Repositioning Pua Kumbu and Batik Through Artistic Practice: 'Globalising' the Local by Drawing upon Diverse Malaysian Cultural Forms

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This paper will discuss the stimulus behind, and implications of, the artistic work of Mohamad Zahuri Khairani an artist and PhD student, who is currently experimenting with combinations of computer-mediated imagery, text and 'traditional' fabrics manufactured in Malaysia.

This joint paper by Zahuri and research supervisor Geff Green will look at the creative stimuli of the 'modern' and 'traditional', positing the modern as a product of globalisation, westernisation and the 'traditional'. Zahuri's latest work recombines diverse products of Malaysian oral and visual culture using 'traditional' fabrics as the canvas onto which words and imagery are placed.

This paper will explain how Zahuri's practice-based approach to artistic research examines the importance of expanding the Malaysian visual culture heritage in light of the enormous impact of globalisation on the art and visual culture in Malaysia. We will discuss the main objectives of this research and artistic output, which are to understand the problems, consequences and affects of globalisation towards art and 'traditional' visual culture and to produce artefacts that explicitly illuminate a new understanding of the dynamic that arises between globalisation, contemporary art and craft traditions in the Malaysian context.


Keywords: Traditional Fabrics, Computer-Mediated Imagery, Modern, Globalisation, Westernisation,, Oral and Visual Culture, Practice-Based Artistic Research, Contemporary Art, Craft Traditions, Malaysian Context
Stream: Visual Arts Practices
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Geff Green

Principal Lecturer, Art
Design Communication & Media, Sheffield Hallam Universtiy

Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK

Having worked as a musician and teacher in the past, my recent research has focused on South East Asian Cultural History with dual foci on:
1) the roots of Balinese Tourist Art in the 1930s (the subject of my PhD thesis) and 2)the work of the Malaysian Film Director P Ramlee as a reflection of Malay identity. My associated interest in South East Asian 'traditional'Material culture and (ikat in particular) has led to my research association with the artist Mohamad Zahuri Khairani. and his recent experiments with Pua Kumbu and Iban cultural artefacts, in a modern Malaysian context

Zahuri Khairani

Senior lecturer, Fine Art, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris
PERAK, Malaysia

Mohamad Zahuri Khairani Taught at University Malaysia Sarawak in Borneo for 14 years, helping to set up the their multimedia courses in the 1990s. He also held a number of exhibitions of his work, not shying away from the politically controversial, before joining the Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris North of Kuala Lumpur a few years ago. He is currently undertaking a practice-based PhD at the Sheffield Institute of Art & Design at Sheffield Hallam Univesrity in the UK. His most recent work examines the complex interaction between tradition and globalisation in Malaysian Art and craft traditions (including food).

Ref: A09P0281