We took a bus to Puncak Alam, and unbeknown to ourselves it took us 2 hours or so to get there, we hadn’t pre warned her of our arrival, so when we finally got In contact with her she was very angry! Not angry that we were coming to stay but angry that we didn’t alert her earlier so she could come and pick us up from kuala lumpur. So kind and generous, and this is how I found all the people living in the family of Patisatu studio, Puncak Alam.
This place is a home, workshop space, gallery and studio. Umibaizurah Mahirismail is a ceramic artist, and her husband Ahmad Shukri a painter, both very renowned artists in Malaysia. Sometimes it really amazes me when people welcome you into their homes and project an overwhelming interest in you. These guys are well off established artists, they don’t need me, I need them. Negating age and experience on all that they do and whom they interact with, Umi and Shukri have such a passion and energy for art and were constantly sharing, asking questions and taking interest whilst I was there. What im trying to say is that I found it really refreshing, and I hope that I maintain a similar energy toward art and fellow artists as I grow older.
Umis works are made by taking moulds of toys, childrens toys. She then takes apart the pieces and reorganises in a balanced, somewhat symmetrical manner and decorates them in a decoupage type of way with print transferring, some are also fixed together with found materials. They are all very elaborate, and I left being inspired by her works. Harry, who is Umis sidekick in the ceramic room, was preparing for a big solo exhibition, and I got to see his works in process, mixing ceramic with metals, both recycled and bought, he had some great old drill bits and chunky machine pieces in the studio I was eyeing off. This studio is based mainly around mould making.
Shukris work station is across the road and this house/ garage is full of finished and in the process of works. The walls are covered in beautiful paintings. He has a unique style, showing his knowledge in the practice of detailed representation work, collage and stencil. His images are based around nature, of animals and plants. And to me it seemed that his works revealed a beautiful, magical way of representing the devastating loss of nature in Malaysia due to plantation forests and industrialisation. (This is just my perceived opinion) To look at their works please google Umibaizurah Mahirismail and Ahmad Shukri Mohamed.
Whilst staying at this studio, Rizal and I had a performance evening the night before we left. After a delicious big barbeque dinner of fish, chicken and many salads, mangosteam and rhambutan desert. I was handed a huge canvas, paintraushes and paints. Rizal set up with his guitar and copious amounts of percussion instruments and we began singing and playing and painting. I was to paint to the music, but to incorporate the background image of what lay previously on the canvas ( a giant rabbit man with shorts and tshirt) I loved the colour scheme already used on this canvas, and its colours that I don’t usually use that often so it was nice to play around with forest greens, dark purples and blues. These are the colours that Shukri uses a lot in his works, and I cant help but think that being in this space surrounded by his works definitely had an impact on the finished product.
Sometimes I think my artworks can be a real obvious reflection of my personality, and in this case it was clear. For the last few years I have begun to realise that I am a chameleon in nature. The environment and people that I am around, the colours, the music, everything has affect on me, and I tend to change and sway to fit wherever I am. This is something I do without realising. I am still myself, but somehow my personality, actions or decisions is exacerbated when in different environments. If Im hanging out with someone funny, I am way more funny… If im with a quiet person, I don’t talk all that much, this extends not only from my personality, but to things which I paint, with colours having a high influence. I used to not like this about myself, but now I really appreciate it. I know that I am still an individual, and I see that fitting into your surroundings, in a less extreme sort of way, definitely has benefits.
|Rizal playing the Jews Harp... Boin boing boing|
|Painting and Music performance, Patisatu studio|