‘Aletheia’: The Quaint Details of Shafiq Nordin’s Solo Exhibition

In his second solo exhibition and first showcase at G13 Gallery, Kelana Jaya, Shafiq Nordin explores the themes of socio-economy and the local political situation through stimulating colours and animal hybrids for Aletheia (from 17th November until 1st December).

The literal meaning of the ancient-greek word, “Aletheia” is “the state of not being hidden; the state of being evident,” and the embodiment of Aletheia in literature can be seen in Aesop’s Fables in which she was described as being crafted by  Prometheus as well as in Pindar’s Olympian Ode which she was Zeus’ daughter. With aletheia being used in philosophy to describe bare truth that is unconcealed, Shafiq Nordin‘s solo exhibition is unbarred and uncensored when it comes to his message.

The Tampin-born artist is a graduate in fine arts from Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam and he’d emerged in the art scene when he started exhibiting from as early as 2009 which he then went on to being showcased at Balai Seni Lukis, WhiteBox in Publika and the National Visual Arts Gallery in Kuala Lumpur.

Shafiq Nordin in front of his artwork (Source: G13 Gallery).
Shafiq Nordin in front of his artwork (Source: G13 Gallery).

The gigantic characters demanding to be witnessed in every piece of Shafiq’s art are intimidating with their weapons armed in hand and their seemingly wicked and mischievous expressions. Through allegorical and symbolic use of colours, characters and mediums; Shafiq’s Aletheia portrays his opinions regarding the political climate but these are brilliantly interwoven with pop surrealism hence, the need to truly understand what each piece is about rather than mindlessly observe one work and then the other.

'6 Years of Living in a Biased System' by Shafiq Nordin (Source: G13 Gallery).
‘6 Years of Living in a Biased System’ by Shafiq Nordin (Source: G13 Gallery).

It could be unsettling to see the art face to face such as 6 Years Living in a Biased System featuring what looks like a a hybrid (almost mutant) vehicle built from the body parts of a tortoise, the translucent wings of a bug and the head of a cow pleading for help from the creature that it’s carrying. There are even words written on the artwork saying, “Happy birthday, Artscene”, “50% for Noth(ing)” and the word, “Cool” on a pink top worn by a kneeling minotaur (another constant character in Greek mythology) thus, creating a puzzle (or a maze of thoughts) out of the painting.

The disturbing eccentricities by the hands of Shafiq Nordin is shocking, beauteous with an allure that could invite the onlooker to stay more than 5 minutes for each work and decipher the mind of the artist told through fifteen paintings exhibited for Aletheia.

To find out more about the exhibition, please log on to or Visit Shafiq Nordin‘s website for more of his works. 

Featured Image source: G13 Gallery. 


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