Exhibition: 12 August – 12 September 2008
In the context of contemporary Malaysian art, Razak Abdullah has carved a name for himself as an impressionist painter who records the beauty of nature. After his series “Monsoon Break”, “Lake Garden” and -“Melawati Quartz”, he now presents us with the series “Portrait of Bidong”.
After an early childhood by the seaside in Kuala Terengganu built Razak’s sensitivity to the beauty of the environment, he honed his skills during formal art studies in ITM. His subjects range from his environment, including landscapes and views from his apartment, meaningful locations, as well as marine scenes rich in fascinating beauty.
To date, Razak has produced four beautiful series of paintings, namely “Monsoon Break”, “Lake Garden”, “Melawati Quartz” and his most recent series, “Portrait of Bidong”. “Monsoon Break” showed a beautiful treatment of figures and landscapes, as well as serving as an allegory of the humble position of Man within Allah’s Creation. The works of the “Lake Garden” series were strongly influenced by French impressionism, while “Melawati Quartz” depicted the beauty of nature around his residence. In Razak’s hands, common views become beautiful landscapes.
The “Portrait of Bidong” series gathers views of the sea bed that depict semi-abstract images of life forms and seascapes, such as fish, corals and sea-weeds in a riot of colours. The beauty and tranquillity of the marine environment are translated by the thick treatment of vibrant yet harmonious colours, as can be seen in “The Hanging Garden II”, “Hanging Garden IV”, “Eden of the Sea”, “Karang Luas VII” and “Karang Luas VI”. However, Razak’s purpose is not only to share with us the beauty of God’s underwater Creation, but also to express his concern for the environment that is threatened by pollution as a result of human activity.
Razak Abdullah is a contemporary impressionist who is deeply concerned with the environment. His works are not mere landscapes, but rather soulful, poetic and harmonious symphonies of colour. Yet, there is loneliness and nostalgia in the midst of vibrancy, and poignant notes of unease behind the harmony.
PROFESSOR DR. MULIYADI MAHAMOOD