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‘KALAKOTABHARU’ EXHIBITION by MOHD NOOR MAHMUD

 
‘KALAKOTABHARU’ or ‘Colours of Kota Bharu’ Series is an exceptional and absolute work of art from the artist. He took 31⁄2 years to complete 8 big pieces and another 2 years for the smaller pieces. In total, he spent between 200 to 350 hours on each masterpiece.Essentially, KALAKOTABHARU or ‘Colours of Kota Bharu’ reflects the artist’s close contact with the environment that he lives in. The series portrays a combination of spiritual and perceptual elements in each composition. “Spiritual” refers to the influence of culture, religion, belief and the community he lived in. On the other hand, “Perceptual” refers to the physical elements, colours, shapes and forms that surround his day-to-day life in Kelantan. These art pieces truly capture and document the essence of the East Coast. These nostalgic combinations can be felt through a close study. You will see art pieces that have been meticulously and precisely created with extreme levels of patience. This series is an absolute awe-inspiring example of what makes a great artist.

 

An Introduction: Mohd Noor Mahmud

Engaging oneself in the visual art world demands not only interest but sheer dedication and continued existence in artistic creation. I have observed this spirit of active engagement with the visual art in Mohd Noor Mahmud since his student days at the Faculty of Art and Design, MARA Institute of Technology (now UITM). Upon his graduation back in 1988, Mohd Noor has chosen to set up his own studio to pursue what he believed in. The visual art scene in Malaysia was’t bullish then and surviving the stigma of being an ‘artist’ has made him even more determined to realise his dreams.

I remembered my first visit to his three storey house at Taman Seri Muda in Shah Alam. His invitation not only marks the beginning of our friendship, but allows an exchange of discussions on the changes in his ideas and concepts in art making processes. Mohd Noor has accomplished more than I have expected. He showed me his works comprising of many experimented embossed abstract imagery on various surfaces. His new found expression, achieved through a laborious layering process resembled a metonymic duplication of the passage of time emerged as an interesting art form. These artworks demand to be read differently from what we are used to – aesthetically and psycologically. Eventually, Mohd Noor’s works steadily bring together followers and attention from art collectors.

Lately, Mohd Noor’s creative exploration has metamorphosed beyond experimental abstract imagery. His artworks now has attached a great importance to decorative textiles. He has successfully stimulated new ideas and open up more complex interpretation of floral motives and their symbolic value to the Kelantanese society. I was completely immersed by the immediate visual impact upon seeing his works and not to mention the wider meaning behind those artworks. All these artworks that have been created by Mohd Noor are his ‘dreams’ and ‘strengths’ that I hope to see more advancements in near future.

I would like to sincerely thank him for giving me the opportunity to write a brief introduction for his exhibition catalogue. He is a friend that shares the same vision for Malaysian visual arts.

Congratulations and Best Wishes!

Fauzan Omar
Profesor Madya. Universiti Sains Malaysia

 

‘KALAKOTABHARU’ or ‘Colours of Kota Bharu’

In 1989, Mohd Noor took a trip to Gua Cha in Ulu Kelantan and found a new subject for his next series: He was inexplicably attracted to the intricate patterns of the historic artifacts in the cave. Highly inspired, Mohd Noor embarked on recreating these cave-like art forms in his ‘Gua Series’, which has not been release yet. Through the studies for this series he found his way to the motifs used in this current series ‘Colours of Kota Bharu’, which provides Mohd Noor the platform to express his love of Kelantan and his affinity for traditional art forms.

To create the finely detailed mono-prints and collages, Mohd Noor draws on the intensive research and experiments he conducted over the last 10 years. He also benefits from his experience from an art career that spans over the last 20 years.

This current series contains exceptional masterpieces. It took Mohd Noor 3½ years to complete 8 big pieces and another 2 years to add some smaller pieces. In total, he spent between 200 to 350 hours on each work of art, a devotion rarely to be found in today’s fast moving and hectic environment.

Prior to the laborious process of creating his magnificent, one-of-a-kind masterpieces, Mohd Noor spent almost 5 years researching and developing the technique, planning the various compositions and defining the motifs.

Essentially, KALAKOTABHARU or ‘Colours of Kota Bharu’ reflects the artist’s close contact with the environment that he lives in. The series portrays a combination of spiritual and perceptual elements in each composition. “Spiritual” refers to the influence of culture, religion, belief and the community he lived in. On the other hand, “perceptual” refers to the physical elements, colours, shapes and forms that surround his day-to-day life in Kelantan.

KALAKOTABHARU or ‘Colours of Kota Bharu’ truly captures and documents the essence of the East Coast. You will see art pieces that have been meticulously and precisely created with an extreme level of patience.

KALAKOTABHARU - A true dedication to his homeland by a true master!

 

‘KALAKOTABHARU’ OR COLOURS OF KOTA BHARU
-A DEDICATION TO TANAH RENDAH SEKEBUN BUNGA-

IZULDIN HANI

In 1989, Mohd Noor took a trip to Gua Cha in Ulu Kelantan and found a new subject for his next series: He was inexplicably attracted to the intricate patterns of the historic artifacts in the cave. Highly inspired, Mohd Noor embarked on recreating these cave-like art forms in his ‘Gua Series’, which has not been release yet. Through the studies for this series he found his way to the motifs used in this current series ‘Colours of Kota Bharu’, which provides Mohd Noor the platform to express his love of Kelantan and his affinity for traditional art forms.

To create the finely detailed mono-prints and collages, Mohd Noor draws on the intensive research and experiments he conducted over the last 10 years. He also benefits from his experience from an art career that spans over the last 20 years.

This current series contains exceptional masterpieces. It took Mohd Noor 3½ years to complete 8 big pieces and another 2 years to add some smaller pieces. In total, he spent between 200 to 350 hours on each work of art, a devotion rarely to be found in today’s fast moving and hectic environment.

Prior to the laborious process of creating his magnificent, one-of-a-kind masterpieces, Mohd Noor spent almost 5 years researching and developing the technique, planning the various compositions and defining the motifs.

Essentially, KALAKOTABHARU or ‘Colours of Kota Bharu’ reflects the artist’s close contact with the environment that he lives in. The series portrays a combination of spiritual and perceptual elements in each composition. “Spiritual” refers to the influence of culture, religion, belief and the community he lived in. On the other hand, “perceptual” refers to the physical elements, colours, shapes and forms that surround his day-to-day life in Kelantan.

KALAKOTABHARU or ‘Colours of Kota Bharu’ truly captures and documents the essence of the East Coast. You will see art pieces that have been meticulously and precisely created with an extreme level of patience.

KALAKOTABHARU - A true dedication to his homeland by a true master!

 

PERNYATAAN PELUKIS

Penglahiran sesuatu bibit seni dalam konteks kehidupan masyarakat banyak menampilkan norma dan kesarwajagatan. Setiap eleman yang dinukilkan melalui pena lukisan dan diserlahkan untuk ditafsirkan sebenarnya telah mempunyai mesej tersendiri. Daripada mesej yang dizahirkan berupaya menjelaskan apakah sebenarnya yang tersirat di petak minda pelukis. Justeru, bertitik-tolak daripada kenyataan inilah, saya mengungkapkan fragmen seni melalui tinta lukisan.

Kesepaduan pengalaman dan disebatikan dengan keinginan yang meluap-luap untuk mencurahkan perasaan dalam bentuk yang seni, membawa saya menyelami pelbagai rentak dan evidens kehidupan. Bukan sekadar berupaya menghayati kehidupan sekuntum flora atau sekawan fauna, tetapi lebih jauh daripada itu, keperluan untuk mendalami segala kerahsiaan ciptaan-Nya perlu disingkapkan untuk menjadi seorang pelukis yang berjiwa luhur. Itulah rasionalnya mengapa setiap inci bumi ini perlu diterokai dengan picisan gerak minda agar seriap rahsia kejadian itu dapat dicari dan diwarnainya dalam ekspresi seni seumpama sekuntum potret atau sebuah karya fatamorgana berseri. Daripada segala peristiwa yang menjadi jalinan kepada idea yang boleh saya tafsirkan, ia disinambungkan dengan warna di gebar lukisan.

Pada penanggapan saya, karya seni merupakan media yang baik untuk mengkritik dan membaiki diri serta menyampaikannya kepada masyarakat. Menerusi media seni, pengalaman, pengamatan saya dapat sampaikan, dipertonton dan dikongsi bersama audiens. Pengkarya harus sentiasa peka dan mengambil kira terhadap persekitarannya. Mengambil sebanyak mungkin pengalaman lantas diterapkan dalam persembahannya.Rasanya ini akan lebih mendekatkan diri dengan masyarakat dan disampaikan dari jiwa yang luhur serta ikhlas.

Sebagai medium penting menyalurkan wadah seni, catan dan lukisan tetap menjadi gurisan utama menyampaikan segala kisah sama ada yang tersurat mahupun yang tersirat.

Pembabitan kaum wanita dalam bidang sosioekonomi walaupun secara kecil-kecilan sebenarnya banyak membantu institusi kekeluargaan dalam kalangan masyarakat Kelantan. Persoalan ini digambarkan menerusi ilustrasi “Mok Su Limah Menjaja Kuih”. Dalam situasi sayu dan bernada melankolik, gambarannya tampak daif. Tetapi sebenarnya ia memberi suatu kekuatan kepada pengamatan saya. Mereka yang terlibat dengansituasi sebegini sebenarnya mempunyai semangat juang yang amat tinggi dalam membaiki ekonomi keluarga tanpa mengharap bantuan daripada orang lain. Bukan untuk memerah keringat meraih rezeki, bahkan mereka memercikkan peluh untuk mengisi kantung sebagai simpanan untuk masa depan , juga untuk tujuan awasan. Mereka hanya beradu untuk menghilang lelah pada ketika cuaca tidak mengizinkan, dan senja hari mengajak mereka pulang bagi menjenguk teratak usang untuk bersantai dengan ahli keluarga…betapa besarnya pengorbanan kaum ibu memetik gitar kehidupan yang penuh ironic – betapa luhurnya jiwa mereka!

Keluhuran jiwa dan perasaan seni golongan Hawa dalam konteks “mesra pelanggan” mengungkapkan kejernihan imajan batik itu sendiri – sehalusan corak dan lakaran batik yang dipakai mencernakan keikhlasan jiwa mereka dalam urus niaga seharian. Begitu tinggi nilai budi diukur pada peradaban wanita Melayu Kelantan yang pandai mengenakan pakaian yang seintim jiwa nurani mereka. Sekaligus mereka dipandang lebih peramah dan lebih berwibawa.

Dari suatu dimensi, pasar merupakan destinasi tumpuan masyarakat “Tanah Rendah Sekebun Bunga”. Budaya dan resam warga-Kelantan terlihat kental dalam suasana interaksi di sini. Fenomena berniaga berjual beli merupakan mauduk yang sinonim dengan kegiatan sosioekonomi di pasar-pasar di negeri ini. Keunikan yang boleh diketengahkan ialah kegiatan jual-beli rata-rata dimonopoli oleh kaum hawa. Pelbagai keindahan yang boleh dititipkan melalui warna dan catan antaranya keindahan suasana “menjual sambil bersila”, jualan hasil tani secara ‘setompok’ (longgokan kecil), dan aroma bau herba serta sayur hasil mahsul menusuk hidung pengunjung. Suasana ini jarang dilihat di pasar-pasar di Bandar besar.

Dalam pada itu, kebanyakan kaum Adam pula dilihat berada di zon jualan ikan dan peranan mereka tidaklah sehebat peraih-peraih Hawa tadi. Meskipun demikian, dengan susuk badan sasa, dengan gaya pakaian santun serta semutar kain pelilit kepala, mereka kelihatan lebih ranggi. “Kaya budaya kerana aslinya, lawa mereka kerana aksinya”. Dengan pelbagai corak batik semutar menampakkan keanggunan – segalanya digarap dalam warna suasana kemesraan persis jiwa luhur milik lelaki Kelantan.

Sekalung apresiasi terima kasih kerana dilahirkan, dibesarkan dan masih lagi berlegar dalam susun atur kehidupan kekeluargaan, kekitaan, norma-norma hidup yang dapat memperlahankan waktu berdetik telah memberi satu kekuatan pada saya untuk terus berkarya walaupun tidak menonjolkan diri sekian lama.- .

 

Artist’s Biography

Mohd Noor Mahmud is a Kelantan-based artist who was born in Kota Bharu in 1964. He attained a Diploma in Fine Arts from Universiti Institut Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in 1988. The following year, he won third place in the ‘Pemandangan Malaysia’ competition that was organized by Kontena Malaysia. He also held numerous exhibitions in Malaysia and in the United Kingdom while pursuing his Masters Degree in Leicester, United Kingdom in 1996.

One of his renowned series is titled “Jeans”. During his years at UiTM, Mohd Noor became very intrigued at how jeans had made its way into almost every wardrobe. To him, this “external element” was seen as a threat to Batik, an art-form that is very close to his heart. It was a knee-jerk reaction for Mohd Noor who grew up in the East Coast that is known for its rich culture and traditional arts such as batik.

Due to unknown reasons, he wore batik all the time during his growing years in Kelantan, and only owned two pairs of jeans during his four years in UiTM. Subsequently, Mohd Noor decided to merge jeans with batik as a representation of Western and Eastern cultures.

As an artist since 1984, Mohd Noor’s work has always remained true to the concept of spiritual and perceptual art. His work often highlights the influence of external cultures, traditional art and the evolution of mankind. While composing his masterpieces, he often draws from past experiences and interprets and manifests subject matters into thought-provoking images and objects.

Mohd Noor’s original art pieces have been collected and traveled across the globe. Currently, he resides in Kelantan and is actively nurturing aspiring artists.

 

Exhibitions

1984
Set design & lighting for a performance entitled LANUN,
MIT Academic Exhibition, MIT, Shah Alam, Selangor

1985
Set design & lighting for a performance entitled ORANG ULU,
AD Induction Night, MIT, Shah Alam, Selangor

1986
Beautiful Kelantan, MIT Kelantan. Set design for
WAYANG KULIT EXPERIMENTAL in AD Projection, MIT

1987
Young Contemporary, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
K L Sketches, Dayabumi Complex, Kuala Lumpur
Warna-warna, Kedah Art Gallery
Tasik Chini Exhibition, Australia High Commission, Kuala Lumpur
KL-KL Exhibition, City Hall, Kuala Lumpur
Landscape Painting, Sarawak State Museum, Kuching
Landscape Painting, Sabah Art Gallery Academic Exhibition

1988
Open Show, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
Manifestation of Arts, City Hall, Kuala Lumpur
Pahang Inspiration, Australia High Commission, Kuala Lumpur
PPM Perdana Exhibition, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
Private Collection Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur
Diploma Show, MIT, Shah Alam, Selangor
Batik Painting Demonstration, American Embassy, Kuala Lumpur
Motivation Exhibition, Maybank Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
Young Contemporary, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

1989
Open Show, National Art Gallery, K. Lumpur
Long Painting, Federal Territory Day, Kuala Lumpur
4 Perception Group Exhibition, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

1990
Young Contemporary, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

1991
Kelantan Kota Budaya

1992
Open Show, National Art Gallery, K. Lumpur

1994
PPM Perdana Exhibition, National Art Gallery, Kuala L

 

KALAKOTABHARU
SIRI CORAK DAN HIASAN DARI JIWA LUHUR

MOHD NOOR MAHMUD

Hasil kerja dalam siri Corak Dan Hiasan Dari Jiwa Luhur merupakan suatu pengalaman pengamatan yang dimanifestasikan menerusi imej batik dan ukiran yang begitu mesra dengan diri pelukis. Tatacorak yang terdapat pada seni pemakaian masyarakat setempat begitu menarik perhatian. Nama-nama seperti Mok Roh, Pok Su Hen, Mek Timah, Mok Chu Leha (sekadar beberapa nama) yang sudah berkeriut usia ditelan zaman, teramat dekat dengan persekitaran pelukis. Kehidupan yang masih lagi terikat dengan nilai-nilai kekeluargaan yang kukuh memberi satu kelebihan dalam mewarnai kehidupan harian.

Menyirat nilai-nilai kemanusiaan menerusi perlakuan nama-nama seperti Pok Teh Soh ke Surau Tujuh Hari Seminggu; menjana minda kita untuk mengilustrasikan masyarakat yang sentiasa sibuk dengan urusan harian masing-masing. Tetapi kewajipan terhadap tuntutan agama harus didahulukan walau dalam apa keadaan sekalipun. Melewati sensitiviti dan pengamatan diri terhadap nilai yang tersembunyi di balik pengabdian diri terhadap Tuhan, diabadikan dalam gurisan rasa pena warna melalui catan.

Rona kehidupan warga separuh abad masyarakat Cik Siti Wan Kembang masih tidak lekang dengan pemakaian batik dalam kerja rutin seharian mereka. Berbatik sehari-hari tidak mendatangkan kejemuan. Dengan jiwa yang teruja, sebagai kain basahan, baju dan kain batik dikenakan di tubuh sebagai syarat untuk melengkapkan agenda harian. Bukan sekadar di tubuh badan, batik juga diletakkan di tempat tinggi seumpama diatas kepala si penjaja – sebagai pengalas bakul yang dijunjung itu. Bagi batik yang pudar corak dan warna, tidak dipadankan ditubuh badan, ia menjadi kain pengelap dan kain buruk. Semuanya menjadi kenangan milik masyarakat Serambi Mekah yang menyentak pengamatan menyimpul nostalgia menambah tona pengalaman serta sentuhan peribadi ekspresi seni pelukis.

Pelukis juga mengamati senario musim haji di lapangan terbang. Sanak-saudara dan rakan taulan yang mengiringi pemergian bakal haji memperlihatkan gagasan ikatan ukhuwah yang begitu utuh. Meskipun zaman telah melangkaui era ICT, pertautan kekeluargaan amat kukuh dan terserlah. Dalam kostum batik mereka kelihatan lebih ceria menyembunyikan rasa sedih melepaskan orang tersayang mengerjakan fardhu haji tuntutan agama. Di sini pemakaian batik tidak dilupakan – dengan jiwa yang luhur, terserlah titipan rasa kasih dan sayang,… mengiringi permergian sanak-sanudara menunaikan haji ke Mekah.

 

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