National pride on canvas


By CY LEE

(From right) Hazrita, Prof Mohd Rosli and Malaysian artist Rull MacKenzie at the launch of the Tanah AirKU Merdeka Art Exhibition. — SHAARI CHEMAT/The Star

MORE than 100 pieces of art by 50 Malaysian artists are on display in conjunction with the National Day and Malaysia Day celebrations to spread the spirit of national pride.

The Art Market Malaysia’s Tanah AirKU Merdeka exhibition at the lobby of Menara KPJ in Kuala Lumpur showcases works from new artists as well as those with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Exhibition organiser and Art Market Malaysia founder Hazrita Mohd Hatta said, “The exhibition not only celebrates Malaysia’s history and independence, but also serves as a platform for local artists to showcase their talents.”

Among the works featured are depictions of landscapes of rural Malaysia, modern city skylines, and Tunku Abdul Rahman’s silhouette at the declaration of independence.

The exhibition features over 100 works by local artists including those with physical and intellectual disabilities.The exhibition features over 100 works by local artists including those with physical and intellectual disabilities.

A special section of the exhibition has been dedicated to 200-year-old Islamic manuscripts from the region, on loan from private collectors.

Alongside the art and manuscript collections, handicraft including lanyards, batik, songket as well as ceramics made by people with disabilities from Bangi Rehabilitation Training Centre and the autism community are on sale.

The artworks on display are on sale with prices ranging from RM20 to RM65,000.

Acknowledging that art exhibitions do not always draw the biggest crowds, Hazrita still hopes the public will drop by to view the exhibits.

Visitors admiring the paintings on display at the Tanah AirKU Merdeka Art Exhibition at the lobby of Menara KPJ in Kuala Lumpur.Visitors admiring the paintings on display at the Tanah AirKU Merdeka Art Exhibition at the lobby of Menara KPJ in Kuala Lumpur.

“Overseas, people are willing to pay to just visit an art show.

“Locally, even when free, it’s hard to draw a big crowd, but that is one of the challenges we have to overcome,” she said.

“Through this collaboration with the various NGOs, we aim to provide a platform for talented individuals from these communities to earn a living, express their creativity and inspire others,” Hazrita added.

Living Heritage Luminary (Tokoh Warisan Hidup) Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Rosli Saludin, who officiated at the opening of the exhibition, commended the organisers for continuing to raise awareness for the arts.

“Our society needs artists, because they highlight the things that matter in the community and educate the public about arts and culture,” he said.

A close-up of one of the paintings on display.A close-up of one of the paintings on display.

The exhibition is organised by Soriata Event Management Services in collaboration with Kelab Belia Perkasa dan Prihatin.

It is ongoing until Sept 20. Admission is free.

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