki murakami’s book Norwegian Wood, addresses the impact of the beatles’ Norwegian Wood upon the main protagonist and howevents,or rather his recollection of events – essentially what memories are - unfolded after hearing the song. Shiela Samsuri’s memory Vinyl is an attempt at visually representing the intangible relation between music, memory and perhaps more importantly, meaning.

Often, my first response to being presented with an artwork – or even architecture for that matter - would be to scour through my own memory bank for references. For me references are my first steps towards a deeper understanding in that it’s a method of placing the art work within a certain context.Visually – and personally- I would place this particular set of work together with John Fahey’s Sea monster (1998) which adorns the sleeve of Sonic Youth’s final LP The Eternal, Kim Gordon’s wreath paintings (2010) and the sleeve of Arcade Fire’s Reflektor lP (2013). musical connotations aside, the overlapping lines and swirls in these images also evokes the immeasurable depth and mystery of telescopic images of gaseous, distant nebulas. of course as hinted at by the title and as explained by the artist the point of departure was the shape of a vinyl record and perhaps more importantly the process of how information is encoded upon the surface of a vinyl record through groove lines.

Beyond its stunning visual qualities, my first reaction upon the artwork presented here could be described as a sense of scepticism towards the relation between the titles and the quotes – taken from various different songs – and the artwork themselves. one must not make the mistake of negating on the importance of the pieces of music which is being addressed in relation to the image produced – they are not randomly chosen - for as noted by the artist; “each of them bears memories in relation to time and place. a kind of humanized cache” 6. Taken in this context, the music could be argued as the starting point for this artist’s recollection of events. but how does one make sense out of the pairing of the titles and the artworks? how does one gets over the recurring thought that “the words and the images could be randomly paired and they would still make sense – or not”?

based on
“Set The Controls of The Heart of The Sun”

A Saucerful of Secrets, Pink Floyd, 1968.