9/16 Musings about Negaraku @ NAG
Two works by Nik Zainal Abidin are exhibited in “Negaraku”, but these are not the artist’s signature paintings of wayang. ‘Corak Bendera’ is a ‘T’-shaped composition of lines, half of it filled with colours from the Malaysian flag, yet no crescent moon or stars are in the design. The other is a wide watercolour illustration of Malay cultural objects. Titled ‘Mural Muzium’, one suspects this work was submitted into the mural competition for the then-new National Museum, which was eventually won by Cheong Laitong. This exhibit appears to be one of two panels, and compares against the left mural currently on the museum’s façade. Nik Zainal Abidin’s depictions are detailed and elegant, consisting of practical objects either woven or built, some with artistic flourishes; Laitong’s design has less things but more people, and is highly stylized. What is culture, if people do not practice it?
|Nik Zainal Abidin – Mural Muzium (1961)|