Haffendi Anuar’s practice explores the expanded notion of architecture, urban spaces, and mundane everyday objects through the creation of sculptures, paintings, installations, and mixed-media pieces. In recent works he looks at the kain pelikat, an ethnographic object which is a type of colourful plaid tubular transnational ‘male-skirt’ usually worn domestically, in social situations and sometimes as an informal labour uniform in parts of the Global South. Oriented in relation to childhood memories of encountering and being enveloped by the fabric and same-sex relationships in a predominantly conservative Muslim society, his research and exploration into the iconography of the garment encompasses personal family photos, archival photographs from institutional collections, images from social media and the Internet and texts on colonial explorations and investigates the fabric’s origin, social utilization, visual patterns, and formal structure. From the materials gathered, Haffendi reimagines the fabric as constructions for hammocks, cradles, nets, architectural structures and facades, working in a process that incorporates collage, layering, painting, and sewing. His objects, installations and spaces explore notions of care, fluidity, memories, and tactility.
Haffendi initially studied at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence before completing an undergrad degree in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London and an MFA at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University, Oxford. Recent exhibitions include Flat Lands (solo), A.I. Gallery, London in 2021; Midday Stanza (solo), Richard Koh Fine Art, Singapore in 2019; Elephant Utopia (solo), Art Taipei in 2015; A Life Beyond Boundaries (The Geography of Belonging) (group), JWD Art Space, Bangkok in 2021; The Foot Beneath the Flower (group), Nanyang Tech University ADM Gallery, Singapore in 2020, For the Few and the Many (2-person), Beers London, London in 2019 and head, heap, heat, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore in 2018. His works are in the collections of the Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Pembroke College, Oxford, Battersea Power Station, London and Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Kuala Lumpur.