Malay Art: An Artistic Transmutation

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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
Stream: Aesthetics, Design
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Ahmad Suhaimi Mohd. Noor

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Arts, Sultan Idris University of Education
Tanjong Malim, Perak, Malaysia

Former Dean of the faculty of Arts, 22 years experience in teaching secondary school, college and university. First Degree in Fine Art, Master of Education, and PhD in Art History. Published two books in Islamic and Malaysian art, and co-writer of two books in Art Education. Research iterest areas includes Malaysian and Islamic art. Presented working paper for national and international level on Malaysian Art History. A practicing artist involve in exhibitions at the national level. Awarded medal for excellent contribution to malaysian education. External examiner for Phd thesis in art, in local universities.

Ref: H08P0695