Excerpts From Mastura’s Diary As An Artist-Researcher
Mastura recorded sort of a diary for her previous research on ‘The Process of Making and Exhibiting a Multimedia Art Project’. These excerpts illustrated her experiences with multimedia.
Excerpts from the Artist’s Diary & Notes: Mastura A Rahman
23rd May 2005
Until 1993/4, my images were still. They are not moving! They are paper cutouts, drawn or painted. I depended on the design elements of color and shape to represent them in my paintings. There were always combinations and rearrangements of the images represented. Eventually, the design principle of repetition, either in the use of the images and compositional considerations, became dominant in the paintings.
18th June 2004
I began to use a computer in mid 1990s. It was to write notes, keep the class attendance and as such. I began to know Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel and began exploring them. Though the software is basics and considered simple to use, I found them fascinating as I could now animate my images. My images are finally moving!
20th April 2004
Experiences visiting and exhibiting art in Singapore, Kassel and Amsterdam in the late 1990s reintroduced me to the moving images. I saw potentials and excitement in artworks done with multimedia tools. Discussions with fellow artists further convince me that multimedia are just tools like pencils, pens, brush, chisels and gouges. They are extensions of the artist’s hands.
7th August 2003
Working with multimedia made me aware of the element of time, audio as well as motion or animation. These elements do not appear in two or three-dimensional compositions. The presentation of the images hence has more alternatives. I feel that my images could provide more meaningful messages.
5th February 2005
Suddenly the images are much more meaningful. I feel that I could translate my emotion and thoughts easier _ layers after layers of animation, layers after layers of colors _ a somewhat definite or up to the artist’s story lines could always be constructed. Stories, however mixed-up, always carry meaning _ projecting an idea or a thought, and the manipulation of images through multimedia means could enhance the stories.
22nd September 2004
Further working with multimedia introduces me to digital equipment such as camera and video. I could directly capture my intended images to be later manipulated with certain software. The manipulation brought me back to the understanding of still images where basic pictorial elements and principles are essential considerations.
26th January 2005
My images are somewhat nostalgic in certain ways. Images from the Traditional Malay arts are very close to me. They are not totally historical but much more cultural. The images are still in use throughout the Malay societies though maybe now in different contexts and situation. I am proud to understand that past traditional Malay artists and designers were very close and learn their ways through their natural surrounding. In the visual arts, metaphors created from nature were translated in geometric and abstract images.