Monday, 8 December 2008

Art: Life-like relief!


Norazlan with his relief painting titled Jambu Air.
Norazlan with his relief painting titled Jambu Air.

This depiction of pitcher plants is the second evolution of Norazlan’s wood-clay medium.
This depiction of pitcher plants is the second evolution of Norazlan’s wood-clay medium.

Is it wood? Is it clay? Actually, it’s both. Norazlan Ahmad tells SATIMAN JAMIN how he found inspiration to create a new medium for his art.

What sets Norazlan Ahmad, 32, apart from other amateur painters is that while others try to shine with outstanding artworks, he grabs attention for having invented and perfected a new medium for his art.

Although his relief paintings are nothing less than awe-inspiring, the medium he has used to create them invariably steals the show as people who see his art for the first time cannot resist asking him about it.

Not that Norazlan, 32, minds. In fact, he is quite pleased to answer questions about his choice of medium and takes pains to explain about the virtues of the new medium which he has named kayu liat or wood-clay. As the name suggests, it combines the characteristics of both wood and clay without the fully mimicking either.

“As a relief painter, I want to explore the field and bring it to a new level of acceptance. The traditional medium of choice, like clay or plaster of Paris, are too rigid and cannot provide the versatility that I want,” says the primary school art teacher.

Norazlan credits Idris Hashim Salleh, his lecturer at the Kuala Terengganu Teachers Training College, with inspiring him to create the new medium. His experiments with various types of media five years ago resulted in the use of kayu liat. However, kayu liat proved very difficult to form and once it went hard, cracks would appear.

“The cracks caused the finished painting to be fragile and to come apart easily when disturbed,” he said.

Such early setbacks did not discourage Norazlan who was determined to improve the new medium, making changes and modifications until he was satisfied. “I improved the formulation of the wood-clay one step at a time and its progress or evolution can be seen on my relief paintings,” he says.

His perseverance has paid off and today, he can make life-like relief paintings with a vastly improved wood-clay compound that remains pliant and bouncy when dry.

Ironically, his relief paintings were once classified as an assemblage because the tree branches depicted were so lifelike that people thought he had glued real branches onto the canvas!

The branches that he kneaded out of wood-clay not only had the texture of wood but were also tough and pliant like the real thing, with lifelike leaves and fruit on them.

“Unlike clay or plaster of Paris, kayu-liat does not harden when dried, so it will not disintegrate when dropped or hit by a hard object,” says Norazlan who only paints in his spare time.

“I am willing to accept orders for wood-clay artworks but I cannot give a definite date for the completion as I am holding a full-time job.”

Even during the school holidays, time is precious as he is pursuing a degree in Teaching Of Visual Arts at the Teachers Training Institute.

“Art is just a way for me to express myself. My duty is to impart knowledge to my students,” he says.

He and fellow artist Ilshah Shahbir have formed Komuniti Pelukis Hutan Bandar, a programme that allows budding painters — from students to amateurs — to hold mini exhibitions at the Hutan Bandar Recreation Area in Johor Baru on weekends. There will be one such exhibition on Dec 28.

“I want to develop wood-clay that can replace ferro-cement in a reverse evolution of an arts medium so that society can find practical uses for it,” he says.

Indeed, he is as tough and resilient as the kayu-liat he invented. Touch wood... the artist seems destined to achieve greater things in the future.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Rentetan Ringkas Kehidupan Saya

31/05/76 : lahir

1992/1993 : SPM(V) automotif dan SKM asas ( tak ada kertas seni )

1994 : tingkatan 6 ( 4 bulan je)

1994/1995 : Akademi Saga (EON) di shah alam

1995 hingga 1997: Mekanik di pusat servis EON Gleanmary Shah Alam

1996/1997 : ambil Kursus Luar Kampus ITM Shah Alam ( Dip. Kej. mekanikal) tak habis pun sebab masuk maktab

1997- 2000 : Dip. perguruan Malaysia (Maktab Perguruan Kota Bharu) kursus Pengajian Melayu/Kemahiran Hidup

2000- skrg : mengajar di Sk Taman Universiti 1 ( BM, KH, PSV, PJK )

2001- sekarang : ketua Panitia Seni hingga sekarang ( belajar sendiri segalanya)

2001 : Dapat ilham buat Kayuliat. Buat karya yang kurang unsur artistiknya sebab tak pernah belajar pun tentang tu

2002 : kayuliat menjadi lebih mantap

2003 : kayuliat proses membuatnya lebih mudah.

2003 : mohon PKPG (x dapat) Maktab Perguruan Melayu Melaka

2004 : mohon PKPG (x dapat) Maktab Perguruan Batu Pahat

2005/2006 : Sijil Perguruan Khas (kspk) Pendidikan Seni Visual Maktab Perguruan Kuala Terengganu ( baru kenal unsur seni, water colour, akrilik, cat minyak dan sebagainya ) mata hati baru terbuka.

2005 : Menang saguhati antara 8 terbaik pertandingan Citra Terengganu. Keyakinan diri dalam bidang seni bermula

2006 : pameran di hotel primula terengganu

2006 : pameran lanskap malaysia ( balai seni lukis negara )

7/2006 : kembali ke sekolah yang sama sk taman universiti 1

2007 : mula aktif di johor Menganjur Sendiri Pameran relief painting di dangga bay street mall ( pamerkan karya saya dan anak murid selama 1 bulan)

2007 : pameran di Hotel Mutiara JB selama 2 bulan ( uji diri/karya untuk tatapan masyarakat) buat demo hampir setiap hari balik sekolah pukul 5 petang hingga 12 malam ( letih )

2007 : Berbincang dengan Pihak MBJB untuk projek komuniti Seni di HutanBandar ( disokong sepenuhnya )

2007 : Menganjur Preview Seni @ hutanbandar Kali pertama ( berjaya mengumpul 13 orang pelukis )

2007 : Pameran Exhibition of Malaysia Art Competition- Renewed Group & Johor Art Society

2008 : mewujudkan program demontrasi seni setiap hujung minggu di Hutanbandar ( hasrat untuk kumpul semua pengiat seni berkumpul dan berkarya di hutanbandar ) beri peluang kepada sesiapa yang minat seni untuk uji tanggapan masyarakat pada karyanya secara percuma.

2008 : Menganjur Pameran Sempena Keputraan Sultan Johor di Hutanbandar

2008 : Pameran Pelukis-pelukis Malaysia - Galeri Mawar JB

2008 : Program Merakyatkan Seni di Batu pahat- KEKWA

2008 : Program Merakyatkan Seni di Segamat - KEKWA Pameran Terbuka Galeri Shah Alam

2008 : Mengikuti program Pensiswazahan guru sekolah rendah (PGSR) kursus semasa cuti di Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Cawangan Tun Hussein Onn, Batu Pahat

Friday, 14 November 2008

Keluar di New Straits Time ( JOHOR BUZZ ) 13/11/2008

Amateurs shine at JAG show

Satiman Jamin

THERE are world-class hidden arts talent in Johor waiting to be discovered and the authorities would do well to provide them with the necessary avenues to polish their talents.

The ongoing Johor Amateur Painters' Exhibition at the Johor Arts Gallery showed that apart from beautiful paintings, young artists here can come up with thought-provoking installations and new provocative arts media.

More than 20 artists from Johor, with nearly 60 paintings, sculptures and installations took part in the exhibition.

Among them are Malay and Chinese calligraphers.

Dubbed “Aliran” or “Stream”, the exhibition highlights the quest of the amateur artists to find their style and technique.

Apart from immersing themselves in the beauty of the art pieces, visitors are coaxed to engage with the thought-provoking installation art by among others, budding artist Mohd Azhar Mohtar, 28.

Slabs of varnished wood with truncated Jawi inscriptions are lined on the floor in a circle in Azhar's installation “Ba.alif.cha.lam.ha”.

The cryptic title is the phonetic rendering of “baca lah”, or “read”, and refers to the slabs of beautiful calligraphy arranged on the floor instead of hung from a wall.

Azhar said he wanted visitors, especially Malay youths, to reflect on the current state of Jawi, which has been neglected in the quest for modernisation despite it being once the mainstay of Malay literature.

“Nowadays, Jawi calligraphy is mainly seen on art pieces, hung from the wall while Jawi literature has fallen to its lowest point with not enough readership even to sustain a Jawi newspaper in the country,” he said, explaining the message behind the art piece.

He said although his commissioned art works normally involved portraits, he only brought his most thought-provoking paintings and installations to the exhibition.

“I take it as my social responsibility as an artist to raise awareness about issues through my art.”

Just a few paces from his art piece there was another “puzzling” work.

The relief painting by Norazlan Ahmad, 32, uses kayu liat or wood-clay to make his paintings come to life, especially his newest one titled “Jambu Air”.

It was so life-like, it looked like a branch of the jambu air tree had sprung out of the frame. One almost expected to see a worm next to a leaf with an elongated worm hole in the middle of it.

Admired by fellow artists for the revolutionary medium that he had perfected, Norazlan has had only two years of formal education in art.

“I went for an art course at the Batu Rakit Education Institute in Terengganu from 2005 to 2006 and what I had learned during the course led me to create the wood-clay medium as my identity.”

Norazlan said the government should provide a studio for youths interested in the arts.

“Established artists could guide the youths to develop their talents further.”

Norazlan took steps to promote the arts by liaising with the Johor Baru City Council so that 20 budding artists could hold mini exhibitions at the Hutan Bandar recreational park.

“By holding exhibitions and painting demonstrations there from time to time, we could reach different segments of society at one go.”

Still, it was not all revolutionary art works at the Johor Baru exhibition.

Hariri Yusof's watercolours received lavish praise for capturing sill-life in all their glory.

He captured the smooth texture of the young coconuts and play of light on them and the palm fronds.

Hariri said the paintings have received good reviews and online sales order.

Youth and Sports Ministry state director Mohd Ghani Mohd Yusof opened the exhibition on Sunday.

It will run until the end of December.

Visiting hours are 9am to 4.30pm daily, except on public holidays. For information, call 07-2263266.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

relief painting kayuliat

Pada tahun 2001, saya telah mula mengkaji media baru dalam menghasilkan karya saya. Media yang saya gunakan adalah daripada habuk kayu yang saya proses menjadi seperti doh atau tanah liat.
  • Beberapa tahun pertama saya menghadapi beberapa masalah dengan penggunaan media tersebut seperti merekah dan sukar untuk dibentuk. namun begitu beberapa tahun kebelakangan ini media itu telah menjadi lebih baik dan tahan diuji.
  • Fungsinya seperti tanah liat dan plastisin, namun baiknya media yang saya namakan sebagai kayuliat ini lebih mudah penggunaanya berbanding tanah liat. Jika tanah liat memerlukan pembakaran untuk ia menjadi benar-benar keras. Sebaliknya kayuliat yang Allah ilhamkan pada saya ini hanya perlu terdedah pada suhu bilik untuk menjadi keras.
  • Kayuliat ini lebih elastik dan tidak mudah pecah sekiranya jatuh seperti tanah liat atau seramik. Apa yang lebih menarik, media ini tidak perlu dibakarkan untuk keras, memadailah dibiarkan terdedah pada udara.
  • Kayuliat ini juga boleh disimpan lama dan tidak keras di dalam bekas kedap udara.
  • Saya telah mendedahkan karya saya menggunakan media ini pada khalayak umum. Pendedahan pertama saya adalah dalam pertandingan Citra Terengganu anjuran Muzium Negeri Terengganu pada tahun 2005. Dalam pertandingan tersebut karya saya telah mendapat anugerah antara 8 karya terbaik. Anugerah tersebut telah menguatkan semangat saya untuk terus meneroka media kayuliat.
  • Pada tahun 2006 karya saya telah terpilih untuk menyertai pameran di Hotel Primula Kuala Terengganu dan Pameran Landskap Malaysia 2006 anjuran Balai Seni Lukis Negara. Walaupun karya saya terpilih dan dokumentasikan dalam buku pameran, malangnya tiada ulasan diberi kepada karya saya yang saya katogerikan sebagai relief painting atau catan timbul. Mungkin kerana tiada maklumat yang mencukupi tentang karya saya lantas tiada komen atau pandangan diberi terhadap karya saya.
  • Sekali imbas karya saya mungkin dipanggil sebagai 'assemblge' atau menampal benda sebenar di atas panel atau kanvas. saya tidak menampal benda sebaliknya saya membentuknya di atas panel. Mungkin kerana bentuknya yang seperti benar membuatkan mereka mengatakanya 'assemblge' namun apa yang jelasnya ia berbeza dari segi penggunaan meterial atau prosesnya. Itulah cabarannya.
  • Apabila saya mengkatogerikan karya saya sebagai 'painting; atau catan, timbul juga kekeliruan apabila bentuk karya saya adalah gabungan beberapa bentuk 3 D dan 2 D. Ini berlaku apabila saya menyertai pertandingan 'Malaysian Art Competition 2007 di Johor Bahru. Pada peringkat awalnya 2 karya catan relief saya terpilih untuk pameran pertandingan tersebut, namun keputusannya berubah apabila pihak penganjur takut mengklasfikasikan karya saya sebagai 'painting'. Nasib baik bersama 2 Karya catan relief tersebut saya sertakan juga satu oil paint semi abstrak dan karya oil paint saya ini terpilih untuk pameran tersebut.
  • Catan relief bukanlah satu karya yang baru, malah usianya juga telah lebih seribu tahun. Karya tersebut dihasilkan menggunakan meterial batu, kayu, seramik dan juga plaster. Jika ingin mendapat rujukan lebih tentang jenis karya ini, bolehlah rujuk dalam buku berjudul 'The Visual Dialogue' karya Nathan Knobler.
  • Catan relief ini adalah gabungan ciri seni catan dan seni arca, dan pada amnya kaedah pengambaran dan peraturannya adalah agak sama dengan kaedah seni catan. Antara karya yang boleh jadi rujukan ialah The Story of Jacob and Esau karya Lorenzo Ghiberti dari Itali pada tahun 1453. Selain itu karya berjudul Still Life with Musical Instruments oleh Jacques Lipchitz pada tahun 1918 yang bersifat sama seperti seni kubis hasil karya Pablo Picasso yang berjudul Pipe, Glass, Bottle of Rum tahun 1914. Semua contoh karya tersebut menggunakan media batu.
  • Hari ini jika anda mencari karya relief painting di internet. beribu karya relief painting yang akan anda lihat. namun bezanya karya mereka dengan karya saya ialah dari segi penggunaan media atau bahannya. Kebanyakan karya pelukis relief di seluruh dunia adalah menggunakan seramik, ukiran kayu, tampalan kad board atau papan lapis.
  • Saya akan terus berkarya menggunakan bahan kayuliat saya. Walaupun sukar di terima dan diragui, perjuangan akan tetap saya teruskan. penyelidikan dan penambahbaikan akan sentiasa saya lakukan.