Last week was the first of our features showcasing Ellia Writes! regarding The Local People x DBS Pay La! Night Market. This week, we interviewed another incredibly talented artist, Zurianah, otherwise known as Zu Orzu. What makes The Local People’s night markets far more interesting than your everyday flea market at SCAPE is that they feature original local artists with unique and various artworks on sale. This includes Zu Orzu, whose works in school and outside are breathtakingly beautiful and raw. While Zu’s artwork are great, it is her vision as an artist and her view on life that makes her as well as her work possess the ability to draw people in.
A trait common among many great artists and a trait that I admire greatly is their constant desire to push the boundaries of their lives, in Zu’s own words, “I have always been interested in trying new things and making a mess with a variety of techniques and mediums.” Just a look at her artistic background will confirm her unwillingness to limit herself, “I have a fine arts background doing painting, printmaking, ceramics, and dabbled in fashion design, filmmaking and installation art. Later on, I fell in love with animation, and that opened up completely new avenues for me as an artist, and especially after I got myself a Wacom tablet and started learning how to paint digitally.” Since then, she has been trying to bridge her fine arts pedigree with her newfound love for digital art.
Her personality which she herself describes as “rather absorbent.” This double edged sword allowed her to “ have an open mind and heart to attempt anything and everything, which is great as it feels as though I am always learning. The downside is that, when I get bored of something, I just drop it completely after being obsessed over it for months.” She is someone who I can imagine to be when taken with something, completely in that world where her art becomes the only thing. The way that she approaches her art is also the way in which she lived her life, a sort of YOLO attitude that sounds far more inspiring. Living her life in a way to ensure that she remains not so much inspired but being “in an inspired state of being.” It’s not so much passively waiting to be inspired but rather to “actively seek for new experiences, and they may not necessarily be even directly related to my art practice. I think life comes through in art somehow, so I tell myself to not stop living.” Quite like T.S Eliot when he said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
There are some differences between producing art to fulfill one’s own ideas, whims and visions and to produce art to sell in places such as night markets. It is also something that she has thought greatly about, “the thought process and production techniques go through different routes depending on what and whom the art is intended for. The sense of awareness involved in the activity of creation informs what goes out to the world as final works. With the awareness of that intent, I do have a different set of considerations – subject matter, purpose, medium, print size, how the art is packaged, etc.” For the night market, she will be selling her limited edition Christmas cards which are incredibly cute and perfect for friends as it is neither cheesy nor cliche. This is really the genius of The Local People night markets because unlike mass produced manufactured products, these products by our own local talents have incredible thought put into them thus the result is neither cheesy or cliche.
While she has been rather successful by herself, her most memorable experiences usually come from collaborations with other artists. “To be part of a dynamic team is highly rewarding, and most of those are works that I’m still proud of. I have done comics with my good friend and superb artist AK, who lets me do the writing, which is a great breather from physical artwork. I’ve done crazy, backbreaking stuff with other friends and it’s always a good time!” she gushes. If these are the kind of art that she creates alone and she works best in groups then I absolutely cannot wait to see what she is capable of with others!
Keep an eye out for her during The Local People x DBS Pay La! Night Market which will be happening on the 20th of December at the Goodman Arts Center!