Malay Art: An Artistic Transmutation
Malay art in Malaysia is based on artistic activities that transmute from motifs of wood carving, weaving, handicraft and ceramic. The Malays are intimate with nature, so much so that the lok keris (the curve of the Malay dagger) is derived from observation of water ripples in the river. The beauty of nature and God’s creation is inspirational to Malay artists in the choice of floral motives. So are the form and motifs in ceramic that is closely related to the acuity of Sufism towards the universe. The architecture of traditional Malay houses, for example are based on Islamic hierarchy and rituals, while the design of tebar layar (Malay roof structure motif) is based on cosmology, another creation of the Almighty. Art pieces and expression in the Malay art are a reflection of divine insight between a Muslim and the Creator.
Keywords: Malay Art, Islamic Art, Traditional handicraft
Dr. Ahmad Suhaimi Mohd. Noor
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Arts, Sultan Idris University of Education