Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Definition of Art and Craft, The Role of Art, The Role of Artist, Meaning of Originality, Tradition, Beauty, Nature of Art.

The Definition of Art and Craft
What is art?
Art is something that can attract a person to observe or view due to it beauty and its presentable look. The art also must be a work that can communicate and useful between a viewer and the artist. But of all the beauty in the world, the works of beauty by the Mighty Allah is the infirmity and with His approval the human can create a beautiful art. As said by Hashim Musa (1996) about the concept of arts:
'Art, for human is the occasion for expression, talking, verbalization and speech, and for the representation of beauty, truth and perfection. However, the real height of beauty truth and perfection is Allah and all His creation." 1

To express the need in art, an artist should know how to communicate with the viewer, spectator or observer through his art as the medium. The communications that created by the artist have made the art useful and some times meaningful for human. Craft is Art, art done by the artist that so beautiful and useful to the need of its observer. Craft, did have all the concept mention as an artwork. In the word from Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (2003) were one of it definitions about arts is:

“Art is a craft, but not just any sort of craft. It is a craft of expression - of someone's feelings or thoughts, and it can take many forms depending on a chosen medium." 2

Here we can see haw the medium gain an importance role in presenting arts, the arts either can just be observe as the collection of its admirers or as a work that can be useful and serve its obvious practical needs to others and it also have an aesthetic value, as mention in the Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (2003) as the following:

“Good art can work on many levels and is capable of many interpretations." 3

Generally speaking, there are no separations between work of art and craft; it is true because in craft the beauty and the purpose for human interest are already generated.

Role of Art

Art have so many role, back in the past arts was more to the practice of human activity and as documentations. The purpose is to past information to the present generation about their experience and activity. This practice can be seen in all the cave painting existed now, for example the cave painting arts found in The Cave of Lascaux, (Paleolithic Age). 4 We also can relate this type of work to the statement by Leo Tolstoy (1828 – 1910):

“Art is a human activity, consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on the other feelings he has lived through, and that other people are infected by these feelings and also experience them." 5

The role has developed, to the art were it is more to be practice to the performing a religion or community believe icon. It also did not stop there; the art role has been evolve to something that over and above necessity were the art is only can be observe by some people who can afford it. By than the western ideologies have separate the work of art that benefits the usurer as the craft and the work of art that can only be observe by certain people is an artwork as a masterpiece.

Role of Artist

An artist in the ancient world brought up their duty as documentations of the world they live in, as we can see in the cave painting at the Niah Cave in Serawak (Peleolithic Age).6 In the Age of Animism the artist as the presenter of artistic work or to create an object of his population believe during that time and after the religion era such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Islamic came the artist presented their work according to the religion and their ideology. This we can see in a statement by Henry Fuseli (1741-1825)

“Ancient art was the tyrant of Egypt, the mistress of Greece and the servant of Rome." 7

In his statement above it is clear that during those years the artist role in present their works by following his believe and needs of their masters. An artist is also having generated the base of form germinates and develops its possibilities as in Michael Tawa (1992) writing was clearly stated:

“An artist who traditionally mediates between form and matter by becoming the vehicle, agent and instrument of formal realization." 8

Here he stated the role of artist is stated when they created the process in all aspect of harmony and temperance – on a proportionate co-ordination and co-operation between the form, the artist and the materials. As we understand that the role of artist is not just for his art for arts sake but also involves the whole idea of community in their area or believes.

Meaning of Originality, Tradition, Beauty

The coming of Islam in the Malay world has brought the need to go back to the beginning base in arts; the functions of art have been taken in a serious concern in creating an art. The art doesn’t mean for certain individual but it also must be function for all and can be useful for others in their daily life. The art that generate from tradition is the type of art that been past through generation to generation such as the work of art from the wood caving, waving and others. It also the type of art that been past due to the religion needs such as the work of art for the god image in Hinduism and Buddhism. In Islamic art the work of calligraphy and the architect design of the mosque is one of the works that have its own beauty. As mention by Nasr, S. A. (1981) as following:

“In facts, the word tradition is related etymologically to transmission and contains within the scope of its meaning the idea of the transmission of knowledge, practice techniques laws, forms and many other elopements of both an oral and written nature”. 9

In all type of artwork done by the artist the beauty cannot be separated. “Beauty is a gift of God." 10 By Aristotle (384 b.c – 322b.c), In the world that full with beauty, we should never forget that Allah has created it for us and the creativity that He have given to us, is a bless. According to Fernand Leger (1881-1955)

“Beauty is everywhere, in the arrangement of your pots and pans, on the white wall of your kitchen, perhaps more then in your eighteenth-century salon or in the official museum." 11

To him all creation by man that base on their creativity is arts and it doesn’t mean the art must be presented in a salon, gallery or museum art is every ware; if just we knew how to appreciate it art is everyway in the creation of household or in our surrounding.

Nature of Art

Art in the form of work in the beginning is a source of documentation and it also function as an information for the people believe and religion. The artist use this opportunity to tell us a story of the people in the previous era, to deliver a political message during that time or just to make others think, it grabs the attention of others and makes others to experience what have the arts expresses. Through it we have the knowledge about the past, religion and events; it is function as documentation for us to live in a better way in the future. An art in the form of object is something can be use with an artistic value. The work of art that so practical for human use in his daily life are so importance and it been transfer form generation to generation. Art is for all and the entire world can benefit it.


1. Hashim Musa (1996). Seni dan Kosmologi. Balai Seni Lukis Negara. Kuala Lumpur. Pg 18
2.Wikipedia (23 March 2003), Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia,
3.Wikipedia (23 March 2003), Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia,
4.Margaret Wilson Fuller. (2003), The Cave of Lascaux, Norbert Aujoulat © National Centre of Prehistory, 5.
6.Hadden, Peggy (2002), The Quotable Artist, Allworth Press, New York. Pg 7
7.Abdul Rahman Al- Ahmadi (0000), Arts & The Islamic World, note from class, 9 July 2003. Pg40
8.Hadden, Peggy (2002), The Quotable Artist, Allworth Press, New York. Pg 5
9.Tawa, Michael (1992), Craft in Society An Anthology of Perspectives. WA: Fremantle Center Press. Pg 271
10.Nasr, S. H. (1981), Knowledge and the Sacred, New York. Pg67
11.Hadden, Peggy (2002), The Quotable Artist, Allworth Press, New York. Pg 190
12.Hadden, Peggy (2002), The Quotable Artist, Allworth Press, New York. Pg 193

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wacana Bertemu Salina.. Bertemu Pak Samad

Wacana Bertemu Salina 1: Kehadiran Sasterawan Negara, Pak Samad dan ahli-ahli penal yang lain dapat memberi gambaran yang lebih jelas tentang peralihan bahas penulisan ke bahasa tampak.

Sememangnya tidak terfikir di kotak fikiran penulis untuk bertemu dengan Pak Samad (Datuk Dr. A Samad Said), seorang Sasterawan Negara yang hanya penulis kenali melalui penulisan dan wajahnya hanya melalui kaca tv dan didada-dada akhbar. Tanggal 7 April 2009 satu tarikh yang tidak dapat penulis lupakan, bukan sahaja dari kejayaan membimbing para pelajar hinggakan mereka berjaya mengetengahkan karya mereka di Galeri UiTM Perak malahan penulis telah berpeluang untuk bertemu sendiri Pak Samad. Beliau yang merupakan penulis naskah agong 'Salina' telah dijemput ke UiTM Perak untuk menjadi salah seorang dari ahli penal dalam program Wacana Bertemu Salina.

Program ini yang bertitik tolak dari idea untuk mengabungkan antara dua medan seni iaitu penulisan dan tampak ini telah dicetuskan oleh rakan penulis iaitu En. Noor Azizan Rahman Paiman atau lebih dikenali sebagai 'Paiman'. Beliau telah mewajibkan setiap pelajar untuk membaca dan memahami naskah sastera yang bertajuk 'Salina' sebagai intipati pencarian tema bagi projek akhir para pelajar semester 06 pada semester yang lalu. Oleh itu terhasillah karya-karya yang kini dipamerkan dan dipertontonkan kepada umum di UiTM Perak.

Wacana Bertemu Salina 2: Kehadiran Pak Samad telah menarik minat para pelajar dalam bidang-bedang yang berbeza untuk turut sama di program tersebut.

Melalui pameran tersebut satu wacana seni telah dianjurkan, wacana yang menjemput Pak Samad, Pn. Zanita dari BSLN dan Pn. Nur Hanim dari YKP sebagai ahli-ahli penal acara tersebut. Tujuan utama semestinya untuk mendapatkan maklumbalas dari penulis sebenar naskah 'Salina' tentang karya-karya visual yang telah dihasilkan oleh para pelajar, selain dari itu ianya juga merupakan satu sesi untuk memberi gambaran kepada para pelajar yang lain bagaimana sesebuah karya penulisan itu sememangnya boleh dan telah pun diexplorasikan oleh pelukis-pelukis negara sebagai tema penghasilan karya mereka.

Wacana Bertemu Salina 3: Sesi bergambar bersama tenaga kerja program dan pengkarya-pengkarya Pameran Bertemu Salina.

Sememangnya pemilihan ahli penal untuk wacana ini bertepatan sekali, ini adalah kerana selain dari Pak Samad sendiri yang merupakan penulis naskah tersebut, Pn. Nur Hanim pula merupakan antara pengkarya yang sememangnya banyak menggunakan karya-karya penulisan didalam karyanya dan seorang lagi penal yang dijemput adalah Pn. Zanita yang merupakan Pengarah Bahagaian Penyelidikan dan Pameran Balai Seni Lukis Negara merupakan wakil yang paling sesuai bagi memberi pandangan yang bernas berkaitan dengan penghasilan karya dan proses-proses yang perlu dilalui oleh para pelajar di UiTM untuk menjadi sebahagian dari pengkarya yang aktif dibidang penghasilan karya.

Wacana Bertemu Salina 4: Penulis mengambil kesempatan untuk berramah mesra bersama Pak Samad ketika jamuan ringan diadakan di perkarangan fakulti.

Wacana Bertemu Salina 5: Pak Samad dikerumuni oelah para pelajar Seni Lukis dan Seni Reka.

Disepanjang program wacana ini dijalankan, Pak Samad telah memberi pandangan-pandangan yang ikhlas dan bernas tentang pameran yang sedang berlangsung di Geleri UiTM Perak sekarang sehingga 6 Mei 2009. Beliau juga telah diajukan beberapa soalan oleh para pelajar yang mana sememangnya hanya beliau sahaja yang layak untuk menjawabnya dan diantara soalan yang diajukan adalah berkaitan dengan watak-watak yang terdapat didalam novel beliau, seorang pelajar telah mengajukan soalan untuk mendapatkan kepastian tentang watak 'Helmy' ianya seolah-oleh memberi gambaran bahawa watak itu adalah Pak Samad sendiri?

Wacana ini sememangnya telah memberi peluang seluas-luasnya untuk para pelajar berinteraksi bersama ahli-ahli penal yang dijemput. Oleh itu boleh dikatakan bahawa program ini sememangnya telah dijalankan dengan jayanya dan ianya menepati objektif yang dirancang sama ada oleh pihak penganjur malahan UiTM Perak secara keseluruhanya.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pameran Bertemu Salina satu pertembungan antara dua seni

Bertemu Salina 1: Gambar muka depan kateloge pameran

Pada hari Isnin yang lalu iaitu pada 6 April 2009, telah selamat berlansungnya perasmian pameran 'Bertemu Salina' yang dianjurkan oleh UiTM Perak dan pameran ini akan berlansung selama sebulan.

Sebuah pameran yang merupakan hasil karya terpilih para pelajar tahun akhir Program Seni Halus Sesi Dis 08, UiTM Perak. Boleh dikatakan bahawa pameran ini merupakan satu kejayaan bukan sahaja kepada pihak penganjur malahan juga kepada para pelajar yang telah bertungkus lumus melunaskan tugasan mereka pada semester lepas dan hasilnya... nah lihat lah sendiri....

Bertemu Salina 2: Saudara Zuraidi mengambarkan tentang keperluan air didalam kehidupan walau dimana anda berada...

Kumpulan karya yang diangkat dari hasil nukilah Sastrawan Negara Datok Dr. A. Samad Said atau lebih dikenali sebagai Pak Samad ini telah memberi gambaran secara visual tentang 'Salina' yang penuh dengan penceritaan tentang keadaan, kesengsaraan, keperluan selepas berlakunya Perang Dunia Kedua (WW2).

Seni Cetak, Gurisan Asid

Bertemu Salina 3: Nadirah mengambarkan Salina berbaju kebaya jarang dan bersarung lepas sedang melangkah entah kemana...

Para pelajar tersebut telah cuba mencungkil dari novel agong tersebut mengikut kaca mata mereka sendiri, bukan sahaja memberi penjelasan tentang masalah atau gambaran ketika dan waktu yang menjadi latar novel tersebut contohnya karya dari Saudari Nadirah Abdullah, yang mengambarkan kejelitaan wanita yang bernama Salina dengan berbaju kebaya, malahan mereka telah mengolahnya dengan memberi gambaran persamaan atau kaitan tentang kitaran hidup dimana sejarah pasti akan berulang... ini jelas apabila dilihat hasil karya dari Saudara Ahmad Fadzul Mat Yusof yang mengambarkan 'Daerah Persundalan' (Sekadar meminjam kata-kata Pak Samad ketika 'Wacana Bertemu Salina') itu pada hakikatnya masih lagi berlegar-legar didepan mata namun caranya sahaja berbeza. Oleh itu beliau telah mengaitkan keadaan isu semasa era ini sebagai gambaran tentang kewujudan dunia tersebut.

Seni Cetak, Sutera Saring

Bertemu Salina 4: Isu Pelajar Pintar yang terjerumus kelembah hina diketengahkan bagi memberi gambaran tentang keadaan dunia sebenar seperti apa yang terdapat didalam Novel Salina

Sememangnya jika ingin diperkatakan dengan teliti pasti lebih banyak yang boleh ditulis dan ditinta didalam penulisan ini. Namun apakan daya keadaan dan masa tidak membolehkan saya terleka disini, oleh itu cara yang terbaik adalah untuk berada sendiri di Geleri UiTM Perak dan menikmati sendiri karya-karya yang dihidangkan untuk tatapan semua.... MAKANYA SILAKAN..

Bertemu Salina 5: Satu lukisan gambaran kesunyian yang dialami oleh salah satu watak didalam Novel Salina oleh Saudari Noraini Shamsuddin.

Bertemu Salina 6: Saudara Mohd Affis Satiman membawa keadaan yang sebenar tentang tandas awam berdasarkan dari pemahaman beliau mengenai keadaan sebenar tandas didalam Novel Salina itu sendiri.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

National Culture Congress, The Impact to the Malaysian Artist Artwork

A definite answer as to when did the movement in Malaysia contemporary art begin remains a question. Opinions differ among historians and artist alike but acceding to David Kanansky (1988), “The contemporary art movement in Malaysia began about twenty five years ago. It is quite surprising how many fine artists have emerged on such a short time…”[1] As Redza Pyadassa (1992) shares the same view as Kanansky’s about the begging of Malaysian contemporary art, “Modern art activity in Malaysia begin in earnest only in the immediate period after World War II. This somewhere belated development, peculiar to the Malaysian situation, may be attributed to the general lack of encouragement given to the cultural activities by the British, whose annexations of parts of the Malay Peninsula begin in 1924.”[2] Zainol Abidin (1996), in support of the view expressed by Kanansky and Piyadassa, emphasizes this point in an article ‘Contemporary Malaysian Painting’ that Malaysian contemporary art began in the second decade of this century i.e. circa 1920s[3]

Malaysian contemporary art was at its high of experimental period during the 1960s when Malaysian artist who received their training overseas returned to the county with western ideas. During the period, the freedom of expression was stretched to the very limit of creative realm, farming their perception of the universe on international views considered in vogue during the era. This resulted in a myriad of works produced during the era; works with no definitive guidelines as to what constituted Malaysian contemporary art. Furthermore, most of the works produced during the era had no definite point of reference to traditional elements, which consequently detached them from any attempt to promote national image.

Malay sentiment was re-awakened during the mid 1970s following the racial unrest that erupted in Kuala Lumpur in 1969, which saw violent clashes between the ethnic groups. As a young nation, Malaysia was rudely shaken by the crisis, and efforts to restore inter0recial relationship among the ethnic groups were seriously pursued by the government to ensure that the event will not repeat itself in the future. In 1971[4] The First National Cultural Congress was set up with the objective to encourage artist to project the sense of national pride and identity in their work. With the clear sense of direction outline in the Congress, the perspective that had a bearing in the larger interest of the nation in presenting the national culture now shapes the artists’ minds. Redza Pyadassa (1992):”The growth of a modern art tradition in Malaysia since inde3pendence has manifested essentially pluralistic tendencies, as might he expected of a multiracial and multicultural environment lacking a homogenous cultural identity.”[5] It is decided in the National Cultural Congress that the country needed a common national cultural identity to unify the multiracial population. The basis of the national vision has been agreed as following:

The Vision
. To unite the whole country by the national culture
. To guide, spread and construct national culture in creating national personal identity.
. The richness and the higher quality in the spiritual and the living by balancing the development of our social economy

Basis Formula
. Malaysian National Congress has to follow the original citizen of this region
. Other related cultures that relevant and appropriate can be adopted into the national culture
. Islam is the important elements in creating the national culture.

. To acquire and develop the national culture in attention to concern the national culture through the joint venture research, development, education, expanding and relation
. To upgrade and to stabilize the culture by leadership
. Create the right communication to national awakens, nationality and the Malaysian nationalism
. To fill the need in the region social culture in the whole nation by the social culture service
. To upgrade the status and art quality

(Dasar, Matlamat dan Strategi Pembinaan Kebudayaan Kebangsaan, Kementerian Belia dan Sukan)[6]

Armed with clearly stated outlines as to what should be incorporated in the works before they are considered relevant to the aspirations of the national culture, the Congress identified the works by Syed Ahmad bin Jamal, Ismail Zain, Sulaiman Isa, Ruzaika Omar Bassaree, Ponirin Amin, Siti Zainon Ismail, Matura Abdul Rahman, Zakaria Awang and Ahmad Khalid Yusuf[7]. It was hoped that these artist would collectively raise national artistic standard to a higher level through their works. This aspiration is evident in Bakar Zain (1998)’s presentation in a dialogue entitled ‘Astra, Semi Rapa dan Buddy, “Suatu hasrat besar yang menjadi perjuangan sejumlah kecil budayawan ialah untuk melihat kebangkitan budaya di Malaysian dan Asia bagi mengembalikan imej dan harga diri bangsa”[8] The importance and the need to produce works with which we can identify as Malaysian is noted by Kok Chren (2000) is “ Malaysian natural topical environment with its rich diversity of flora and fauna provide a natural palette for the artist to mix the color and (re) compose the form. Also, abstraction demand more creative and original interpretation of whatever, with an approach that can be analogical, aesthetical or spontaneous. For artist who are Muslim idolatry represent nation of human go against Islam structures and to they are more disposed to this organism, geomantic, organically over mystical”[9]

In this forum, the invited panelists are among the artists that created an impact on the National Cultural Congress. They are Rozaika Omar Basseri, Dr. D’Zul Haimi, Ramlan Omar and Jailani Abu Hassan. I will try to establish a connection between the paradigms that had been set by the National Cultural Congress and how the works by these artists are influenced by those paradigms in presentation of the visual art.

1. Rozaika Omar Basseri
Rozaika Omar Basseri attended the meeting of the National Cultural Congress in 1971 as an artist. The idea of national culture art had been exposed to her at the very creation of the guidelines of national culture itself. It was in Dungun, Terengganu that she had the opportunity to gather the elements that would set herself as the embodiment of the aspiration of the National Cultural Congress. In her ‘Siri Dungun’, Rozaika brings out the element of ‘Kerawang’, a wooden decorative installed above the windows of a traditional Terengganu Malay house. Acknowledging the powerful work by Rozaika, Syed Ahmad Jamal Considers her work as ‘…and Rozaika Omar Basseri in Dungun Series, “Window within window’” become established in Malaysia imagery”[10]. The traditional element, which Rozaika has successfully incorporated in her ‘Siri Dungun’, has resulted in a work that’s truly Malaysian. It is a masterpiece of Malaysian art image.

Rozaika Omar Basseri 1 : ‘Siri Dungun’ 1979

2. Ramlan Abdullah
For Ramlan Abdullah, an artist should respond to his environment. Having admitted that his work is directly influenced by the guidelines set by the National Culture Congress, Ramlan warns that an artist should not consider the guidelines as an excuse to re-produce creative works that look like Malays culture and at the end it is just a cut and paste work.
Ramlan has consistently used sign and symbols in his work in relation to the choice of materials, technology and nature. In ‘Mother and Child’1990, he connects the symbolic relationship between a mother and her child with the element of construction, structural and gravity of his sculpture.

Ramlan Abdullah 2: ‘Mother and Child’ 1990

The same element is evident in his work ‘Down to Earth’ 2000, a table sculpture created by him with the combination of the nature element. The balance of element to create the artwork has the gusher to the sympathetic element to the nature and technology.

Ramlan Abdullah 3: ‘Down to Earth’ 2000

In ‘Time and Direction’ he incorporates the Islamic element where the theme to create the artwork is ‘Way’. In this artwork he shows the ‘Kiblat’ as information and guide for the Muslim to perform their daily prayers. The sculpture has brought a mark to the venue where the sundial has its own task direct to Muslims in the right direction.
3. Jailani Abu Hassan
Jailani Abu Hassan interprets the guidelines in the National Cultural Congress from a different perspective. As a painter Julian’s work is based on the expirnces as a child frowning up in Malaysia. In an interview he says:

“Our childhood and heritage they all are part of our subconscious mind, obviously, sometime has triggered this element to resurface-perhaps to re-establish my culture roots and identity”[11].

In his work title “Congkak Lubang 6’ (1997) he uses the element of traditional plaything once widely popular among the Malays.

Jailani 4: ‘Congkak Lubang 7’ 1997

Jailani experiments with various types of media and this has brought him prestigious acknowledgement through his painting entitled ‘Catan Orang Kampung.’ These paintings have worn a Major Award in 1998 Malaysian Contemporary Art Competition. It is important, he explains, that in searching for new dimensions an artist should understand the medium and it’s potential. The work that related to his discover about his environment, himself and his belief in god[12]. Iqbal Abdul Rahim (2001) says: “Much has been written about Jai’s travels and study overseas, but the truth is, Jai never left Malaysia.”[13] Here we can see how his artworks have brought us inside Malaysian without conscience; it brings us back to the National Culture.

Jailani 5: “Congkak Lubang 6” 1997

Jailani 6:”Petai on Stack & Red’ 1997

The National Culture Congress has also changed the way of presenting art in Malaysian image and for the Muslim artist the fact that Islam is the important basic elements in creating the National Culture, it has brought up the establishment of the Islamic ideas and element in the artwork.

By the late 1970s, the search for Malay roots becomes enmeshed with Islamic ideas liked to an international fundamental revival. The Muslim artist will try to present their art based on the Islamic need as mention by Hani Ahmad (1995):
“Since Islam is centre on Unity, Islamic art cannot base upon Tawhid (the divine unity), a concept implying the oneness of God. His realities, name and attributes, God is the supreme artist and thought man He finish His creation in art. There should not be any separation between art and religion and to be artist, art is the expression of his or her soul. Art is like a door or window through which our can enter a still wider area. It is the expression of beauty, which comes naturally with ease and relaxation. The abstraction (in the form of awang larat)manifests the concept of unity in multiplicity and acts as the unifying factor between to matter and the spiritual world, The form and content emphasizes the divine culture the project ethic and traditional identity”[14]
This matter also has invited Sharifah Zuriah Al Jeffri to give her understanding on the issue, for her:
“In contrast, there are Muslim artist almost work are influenced by the Malay-Islamic tradition. This change began in the eighties when artist perused the Islamic concept of art. Figurative forms are summed and preferences are the plain calligraphy, native and abstract”[15].
Among artist who pioneered in the Islamic arts, is Syed Ahmad Jamal, Khalid Ahmad, Gaffar Ibrahim, Sharifah Fatimah Zubir and Sulaiman Esa followed by some others important names such as Omar Rahmat, Zakaria Awang, Ponerin Amin, Awang Damit , Mat Anuar, Hashim Hassan, Raja Zahabuddin, Mastura Rahman, Habibah Zikri, Rozaika Omar Bassree, Siti Zainon, Shukor Hashim, D’Zul Haimi, Khatijah Sanusi, Wan Ahmad, Fatima Chik, Tengku Sabri, Ramlan Abdullah, Ali Rahman, Wan Zahari , Arrifin Ismail and others.[16]
This is same of the Islamic artwork created by Malaysian artist in conjunction of the National Culture Congress

Khalid Ahmad 7: ‘Alif, Ba, Ta” 1971

Sulaiman Esa 8: “Nurani” 1984

The search for cultural identity and a sense of cultural commodity within a multiracial, multicultural context need not be restricted to one vision of reality alone. Among the artist regarded as being involved in neo-regionalist concerns are Tan Choon Ghee, Ismail Hashim, Viktor Chin , Nirmala Shanmughaligam, Haron Muchtarm, Wong Hong Cheong, Redza Piyadassa, Eric Peris and Bayu Utomo Radjikin[17]. The Artist mentioned has been established with their artwork based on the ethnic culture, Not all the Malaysian artist active in creating art has practiced the Islamic method in his or her artwork. The experiments to identify formulation have offered an insight into the artist perception of modern painting, in their Pre-occupation with the medium and technique, it could be understood that for them, modern painting was about stylistic innovations detached from considering of meaning of subject matter.

4. Tajuddin Ismail
While some regard their presence a significant force in the contemporary Malaysian art scene, otters insist that their creative contribution remain questionable. For instance, Tajudin Ismail, one of the panels in this forum, for him the National Cultural Congress doesn’t bring any impact to his creativity. In his opinion the congress should be just created as a guideline for the artist to create their arts. For him an artist shouldn’t use it as limitations to produce their creative work. In this presentation the congress has created a single viewpoint of creating art, in fact the congress is suppose to be a landmark and a way of style for developing the Malaysian art. As for him, the interest to emphasize the certain revolution of art has brought him to be more interested in experiment the idea and looking for style[18]. When he creating an apart work the inspiration for him will come through life, experience, nature, travelling and the people he meet, because all of this is important for his source in capturing an idea.[19]
Just have a glimpse of a few of his artwork:

Tajuddin 9: ’Terrance & Terrain No. 2’ 2000

Tajuddin 10: ‘Monson – Tanjung Biru’ 2001

The issue I try to bring up in this forum is haw the Malaysian artist has the impact on the National Cultural Congress of 1971; they either embarrass or rejected it. The change they have made presenting their art, from the western way to the Malaysian style. In presenting the Malaysian style in visual art, artist has been introduced to the Malay culture base with the Islamic content. Muslim artist try to revitalize the spiritual and religions foundation in their artwork. Even though the Islamic image are from the adaptation from the Middle Eastern countries still the traditional Malay art and craft did have embody the spirit of Islamic art. Just have a look at the philosophy of the Malays wood coving: the sprite of Islamic has been blended into it, function as the understanding of the Malay ontological interrelationship between God-Man-Universe:

Tumbuh berpunca
Punca penuh rahsia
Tumbuh tidak menunjak lawan
Memanjat tidak memaut kawan
Tepi berlengkar penuh mesra[20]

The root of Malay culture has been used to (re) present the national identity into art and the National Cultural Congress also have created a frameworks refer to the basic culture of the multiracial content in this region, Not all the Malaysian artists have used the Islamic content in their creative work; the guidelines to producing art based on the congress have been adopted in ethnic group arts. Where the artist have reacted their artwork based on the culture continuity within a multiracial, multicultural context, The impact of ht National Culture in creating Malaysian artist artwork have been successfully (re) presented. But there is still a difference between those who choose to droll on move universal themes (at birth in a Malaysian setting) and those who attempt to force on issue who are manifesting particular to Malay sentence, At the end it is all up to the artist, if they think that the National Cultural Congress is the right guideline for them to be creative then it is, and if they didn’t the creatively work still been accepted by the Malaysian.

[1] David Kanansky (1988), Contemporary Painting of Malaysia, Balai Seni Lukis Negaram Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Pg 1
[2] Redza Pyadasa (1992), today’s Malaysian Seen Through Art, Contemporary Malysian Art, The Japan Faundation ASEAN Culture Gallery. Pg. 11
[3] Zainol Abidin Ahmad Shariff (1996), Malaysian Art, Contemporary Paint and Traditional Adornment, Malysian Tourism Promoting Bhd. Pg. 7
[4] Redza Pyadasa (1992), today’s Malaysian Seen Through Art, Contemporary Malysian Art, The Japan Faundation ASEAN Culture Gallery. Pg. 12
[5] Ibit, Pg. 11
[6] Kementerian Kebudayaan, Belia dan Sukan Malaysia, Dasar Matlamat dan Strategi Pembinaan Kebudayaan Kebangsaan, Kuala Lumpur.
[7] Redza Pyadasa (1992), today’s Malaysian Seen Through Art, Contemporary Malysian Art, The Japan Faundation ASEAN Culture Gallery. Pg. 12
[8] Bakar Zain (1998), Mencari Imej Malaysia, Dialog Sastra, Seni Rupa dan Seni Bina, Yayasan Seni, Perak.
[9] Kok Chren (2000), 10/2000, 10 artins for year 2000, Art Salon Bangsar Baru Kuala Lumpur.
[10] David Kanansky (1988), Contemporary Painting of Malaysia, Balai Seni Lukis Negaram Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Pg 13
[11] Rush Hashim (1999), Jai – Drawing with the minds eyes, Kuala Lumpur
[12] Ibit, Pg. 21
[13] Iqball Abdul Rahim (2001), JAI, Gallerie Taksu, Kuala Lumpur.
[14] Hani Ahmad (1995), Art and Sprituality, Balai Seni Lukis Negara Kuala Lumpur.
[15] Sharifah Zuriah Al Jaffri (1995), Contempolary Malaysian Art, Balai Seni Lukis Negara, Kuala Lumpur. Pg. 7
[16] Sulaiman Esa (1992), Identiti Islam dalam Seni Rupa Malaysia, Pencapaian dan Cabaran, Balai seni Lukis Negara Kuala Lumpur. Pg 20
[17] Redza Pyadasa (1992), today’s Malaysian Seen Through Art, Contemporary Malysian Art, The Japan Faundation ASEAN Culture Gallery. Pg. 12
[18] Tajuddin Ismail (2003), Forum Malaysia Contemporary Art Class Master 2003, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Shah Alam.
[19] Ibit
[20] Sulaiman Esa (1992), Identiti Islam dalam Seni Rupa Malaysia, Pencapaian dan Cabaran, Balai seni Lukis Negara Kuala Lumpur. Pg 20


‘IDEA’ is defined as: a frame of reference and to explore the subject or issue from the artist into the art form.

1. Thoughts that the artist has about how to do an artwork or how to deal with an artwork base on time and problem they facing.
2. An opinion or belief the artist brings or brought comes from inside the artist and they try to express it through arts.
3. Haw an imagine something to be from non-arts from to arts and how from nothing to become something.
4. Information or knowledge that the artist and they try to relate it to public by creating an artwork.
5. A purpose or intention for other to understand what the artist fill and what is inside the artist mind by their art creation.
6. A principle no matter how oath it is arts is still art, some can understand the principle or ideas of arts same can’t.

An idea or theory is like a building or structure developing an idea is like building something and destroying an idea is like destroying a building.[i]
This forum was mainly base of how the changing process of presenting arts style from the perfect combination, arrangement, history, royalty and bible story to the idealism modern arts were art were presented by the definition of the artist itself and the arts come from the artist them self. As said in the book by Harold Rosenberg (1972) “In the last century, it was believed that the exclusion of subject matter (landscape, people, family scenes, historical episodes symbols) form painting would disentangle the image on the cavers from literary associations and clear the way for a direct response of the eye to optical data, In becoming more and more abstract, art is supposed to have attained or been reduced to speechlessness”[ii] . It also a discussion of the ‘IDEA’ that bring out by an artist is more importance than the artwork itself. By referring to an interview to Andy Warhol “Why is The Chelsea Girls art?” he reflected, and answered. “Will, first of all, it was made by an artist, and, second, that would come out as art.”[iii]. These are the stand that he has made for the public to know that, it’s the artist who makes the decision about the art, which make the art an art. This is the one of the statements that has brought us back to the importance of ‘IDEA’ in arts.

Pic 1: Andy Warhol, 1966

The ‘IDEA’ can be a principal of manifesto from the artist in to the artwork but the whole concept and idea still inside the artist them self. As Harold Rosenberg (1972) has point out, “In reality, however, an artist is a product of art – I mean a particular art. The artist does not exist except as a personification, a figure of speech that represents the sum total of art itself”[iv]. In my understanding for this matter, it is shown how an artist have their own right to express their creativity and ‘IDEA’ can be brought up from an artist without any static guideline to follow or obey. An artwork by an artist can be beautiful on its own as an artwork as long the artist know and declared it as an artistic work. As said by Charles Baudelaire when defending Richard Wagner as a critic in Herschel B. Chipp (1968) book, he wrote these impassioned words, “A man who reasons so much about his art is not capable of naturally producing beautiful works”[v]. This has proved that the artworks can stand as an expression and a principle of the artist. An art is the frontier for them to communicate with their spectator or viewers. Arts do not just limit to certain media, for example oil on cavers, watercolor on paper or mix media but it is also can be presented by a readymade objects. Maybe when the public has admired the artworks with the ready-made of objects it brings a deferent meaning to them base on their experience and observation.

The main focus of the discussion for this issue is more to the artwork title ‘Bicycle Wheels’ by Mr. Marcel Duchamp in world of arts and also some of the artwork by Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, which can be related to Duchamp style. Ready-made objects, found objects, pop art and art to the mass also in the discussion were mainly to give more information to how an ‘IDEA’ is the key word in producing artwork than the artist them self.

As what we can see, art as ‘IDEA’ with a ready-made object is the main discussion in this forum. To make the concept clearly understanding by me, I have decided to make the ready-made objects arts as my forces issue. As what we already discuss the ready-made objects art has denying all the artistic process to create arts. For example the artwork ‘Bicycle Wheels’ by Marcel Duchamp were it has challenge the boundary of the artistic process of art, the prentice that has been done for …. As said by Norbert Lynton in his book (1981) “He was saying that what determines the art-ness of the work of art is the artist’s intention – not skill, not originality, not strong feeling, but the artist’s will and act. What counts is not the object but the idea, the conception. It seems arrogant – because it does not start by justifying the artist’s right to be an artist. But Duchamp’s attitude is only an inversion of our attitude to the idea of a great artist. It is an extension, perhaps to nonsensical lengths, of the Romantic nation of the artist as a super human genius, required to be very new and very lawless and yet terribly profound”[vi]. In this quote, he emphasizes what Duchamp has done and bring out from the definition of ‘IDEA’.
Pic 2: Marcel Duchamp : Bicycle Wheels

‘Bicycle Wheels’ an artwork that been reproduce for twenty-one times[vii] and has been an art collection by galleries, museums and art collectors. Marcel Duchamp have crate it by using a ready-made object, a bicycle wheels and a kitchen stool with a simple construction that assembled the two object that have a lot of aesthetic appeal were he ignore all the artistic process. Here we can see how he has demolished the process of coloring, observation technique, rendering, combination and others into artwork. In Herschel B. Chipp books (1968) je said, “Marcel Duchamp (b. 1887) in Paris had anticipated its light-hearted assaults on traditional ideas, While in New York during World War I, he continued working on a series of “ready-mades,” which have new become a kind of touchstone for the contemporary admiration for commonplace and junk objects”[viii] . In my opinion, when Marchel Duchamp working with this piece of artwork he deliberately ignore the traditional way of creating arts. His interest was only to make something that is not art into an art form. And to challenge the art society that, how can one produce an artwork from something that not art. His arguments are to define that an ‘IDEA’ of an artist are the focal point, it can be a combination of all experience and agenda into arts and the public may consume, admire and communicate with the artwork base on their personal view and contact.

When we talking with the ready-made object artwork, we can see the entire modern artist have the influence of Marcel Duchamp work, but there are some adjustments when the artists already make same treatment and additional approach with new perspective to the readymade objects. Because of that it’s already have a new value were civilization, historical, psychological, political, sociological, theological, religion and sciences. For instance an artwork by Jeff Koon’s, a modern artist who also have some influence by Marcel Duchamp to create his work. Here he have use a ready-made object for his artwork, where an electrical home appliance that is a vacuum has become his chosen object for his artwork title ‘New Hoover Celebrity IV, New Hoover Convertible, New Shelton 5 Gallon Wet/Dry, New Shelton 10 Gallon Wet/Dry Double Decker’ (1981/86). Just like Duchamp, he has used these ready-made objects and recompiles it purposed into art. From this artwork it clearly shown how he use a few units vacuum without any alteration to it and he arrange the vacuum to a double decked acrylic glass structure and fluorescent light, to represent the social status in the late-twentieth-century. As when I refer into his web site by Tate (2001) there a statement said “He immaculate replicas of domestic products, advertisement, kitsch toys and models exercised an enthusiastic endorsement of unlimited consumption, unlike the veiled criticism of some work of the first generation of Pop Artist. Koon’s perceived Western civilization as a driven society, flattered by narcissistic images and with a voracious appetite for glamorous commodities”[ix]. It is clear enough how he tries to relate his art work with the consumer product that represent and reflect to the modern world and to be firmed on his statement in his art. This is how he represents the contradictory attitude towards consumer culture in it.

Pic 3: Jeff Koons : New Hoover Celebrity IV, New Hoover Convertible, New Shelton 5 Gallon Wet/Dry, New Shelton 10 Gallon Wet/Dry Double Decker (1981/86)

The method and analysis should be base on sociological approach, were the ready-made objects the artist have choose was connected to social problems at his origins during that time. Since we tend to ask WHY, HOW and WHEN it happens. WHAT contribute the consequences? We just have a look at Jeff Koon’s history of working, after leaving Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore (BA 1976), he started working in to membership department of the Museum of Modern art and after that him working with the Wall Street brokerage house. With those experiences seem to be the acute awareness of affinity with the consumer goods as his arts object to his idea. When he chooses the vacuum cleaner, it has been classified as monuments to sterility. Where in the modern days people are particular do the cleanness and how it symbolize the wealth, happiness and control in the modern society. By arranging the deferent value of vacuum to a double decked acrylic glass and fluorescent light, he seems to show how some value have been given to the status of the society at that time. The value of luxury of the consumer product in the artwork he created. As he have said in Dr. Andreas C Papadakis books (1989) “ I don’t seek to make consumer icons but to decode why and how consumer objects are glorified and the show is about how (the upper) class controls the class structure by propounding, through information, the desire for luxury and abstraction above people’s level of education”[x].But don’t forget he also shown us how civilization has made the boundary to one community of society. During the time he did this piece of artwork (this is not the only version) he tries to reflect the commercial systems of the modern world were he said that the upper class is always try to dominates the whole system by their knowledge and information there have. This is what has contributed him to represent the status of society with these particular ready-made objects. He has given a new meaning from ordinary vacuum to become an icon for the modern society.

Now days ‘ART AS AN IDEA’ has dominate the style of modern arts. It has become the main concern whenever artist creating their artwork, because in the modern world today, the public wants to buy the ‘IDEA’ not only the artwork. The artwork can be fancy as it can be, but the ‘IDEA’ to create it that counts. It is the important topic in the modern art movement at this very moment. It was a privilege or specialty that the artists have compared to the ordinary people. And how certain it is when the ready-made objects can be purely conceptual and the artist can approaches the mind of the spectators to admire and approach the artwork with their own perception and observation. By my understanding, if we want to break all the rules of the artistic tradion, just follow Duchamp reasoned were you have to begin by discarding its fundamental value: beauty and artisanship. This has brought out that the importance of the ‘IDEA’ in the modern society, not the artwork. It shown how an artist do not have to follow the foot step of discipline that been follow for decade but artist them self that make works of art that not ‘arts’ to arts.

[i] (2002) Macmillan English Dictionary, Macmillan Publishers Limited. Pg 706
[ii] Harold Rosenberg (1972), The De-definition of Art, Action Art to Pop to Earthworks, Horizon Press New York. Pg 55
[iii] Harold Rosenberg (1972), The De-definition of Art, Action Art to Pop to Earthworks, Horizon Press New York. Pg 12
[iv] Harold Rosenberg (1972), The De-definition of Art, Action Art to Pop to Earthworks, Horizon Press New York. Pg 13
[v] Herschel B. Chipp (1968), Theories of Modern Art, A source Book by Artist and Critics, University of California Press. Pg 4
[vi] (1981) British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data, Looking at Art, Kingfisher Books Limited. Pg 144
[vii] Andrew Stafford, Making sense of Marcel Duchamp,
[viii] Herschel B. Chipp (1968), Theories of Modern Art, A source Book by Artist and Critics, University of California Press. Pg 8
[ix] (2001), Tate,
[x] Dr. Andreas C. Papadakes, New York New Art, St. Martin’s Press. Pg 45