Kuala Lumpur – The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Dr Nazrin Muizzuddin Azlan Shah has urged Malaysian artists to look beyond their shores to learn how others engage in art despite hardships or obstacles.
He said art had always been an effective mode of political and social expression as history shows that many artists have paid a heavy price for daring to stand up to injustice.
“Art stimulates our senses, encourages us to think and reflect beyond what we see in front of us. Each country’s art invariably features distinct characteristics that tells us something about the hopes and aspirations of the artists and the nation.
“Great art reflects and reveals elements that transcend time, space and physical boundaries,” he said at the official opening The Masters of Myanmar Art Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur.
Also present at the exhibition was Raja Permaisuri of Perak, Tuanku Zara Salim.
Sultan Nazrin said there is more scope for professionals and entrepreneurs to be involved in logistics, publishing and insurance as the art fairs in the Asian grow in size and value.
“Artists themselves benefit from such regional and international exposure to their work. These developments in the art scene are positive because as in all great civilisations, a greater appreciation of art and culture contributes to country’s aspiration to be developed and civilised society,” he said.
In tandem with the rise in art appreciation, Sultan Nazrin said the art scene has also become increasingly more sophisticated with more employment opportunities for art curators, conservators, writers and catalogue designers.
“Today, distinguished artists in Malaysia like Latif Mohidin, Yusof Ghani, Ahmad Zaki Anwar and many more can earn a decent income compared to the early years of our nationhood when our first batch of artists returned from their training abroad and embarked on their careers as professional artist, ” the sultan said.
Sultan Nazrin said we can learn from and appreciate many aspects of the art and culture of our neighbours within the diverse Southeast Asian region.
“The development of Myanmar art bears some similarities to ours, in terms of British Colonial influences. The watercolour and oil media as well as Impressionism and Realism are still dominant features in Myanmar art, ” he said.
Sultan Nazrin also congratulated Myanmar artists who take a personal interest in promoting Myanmar art in Malaysia. – Bernama