Off Walls Off Pedestals

Arca | Sculptures

Jerteh Studio/Workshop | 1988

Sculpture is the major works of art that I worked on from mid-1980s through mid-1990s. Working mainly with wood, I have produced two series of sculptures, Teleng and Gunung Daik.

Teleng was inspired by the works of my father, Malay keris’s hilts and wood-carvings, and was done in Jerteh from 1987 through 1988. I was then influenced by the works of Modern Masters; such as that of Henry Moore, Constantine Brancusi, and Barbara Hepworth.

Gunung Daik was created from 1989 through mid-1990s in Shah Alam and Klang. It was derivations from my workings and references from primitive and tribal sculptures of the Southeast Asian and Asia-Pacific regions. At the time, I was looking into Alberto Giacometti’s sculptures and Primitivism. The series also saw some works done in wires.

Apart from Teleng and Gunung Daik, I also produce what I called the Carving Exercises. It comprises of my woodcarvings done either in relief-panels or columns. It does not represent any underpinning messages but pure carvings to substantiate my craftsmanship, hence the name: Carving Exercises. It is also the times I examine my hand tools – the chisels, gouges, knives, saws, drills etceteras – mend, sharpen and put together almost anything related to the craft.

Carving Exercises dated back from my ITM student-days learning drawing. We were encouraged to look into decorative motifs of the Malays, the Nusantara and other indigenous people to somehow incorporate into new compositions. I was particularly interested with the geometric Anyaman and Songket motifs, as well as the curvilinear movements in the Ukiran Melayu. I mixed the motifs into relief and column compositions, and it went along with me through the makings of Teleng and Gunung Daik until now.

* Many sculptures were not well-documented during the early 1990s when they appeared in various exhibitions, thus there are no complete records, particularly on their sizes and whereabouts.



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