Thursday September 14, 2006
Interpretations of Independence
By GEETHA KRISHNAN
Photos by IBRAHIM MOHTAR
THEY are a group of artists who have mastered the art of batik painting on canvas.
Converging at a small studio nestled deep within Pulau Meranti in Cyberjaya, they fine-tuned their techniques. And, they are more than willing to share what they have learnt with others, for free.
He said it was not easy to do batik painting on canvas and one needed to persevere.
Some artists, he added, had an innate talent for the technique, like Bangladeshi student S.M. Sagor.
“The studio currently has 15 students, including four other foreign students from Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Thailand.
Mohamed and a few other artists are exhibiting their works in an art exhibition themed Merdeka' 49! Pekikan Merdeka: MerahBiru-KuningPutih at the MTDC Multimedia Gallery in Serdang.
The piece, by Mohamed and entitled Penyayang, is in honour of Endon, who tirelessly sought for the revival of the batik industry.
According to Mohamed, the background comprises the logo for the Piala Seri Endon and the logo for the Penyayang Foundation.
Opposite the painting hangs Morning Call by caricaturist Tazidi Yusof, an acrylic on canvas scene of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi making a telephone call to a mysterious VIP designated to be the Kedah Mentri Besar.
His other piece in the exhibition, The Between Tower: Pak Lah and Najib, has the two men shaking hands with their bodies stretched to resemble the Petronas Twin Towers.
History buff Sahrila Udin, who is keen on the history of Selangor, has painted the late Sultan Abdul Samad and palace officials gathering for a historical event in 1875.
The painting Sidang Perbendaharaan is based on a photograph taken then.
“For Telepuk Kasih, I extracted the late sultan and his late grandson Raja Sulaiman.
“The focus is on them because Raja Sulaiman ascended the throne as a teenager and was responsible for numerous changes in Kuala Lumpur,” he said.
The only artist in the exhibition who attempted charcoal on canvas was Faizal Sidik.
His interpretation of Merdeka focuses on war victims and the lost fight for freedom, conveyed through Merdeka Yang Hilang and Tiada Lagi Kemerdekaan.
Artist Shahidi Saadin's interpretation of Merdeka is through the innocent eyes of a child holding a flag while peering out from a window with bars, Saya Anak Malaysia.
Former street busker Abd Rashid Abd Hamid weaves a fun theme into his works, Tango: Merdekaria and Jazz: Merdekarama.
His acrylic on canvas works feature the joy felt by unknown individuals on gaining independence.
For his only piece in the exhibition, artist Hamdan Ameruddin experimented with a unique technique in which he combined batik, acrylic paint and lively colours, featuring a maiden dancing for joy, in Harmoni: Di Taman Kebebasan.
The exhibition at the gallery at MTDC Multimedia Academy, Block K, UPM-MTDC Technology Incubation Centre 1, Silicone Valley, Serdang (03-8941 4626) ends on Sept 18. Admission is free.
Reviving interest in the sarong