Monday, January 28, 2008

Clay Pottery Making Under The Starfruit Tree.


















Beberapa tahun yg lalu sekitar tahun 2000,tiba-tiba saja aku diserang perasaan ingin sangat nak buat pasu tanah liat sendiri.Setelah 11 tahun dalam bidang fine porcelain.Akhirnya teringin nak try test buat sendiri.Kalau boleh dengan kos yg paling minima!Simple but manageable.


Masa student dulu aku ambil pottery sebagai subject elective tapi firing dan glazing tuu pakai
perkakas dept pottery punya jadi taklah berapa kick.Masa kerja pulak, aku cuma suruh saja,everything org lain yang buatkan. So this time rasa nak buat everything sendiri,with my own barehand.Pembantu kena adalah jugak!

Aku bersama 2 orang rakan pun mulalah membuat dapur atau gok atau kiln betul-betul bawah
pokok Belimbing yang sudah tua di Kg. Bunut Payung.Dapur tuu diperbuat daripda bata merahbersalut dengan tanah beris bercampur lumpur.Bentuknya macam busut anai-anai.Mula-mula testing bakar dapur jadi retak merkah!Fikir punya fikir,tanya punya tanya... akhir dapat maklumat yang mengatakan mamak yang jual roti nan buat dapur pakai tanah campur air gula.Kami pun test... resultnya pun jadi OK!

Nak buat mesin pembancuh pula terpaksa beli motor dan ubah buat frame besi,belanja dekatRM 1000.00 barulah beres projek ni..Tanah liat pula satu lori RM 70.00 daripada Gunong.Yang hebatnya... tanah liat yang 70.00 ringgit ini sampai sekarang tak habis-habis.Sebabnya ...ini projek part time lover. Ada masa buat........ takda masa sejuk beku macam ais.Berbulan tak sentuh langsung.Sibuk!....maklum sajalah. Alasan......!?

Walaupun sejak bebudak lagi aku dah main tanah liat tapi dia punya thrill !!! Memang macambudak-budak jugaklah...Seronok tak tau nak habag!!Macam therapy...masalah hilang bila start main tanah liat.All problem gone with the wind! Sama macam buat painting dan jugak memancing.Banyak jugak design pasu yg aku dah buat.Ada jugak yang kena beli.Bila laku tuu..
seronok aje feelnya....
Koleksi-koleksi ini hanyalah sebahagian saja,yg lain tuu... aku letak kat kedai di Berek 12.
TRANSLATION IN ENGLISH.
Few years back in year 2000,I was suddenly hijacked by the feeling and urging sense
to create clay pottery again.After 11 years in fine porcelain business,the urge came in pushing
me to touch and play with the dirt.This time,with minimum spending and manageable cost.
I just jump in.......
During my student days in art school, I just take pottery class as an elective subject only.
All material and firing was done and provided by using school equipment,so it is not that thrill!!!
Same goes in the factory, while working....everything was done by somebody else while
you simply just give instruction and they'll do it for you. That is the case,so...this time I will
do it with my own barehand.... after all those years.
Nevertheless assistance was also on hand...
Two of my friends gladly offer their help in starting making the kiln.The kiln foundation was
done right under the old starfruit three at Bunut Payung village.It was made by bricks and layer of dirt and sand in the form of ant hill.
Right after the first firing,the kiln starts cracking and the walls loosing its grip.We just
start asking around on how to fix it and found out that the old Indian Bakery who used
to make the bread was using melted sugar mixed with sand as to make the wall tougher.
We copy it, and walla!!!the result came out with flying colours.
2nd, is the mixer,I had to cashed RM 1000.00 just to create a nice mixer with metal frame,
easy and small for handling.Also spend just RM 70.00 to buy dirt cheap natural clay more
than 7 tons in one big truck. Guess what??? The clay last until today and never really depleted
because my burning drive only last for a few month and then stop. Re start again and then
stop again.. off an on.That is why the clay never really finish....
Anyhow, since I was a kid, the idea of playing with a clay was like a dream came true, a thrill
of great sensation.There is not even a word can explain the moment you start touching the clay, you play around, and as a kid before this... you just never know how to explain it.
Actually it is like a therapy session.All problems really gone with the wind..just like when you do paintings or maybe go fishing...hmmm..
There is few design which I thought was beautifully executed,some of the good piece was sold
and I felt real good about it.The picture taken here was just few of the pieces and
the rest of the item I just put it in a shop nearby...... at Berek 12.






Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Walk In The Stream After Ismail Zain.




Ismail Zain atau panggilan mesranya yang biasa dipanggil 'Pak Mail' oleh ramai student dan juga pensyarah adalah Tuan Guru yang terulung pernah mengajar aku Drawing di Fine Art School dulu. Dia juga aku kategorikan sebagai The Grand
Master Artist Of Malaysia who was once upon a time had taught me how to really draw.Aku akan sentiasa menganggapnya sebagai Legenda yang terhebat di Malaysia dalam Seni Tampak.

Orangnya sederhana,bersuara serak-serak basah 'husky',garau bukan sembarangan,penuh dengan enigmanya yang tersendiri.Tapi aku ni...pulak agaknya antara anak-anak muridnya yang tak berapa jadi kot?!


Dalam studio,ada sekali tuu... tatkala mula briefing pasal drawing,tiba-tiba suaranya
terhenti,menghala mukanya ke pintu dan terus dia keluar dari studio.Senyap & terchengang kami!Mana pulak dia nak pergi...
sebentar kemudian ada rakan bagi tau.. dia tengah relax minum kat kantin tingkat bawah!

Ada sekali tu,bila kami tak bagi respon dengan soalan-soalannya,kami terus dichop
sebagai kambing aqiqah.Dungu!Selamba!! Senang!!!bila-bila pun kasi tarik dan sembelih.....
Aduh!!! adoi...kami ni..macam art student nii = kambing Qeqah...padan muka kami!

Ada waktunya sekali tuu..dia menunjukkan
nat dengan lukisan aku sambil menyatakan
"ini dah OK!Kalau hempas pintu studio kuat-kuat pun tak jatuh!!! Aku
pun ter????? Agaknya dia puji aku kot???

Aku juga pernah ke kebun buahnya somewhere kat Negeri Sembilan rasanya?!!
Bermalam di pondok kat tepi sungai,berbual pasal seni,pokok pisang,durian,sungai,durian,
sungai, ikan dan macam-macam lagi.Ada jugak sekali-sekala bermalam dirumahnya di Ampang sambil duduk atas 'kusyen tukang gunting rambut' koleksinya.Puan Wairah pun ada jugak sekali sekala melayan kami.Syokk......nya...waktu-waktu macam tuu!Setianya aku waktu itu persis anak murid mengaji di sekolah pondok. Oooii...dapat berkat tok guru...! !!

Dia jugalah yang bersungguh-sungguh menyuruh aku dan Hasnul menggunakan namanya
untuk mendapatkan bisnes tatkala aku mula membuka Art & Design Services atau NNT
di Damansara.Katanya "anak saya make a lot of money....guna nama sayala!..tak apa!!..."
Akhirnya dapat jugak kami bisnes rekaset pentas di KL CityHall ketika itu.Tok Guru punya pasal....kira OK!la...

Ada sekali tu...di awal mengenalinya aku memberanikan diri menyuarakan pandangan aku tentang karyanya Al-Rumi sekitar tahun1986-87 semasa pameran seni Digitalnya yang terulung.Dalam keriuhan majlis,aku mendekatinya sambil berkata "ada persimmon bersama-sama manggis".Dia hanya mengangguk tanda setuju.Terus aku selamba dan direct meminta maksud kata-kata Al-Rumi "I have lived on the lip of insanity wanting to know reason,knocking on a door ..............Its open,I've been knocking from the inside" memohon diberitahu. "Hmm..someday you will......." sambil berlalu melayani tetamu-tetamu kehormat yang lain. Makna dan Icon dalam karya Ismail Zain memang hebat walaupun ketika itu Digital printing nya terlalu sederhana yang juga membawa pengertian tersendirinya.

Ironinya,kata-kata Al-Rumi inilah yang bertahun-tahun menghambat aku mencari maknanya
di perantauan.Bayangkan tercari-cari maknanya sepertimana aku yang mudanya ketika itu menyusuri makna- makna kehidupan.Namun tatkala aku di Mexico dulu, suatu hari aku tersentak bangun dari separuh tidur.Terkejutnya aku!Makna kata-kata Al Rumi tiba-tiba berada didepan mata.
Terus rasa tak sabar ingin menaliponnya memberitahu bahawa aku telah menemui maknanya
kata-kata Al Rumi itu. Aku terus call rakanku Hasnul yang ketika itu berada di Albany New York, ingin bertanya khabar Pak Mail dan.........alangkah terkejut dan kecewanya aku bila
di beritahu yang Pak Mail baru saja meninggal dunia. Frustnya aku!The Iconographer had
passed away!!Damn it !!!?3*@........... terkilannya aku tak sempat nak bagi tahu dia.....

Lalu teringat lagi pada koleksi tulisannya dalam DEWAN BUDAYA yang aku collect dulu-dulu.Entah kemana perginya...??I still miss this guy so much and so dearly until today.
Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat keatas rohnya.Amin...
TRANSLATION IN ENGLISH.
Ismail Zain or 'Pak Mail' as called by all art student was a very passionate lecturer and was also a great master whom had taught me on how to really draw.I also categorised him as The Grand Master Artist Of Malaysia.I will also consider him as the great legend in Malaysian Visual Art History.
A simple guy with husky voice but full of enigma.As for him.... I am maybe one of his not so finished student.Maybe??
Once upon a time.... early in the morning, while giving us a briefing in a drawing class, he just suddenly shut his mouth, briefly watch the door and out he go..... Leaving us quiet,dumbfounded and surprised......where did he go? ....later a friend shouted from outside that he was at the cafe...taking breakfast...
There is also time, when we were not so responding to his lecture, that he started accusing us of like a sacrificial goat which is so very easy to be sacrifise,cut and cooked and eaten...what a shame...!!
I also recalled once, he put an interest in my drawing and say that "this is enough,it wont crash even if you knocked out the door hardly". I just go numb.......is he complementing me or...??
A friend and I had also went to his orchard somewhere in NS. I guess? Sleeping in a tent near the river,talking arts, walk in the river,talk about fruit,river and then fruit again,fish and many many more subject.Sometime overnight sleep at his house in Ampang,sitting on one of his barbershop's chair collection.Puan Wairah was also around entertaining us.Nice memory though.We are the most obedient student a teacher could get!!!
He was also keenly asking us to use his name if to get any new business when Hasnul and I start Art & Design Services or NNT in Damansara.He said that his sibling made a lot of money by using his name.Well!Its true,we got our first contract to design a stage set in the KL City Centre.Master Jedi had shown his power ............
Earlier year in 1986,during his first Digital Exhibition at Balai Senilukis Negara.It was really crowded with arts enthusias at that time and I just bravely approach him by saying that "there is persimmon among the mangosteen".He just nodded.
Then I just directly inquire the meaning of Al Rumi "I have lived on the lip of reason,wanting answer,knocking on a door....It's open,I've been knocking from the inside".He just replied that "someday you will" and swiftly walking among the crowd nodding all those dignitaries.His works is really a masterpiece,simple but yet full of iconic meaning with its own deep significant.
Ironically, it was this phrases from Al Rumi that came haunting me all those years abroad,it was during my stay in Mexico ..... I just suddenly woke up from a dream realizing that I already found the meaning of the Al Rumi's words.I hurriedly call Hasnul in Albany New York assuming that he knew the contact number of Ismail Zain.Sadly I was told that Ismail Zain just passed away.......
It was so damn frustrating..... the Icon had gone away and I .....I used to collect his writing in Dewan Budaya's magazine and just dont know where it is ....now....!!
I still miss this guy so much and so dearly until today.May God Bless His Soul.....Amen.

Monday, January 21, 2008

My Versatile Spanish Guru & Master Artist/Sculptor




Lucas Miguez, nama ini aku dengar semenjak aku mula-mula menjejakkan kakiku dibumi Jepun lagi.Rakan-rakan sekerja berbangsa Jepun dan pengurus yang pernah bekerja di Taiwan kadang-kadang bercerita tentang beliau seorang yang sangat peramah tetapi berani,cepat tetapi teliti. A real artist,kata mereka.

Aku seringkali mendengar dengan teliti apa yang mereka perkatakan.Semacam ada rasa cemburu tetapi hormat daripada kata-kata mereka,walaupun pada ketika itu aku ni...belumlah fasih sangat berbahasa Jepun.Tak pulak aku sedari pada waktu itu yang pada satu hari nanti orang yang bernama Lucas ini akan menjadi mentorku untuk beberapa tahun.
Pada aku, setelah mengenalinya sekian lama,orangnya memang hebat.Bayangkanlah
sebuah arca figurine 12 inci dari tanah liat dengan detailnya sekali boleh dibuat dalam
masa 6 jam sahaja.Sedangkan aku mengambil masa hampir dua minggu.Canoe daripada kayu jugak dibuat dalam masa tak sampai sebulan.
Alangkah bertuahnya
aku dan kawan-kawan di Fine Art dulu kalau ada Master Sculptor yang macam dia.
Mesti ramai yang akan major dalam Sculpture taklah macam aku yang terkontang kanteng
2 orang saja yang ambil sculpture sebagai major study.
Kalau bab melukis....tersangatlah detailnya dan sangat halus gayanya.
Aaa..by the way gambar kat atas tu aku ambil masa bercuti sambil camping di Big Ben National Park dekat Texas.Cantik sangat... Prairie,Desert dan Cactus di musim bunga...tempat tuu..
memang...tak tau nak habag!!
TRANSLATION IN ENGLISH.
Eversince I arrived in Japan,the name Lucas Miguez kept creeping up on conversation with my Japanese colleague and bosses.There seems to be air of respect when the name is mentioned. He was a real genuine artist as I was told frequently.
Very often I just listen quietly as I am still new and not really fluent and understand the Japanese language yet.But from my observation, I can feel that there is also jealousy but yet respect in most of their intonation.Living in a foreign country,sometime body language observation can also interpret on what they are talking about.
Little that I knew,someday I will got to know him in person first hand.The person himself was then to be my boss and my mentor for almost three years.
After really knowing him,it is true that this guy was also a great multi talented artist.as a sculptor, he can finish a single clay figurine just in 6 hours whereby it will take me two weeks to finish one piece of sculpture.He is also capable of doing a beautiful wooden canoe in just one month time.
If only he was there during my student days, all my friends would really really glad to take sculpture as their major study.When he's doing seketches or drawing,it was meticulously
rendered with details and was very well finished......
Oh...Well! the photo of him above was actually taken during our camping trip to Big Ben National Park in Texas.The desert scenery park was so beautiful.....during spring time even though it is
very damn cold at night.What a place.....!!....