The Road Less Travelled, a solo exhibition by Syahbandi Samat at HARTA Gallery

A poster for a event

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceThe Road Less Travelled

by Syahbandi Samat

Exhibition Dates: 17 December 2023 – 17 January 2024

Curated by: Artemis Art & Ivan Alexander Gabriel

Venue: HARTA Gallery @ HARTA Space, Level 1, Habib 2 Ampang, Lot 94 Lorong Memanda 2, 68000 Ampang, Selangor

Opening Hours: Tuesdays – Sundays, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Official Opening: 3:00 pm on Saturday, 16 December 2023

Guest of Honour: Mohammad Nazli Abdul Aziz


In partnership with HARTA, HABIB’s latest public initiative which stands for HABIB: Action for Revival of our Traditions and Arts, Artemis Art is pleased to announce Malaysian artist Syahbandi Samat’s fifth solo exhibition, The Road Less Travelled. Well-known for his meticulously executed ballpoint pen on canvas artworks the exhibition marks the artist’s first formal solo exhibition with Artemis Art.

“Here at HARTA, we aim to serve as a conduit for exposing a broader audience to the depth and diversity of Malaysian art and artists. We’re excited to launch our first collaboration with Artemis Gallery to show the works of Syahbandi Samat, an exceptionally talented self-taught artist of profound depth. Syahbandi’s meticulous creations with a ballpoint pen resonate with thoughtful introspection. This collaboration is a celebration of his artistry, an invitation for all to explore the intricacies of his mind and life. We extend an open invitation to join us, witness his extraordinary work, and delve into the nuances of passion and perseverance that define his artistic journey,” said Mirsham Meer, Director of HARTA.

To kick off the exhibition an opening reception will be held at 3:00 pm on Saturday, 16 December 2023, officiated by En. Mohammad Nazli Abdul Aziz. Galeri Chandan, which En. Nazli co-founded, was instrumental in helping Syahbandi stamp his initial presence in the Malaysian art scene, both through MEAA (which Galeri Chandan co-organized) and later the NAFAS Residency program in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, which Syahbandi attended in 2012.

The Road Less Travelled is a mini-review of the artist’s career that began in 2011 when the self-taught artist, then at the young age of 19, was selected as one of the five winners of the 2011 Malaysia Emerging Artist Awards (MEAA). His career since then has steadily progressed, given due recognition along the way by being selected for the Young Guns Award in 2016.

Thematically, Syahbandi’s artworks selected for this exhibition focus on his more introspective works, surreal renderings filled with metaphors and symbolism, as he comes to terms with past traumas and articulates the insights he’s gained on his continuing journey of self-realisation. These span several series groupings that he’s produced between 2018 and the present, most of which are being exhibited locally in Malaysia for the first time.

In addition to his ballpoint pen on canvas works, the exhibition will also feature sculptural works that the artist has created, including the editioned Life Ain’t That Sweet sculpture series, which makes its Malaysian debut in this exhibition.


Sample images of exhibited works and a brief artist profile has been included as part of this press release.

For a press release in Bahasa Malaysia, high-resolution images, or any other information kindly contact us via the details provided below.


TQPR Thailand

Tom Van Blarcom or Nuie Titichayapon

Tel: 0 2260 5820 Email: |

The Road Less Travelled (selected artwork images)

The Silent and The Act (2023)

Ballpoint Pen on Canvas

138 x 49.5 cm (diptych)

Self Portrait (2019)

Ballpoint Pen and White Pencil on Canvas

76 x 57 cm

Blending Love (2022)

Ballpoint Pen on Canvas

48 x 54 cm (diptych)

Life Ain’t That Sweet (Form) (2023)

5 colour variants, each in editions of 10

Mixed Media (Epoxy Resin and Stainless Steel) on Circular Wood Base

18 x 7.5 x 7.5 cm (each, H x W x D)

Syahbandi Samat (b. 1992 in Kuching, Sarawak)

(complete artist CV is available upon request)

Drawing from personal experience and observation, the stupefying technical skills of this young Malaysian artist have been gaining wide attention from the Malaysian art scene since the 2011 Malaysian Emerging Artist Award (MEAA). And more recently, being one of the recipients of the Young Guns Award 2016.

Syahbandi takes the ballpoint pen well beyond the implement’s typical role as a writing instrument, fuelled by his determination and hard work, continuously improving his skills as a visual artist. Not satisfied with resting on his laurels, he has expanded his repertoire of work in recent years, continuing to explore new forms and ways to express his ideas.

Awards (selected)

2016 Young Guns Award 2016, by HOM Art Trans, Kuala Lumpur
2011 Winner, Malaysian Emerging Artist Award (MEAA)

Solo Exhibitions

2023 The Road Less Travelled Harta Space, Kuala Lumpur (in partnership with Artemis Art)
2020 Museum Mimpi

(MONOCHROME – six in one solo)

Artemis Art website online exhibition

Originally planned for Breeze Art Space, BSD City, Tangerang, Indonesia (Art Serpong Gallery X Artemis Art)

2018 Dichotomy Galeri Titikmerah, Art Row, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
2017 Bond, Boundaries & Bondage Galeri Titikmerah, Art Row, Publika, Kuala Lumpur
2016 Moral Compass Hoopla Lounge, Kuala Lumpur

About Harta Space

HARTA stands for HABIB, Malaysia’s premier jeweller, taking Action for the Revival of our Traditions and our Arts. Located in an 8,030 sq ft space on Level 1 above the HABIB Ampang Point 2 showroom, it is a unique space that brings together Malaysia’s past and present through a Heritage Jewellery Museum and a contemporary Art Gallery, as well as a café, so that we may better understand, enjoy and appreciate our rich and diverse culture.

HARTA, in Bahasa Malaysia, means wealth. But it is not about the wealth of land and water, nor forest and mines, nor flock and herd.

HARTA believes the true wealth of Malaysia lies in the collective cultural identity of its people, both past and present. Culture distinguishes a country. It nurtures a sense of belonging in the minds and hearts of its people. It helps people share a commonality. And by doing so, it enriches the soul of the country.

About Artemis Art

Established in 2011, Artemis Art’s primary focus has been the promotion of young and emerging artists from Southeast Asia, whose diverse art-making modes and practices mirror the sheer diversity of the region itself.

Since early 2021 we have been operating as a non-brick-and-mortar gallery. Our programming is actualised through our participation in selected international art fairs and via strategic collaborations with galleries and art spaces both locally and abroad.


Posted in