Twenty nine year-old Sydney Artist Abdul Abdullah can trace his family’s history in Australia back to the days of convicts, but he says he’s being increasingly treated as a threat by his fellow countrymen. Abdullah has Malaysian and Australian heritage and identifies as a Muslim. It is this part of his identity and how it causes others to treat him that is the catalyst for much of his art.
Through his art Abdullah says he has found a way to confront what he calls the politicisation of his identity. This has made him a controversial figure in both the art world and the Muslim community, Abdul regularly receives hate mail as a result of his highly regarded yet abrasive work.
Abdul says Muslims are perceived as a threat to the Australian way of life and his art holds a mirror up to an increasingly aggressive Australian nationalism.
VICE caught up him to find out about his work and what it’s like living in a society that sees you as the bad guy.
- Lauren Gillin, Abdul Abdullah Talks About His Art, Australia, and Being the Bad Guy, VICE.