Chamber of Public Secrets

Azizan Paiman

SJKDSA (Power Generator Station From Natural Resources) addresses constructions of ideology and how these change over time, and how these have enlivened narratives of political history. It is an installation work in the form of a narrative, inspired from readings of the political history of the Malaysian state of Perak. 

The work shown is two objects (of four in total – each representing a natural resource with respect to the concepts of earth, fire, water and wind) shaped like a hot oven, along with the concept of Duchamp’s “La Boite-en-Valise”.

Each measures 61 x 61 x 210 cm and can be broken down into 6 parts. Each has four floors, and on each floor there is a space that resembles a gallery space, displaying miniature sculptures and paintings recording important events in the socio-political history of Perak over the course of 182 years (1840-2022).

This storytelling covers Perak’s wealth of natural resources, migrants from other countries, the role of business magnates, migrants, civil war, secret societies, the presence of the British, the Birch assassination, leaders of nationalist movements, as well as leaders of political parties (right and left) that have coloured the local political landscape.

Noor Azizan Rahman Paiman (b1970, Melaka) received a MA in Fine Art from Manchester Metropolitan University and a BA in Fine Art from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM). Azizan Paiman’s practice plays with social mores, politics, gender, and current events, with a focus on Malaysian contemporary life. His artworks are inspired by the rapid and intense changes that Malaysia gone through as a nation over the years. He has participated in numerous solo and group shows in Malaysia and abroad (Singapore, Japan, New York, Australia) and his work was featured as part of the Singapore Biennale 2016, the 5th Asia Pacific Triennial and 1st Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial. His work is in the permanent collections of Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan; Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art, Australia; Singapore Art Museum and National Art Gallery, Malaysia.