BANDUNG, INA, 1982
At a first glance, Mujahidin Nurrahman’s delicate works might give the impression of decorative arts, free from dispute and strife. But underneath, they are composed of modular fragments spiked with hidden context, summarizing the paradox of identity and the weight of discords in the world today. Born into a devout Islam family, Mujahidin’s artworks mostly addresses his concern with Islam and its stigmatized image in the world’s eyes, how Muslims are branded with acts of violence and terrorism. Quoting his statement in the catalogue of Bandung Contemporary Art Award #3: “I depict one of the perceptions that the world has on Islam: behind the beauty, there is a strong perception of violence.” Mujahidin has demonstrated a high craftsmanship in order to articulate those notions. He painstakingly cut papers into intricate arabesque patterns from the images of rifles, bullets, and missile rockets. And alongside his papercut artworks, his creations also explore other mediums such as video and installation. Examples of his works is Layers (2012) and Legal Assault (2014), both crafted from the shape of AK-47 rifles.