The following sample essay explores the work of Syed Ahmad Lamal and his life. To read the introduction, body, and conclusion of the essay, scroll down.
Syed Ahmad bin Syed Jamal was Born in Bandar Maharani, Muar, Johor on Sept 19, 1929. He was getting early education at Sekolah Tambatan Rendah, Johor Bahru. He then resumed his schooling at High Tambunan School in 1939, Ngee Heng English School, 1940, Bukit Zahra English School and English College, Johor Bahru until 1949 is a renowned painter in Malaysia.
He was the winner of the National Artist Award in 1995. He received a Sultan Ibrahim scholarship and with the scholarship he continued his studies at the Birmingham School of Architecture in 1950. In 1951 until 1955, he continued his studies at the Chelsea School of Art, London. A year later he studied at the Institute of Education, London University. During the Chelsea School of Art, he won several prizes in the competition in art.
Syed Ahmad Jamal had a carefree childhood on the land owned by his grandfather Syed Sahil, a prominent businessman in Johor Bahru.
At a young age, he had begun to develop a keen sense of appreciation for the countrysides natural landscapes and spent a lot of time observing his surroundings. He was also inquisitive and eager to learn. While he enjoyed playing with his siblings, he also spent a lot of time on his own, thinking.
From Architecture to Art is start when he study at the Birmingham School of Architecture, England on 1950. Once he was there, however, he realised that architecture just wasn’t his cup of tea.
Syed Ahmads sketches would always turn out to be the best among all his classmates. His talent was realised by his principle, Mr Jones. So Mr Jones wrote to the Johor government and said that Syed Ahmad Jamal should discontinue his studies in architecture and enroll in art school instead. After that, Syed Ahmad was study at Chelsea School of Art in London.
After returning from England, he became a teacher at High School, Batu Pahat, Johor from 1956 to 1957. In 1957 he became a lecturer at the Teaching College, Kuala Lumpur. Between 1958 and 1959, he became a lecturer at Malayan Teacher ‘College, Kirby, Lancs, United Kingdom and returned to the Collegiate College College in Kuala Lumpur in 1960. In 1951 to 1963 he served as Head of Department of Art Education at College Special Science Teaching, Cheras.
Syed Ahmad Jamal’s objective of art is Syed Ahmad Jamal still maintains his identity as a Malay people who admires the roots of his own Malay cultural tradition despite his Western education in fine arts. Secondly, Syed Ahmad Jamal wants to show that the Malay tradition has a distinctive uniqueness and aesthetic value.
The painting depicts is we can see a woman are bathing in sea. We also can see the landscape in the painting that is commonly seen in the homeland at that the time. Syed Ahmad Jamal is like more tendency to the element and the relationship between nature and human or in the language of his background and form is manifested in the work.
Line: Mandi Laut has two strong lines throughout this painting. the line consists of horizontal and vertical lines. The vertical and vertical shapes are found in the trees which is a vertical line. while the shadow of the other human figure and the way they face (to the edge) and landscapes make a horizontal line.
Colour: The styling of matching colours to the distorted elements has led to the presence of nature and human action so felt in the unity.
Technique: Syed Ahmad Jamal technique was subsequently called Abstract Expressionism and it’s known by that name to this day. First Syed Ahmad Jamal is the pioneer of the abstract expressionism flow in this country. Syed Ahmad Jamal also a figure in the most prominent art in the country. He has the following characteristics in the following areas such as modern painters, designers, sculptors, lecturers, educators, writers and leaders of organizations.
Repetition and Rhythm: Repetition and rhythm is used through the painting, in painting Syed Ahmad Jamal’s repetition and rhythm was found as accomplished by the horizontal and vertical lines and through the repetition created
Composition: Compositionally speaking, Mandi Laut balance is carefully positioned and proportioned so that the entire work is intriguing to the human eye. The center of the painting is a mostly in that time malay woman are bathing use Kain batik for bath.
In the painting we can see the moral values of a group of Malay girls while in public. It is a message about the norms and cultural values of Malay community behind the expression of a personal nature. Obviously, the cultivation of cultural values in building identity and images is necessary for understanding the flow of thought, philosophy and worldview in the building and building of the foundation of the nations cultural civilization.
The painting depicts based on customs and traditions in the context of Malay culture. Generally, Sirih Pinang is a kind of opening speech snack in official customs and Malay affairs. Sirih leaf is a symbol of customs and symbols in cultural art and is especially used as a Malay affairs. Sirih is usually a symbol or custom for a ceremony, a face to face or a love affair in wedding ceremonies, engagement and so on. Obviously, sirih leaves are seen as a very important cultural tool especially in Malay customs.
Line: Sirih Pinang has two strong lines throughout this painting. the line consists of horizontal and vertical lines. The vertical and vertical shapes are found in the tree branch. figure standing which is a vertical line. while the shadow of the clouds and and landscapes make a horizontal line.
Depth: Syed Ahmad Jamal achieves depth in this painting through the use of one-point linear perspective. The vanishing point is on the middle center of paintings located in the trees.
Colour: Syed Ahmad Jamal using a primary colour in this painting. The primary colour such as yellow, blue and green.
Technique : Syed Ahmad Jamal technique was subsequently called Abstract Expressionism and its known by that name to this day. First Syed Ahmad Jamal is the pioneer of the abstract expressionism flow in this country. Syed Ahmad Jamal also a figure in the most prominent art in the country. He has the following characteristics in the following areas such as modern painters, designers, sculptors, lecturers, educators, writers and leaders of organizations.
Balance: Symmetry, in which both sides of a composition have the same elements in the same position, as in Sirih Pinang we can see in this artwork, syed Ahmad Jamal produces this artwork with symmetry where both objects are on the right and left are balance.
Unity : Syed Ahmad Jamal make this artwork unity by using harmonious similarity of shape and repetition of colour continuance, proximity and alignment, and closure of design elements in different parts of the work so that the parts relate to each other and create a unified whole, that can be greater than the sum of the parts, rather than an ill-fitting and meaningless assortment of elements.
The painting depicts to many critics, legendary and mythological networks in Syed Ahmad Jamal’s work are so loaded with the beauty and magical nature of nature. The work of Tun Mamat Mendaki Himalaya (1984) for example, is based on the legendary spirit of Tun Mamat being the key to inspiration with the red, White and Yellow Jalur Gemilang. The association with the Malay world is so sympathetic that symbolizes the Malay soul culture.
Line: An element of art defined by a point moving in space. Line may be two or three dimensional, descriptive, implied, or abstract. Thick lines can be seen on red and yellow lines. This thick line shows the firmness that want to convey through artwork.
Shape: An element of art that is two-dimensional, flat, or limited to height and width. Most of Syed Ahmad Jamal’s work is a triangular motif with the cosmopolitan characteristics of thought, personality and views. The triangular motif resembles a tree the life, the tree of life, the Meru tree and the flower of spirit as a manifestation of nature that is so close to the region of Southeast Asia.
Colour: Syed Ahmad Jamal strokes of primary color pigment (red, yellow, and blue) to compose the forms on the painting. Syed Ahmad Jamal mostly use cool color from use warm colour on his artwork Tun Mamat Mendaki Himalaya.
Emphasis: A way of combining elements to stress the differences between those elements. we can see that emphasis is on the object as if it were a Himalayan mountain. This object dominates this artwork.
In the context of Malay art, the concept and symbol of the mountain are the same as Rupa Bentuk Tudung Saji, Tepak Sirih, Susunan Sirih, Nasi Ambang, Sirih Junjung and Pulut Kuning. The triangular motif also resembles a tree of life, a tree of Meru and a flower of spirit as a natural manifestation that is so close to the Southeast Asian region.
The painting is based on a series of works of Gunung Ledang which is a legend and a symbol of nature. it is a reference point to the splendour of the Malay empire of the famous Melaka empire with the characters Hang Tuah, Puteri Gunung Ledang and Tun Mamat.
Value: The lightness or darkness of tones or colors. White is the lightest value; black is the darkest. The value halfway between these extremes is called middle gray.
Shape: An element of art that is two-dimensional, flat, or limited to height and width.
Colour: Syed Ahmad Jamal use primary colour pigment (red, yellow, and blue) to compose the forms on the painting.
Composition: Compositionally speaking, Semangat Ledang balance is carefully positioned and proportioned so that the entire work is intriguing to the human eye. The center of the painting is a mostly in the three dimension of Gunung Ledang.
Syed Ahmad Jamal is a very synonymous name with Malaysian painting. He is the pioneer of the abstract expressionism movement in the country. Syed Ahmad Jamal is a figure in the most successful painting in the country. He has the following characteristics in the following fields as painters, writers, designers, educators and art leaders.
Syed Ahmad Jamal was a painter who promoted Abstract Expressionism as an artistic approach in Malaysia. As an art student, he was already drawn to the theoretical writings of Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, and his early interest in art drew him to the works of Emil Nolde, Ernst Kirchner and Max Beckmann.
Syed Ahmad Jamal’s talent is striking, he is a renowned painter and earns praise from local and foreign artists. Among his abilities is painting by using knowledge and philosophy-based experiences as well as Malay values. He is also involved in making ‘Policy and Thoughts’ on program and administration to the general public. In addition he also engages in art criticism and writes various papers, exhibition catalogs, magazines and mass media.
In early 1990s, Syed Ahmad Jamal retired from the civil service. This gives him so much time to continue moving full-time in mid-career art. The sixty-year-old engagement with this art has given him the opportunity to contribute towards the development and development of modern Malaysian art. On the basis of his important contribution, the government awarded the National Art Award to him in 1995, the highest artistic award in Malaysia with the title of National Artist. This era also shows a different approach to the earlier works of Syed Ahmad Jamal. His works are very friendly to the country’s social and political issues in the late 1990’s.
After that he continued to spread his talents to nationalism and his sacrifice was honoured when he was awarded the National Service Award bearing the title of Datuk in 1996. In 2005 he received recognition as a Doctor (Honours) of Art Education by the Sultan Idris University (UPSI). The work of Syed Ahmad Jamal begins to direct the divine manifestation in his late career. The honours of the country’s major art institutions to hold a retrospective exhibition that re-exhibited his work for sixty years entitled “Syed Ahmad Jamal: The Painter” was his solo and last solo exhibition in 2009 at the National Visual Art Gallery.
I was amazed at how Syed Ahmad Jamals artwork because even he despite Western education in fine art, Syed Ahmad Jamal’s artist still admires the roots of the Malay cultural traditions to be equally in each of his works. I choose Syed Ahmad Jamal because I was interested with his style of painting. In Malaysia, it so difficult to find Abstract Expressionismartist. What is more interesting is that, even he despite education western, he still have a strong passion of Malay Cultural.