28 Jul Let There Be Light!
CiTi-ZEN enjoys featuring Malaysian artists, but this is the first time that lamp art is the focus. Mohd Firdaus or Epi as he prefers to be addressed by, recently discovered his talent for this practical art form by accident and now enjoys everything about it. Epi used to import artefacts from Bali for his pop-up store in a KL shopping mall. With the unsold stock (another victim of the current pandemic), Epi decided to transform a few of the items into unique and creative modern lamps and lampshades made entirely by hand using quality materials – he discovered that he had a knack for this art form and spurred on by his brother and a Singaporean friend to do more creations, Epi decided to move the dial from hobby to business. Epi says that he has always been interested in all types of art (cemented by his degree in product design), and lamp art is a new creative acquisition.
“I enjoy learning the process of how things are made, how different raw materials and items are pushed to their potential to create something beautiful. This has always shaped my creative flow.”
When asked why lampshades, Epi did not hesitate to say that he is inspired by both the artistic aesthetics of lamps and their applied function with practical uses. He enjoys experimenting with the light and shadow he can create (and control). He wants his shades not just to provide light but to create a calm and relaxing mood, plus suiting every decor need. “I want my work to illuminate, not to blind!”
Epi’s father was a palm oil estate manager so the family moved around the country living among acres of the palm oil trees. This meant that Epi grew up surrounded by nature, watching things grow in the same cycle year after year. He puts down his sense of observing, sitting still and connection with nature to his early years. Epi is also big on Asian culture which he describes as being rich in creative fuel such as in their architecture, artefacts, food, textiles, etc. He singles out the humble gong for its symbolic shape and significance. Inspired by both its ceremonial use (e.g. at religious ceremonies) and functional use (e.g. as a warning siren), this is why Epi has adapted the gong shape for his first lampshade collection. Epi also loves batik fabrics for their creative patterns and texture so he has used this material for some of his gong inspired shades, giving them fullpower statements.
“I want my (lamp) shades to be original, unique and meaningful. The journey is just beginning for me which is why I welcome feedback on my lamp art. I will continue to experiment because I want my work to be appreciated by people; and I want them to sit and stare at it.” Epi’s distinctive and picturesque shades do not only look pleasing in themselves but I feel sure they will become a decorative accessory that will come into its own.