Mohamad the old woodenplanks is rough, while the

Mohamad Ismadi Sallehudin is known as Ismadi. He is an artist with over twenty years ofexperience. He studied at ITM, Malaysia and finished his Master’s degree at De MontfortUniversity, UK. He always writes and take pictures of his daily observations and surroundings.The theme of his works is the relationship between humans and animals. He incorporatedvarious techniques in his works such as painting, drawing, etching and monotypes.5Description:Recognizable SubjectsFrom Picture 1, it can be visually seen that this piece of artwork is likewise the national flag ofMalaysia – the Stripes of Glory, more commonly known as “Jalur Gemilang” among Malaysians.It is a big rectangle that consists of old wooden planks, golden sticks and metal. The fourteenstripes are constructed by old wooden planks, the crescent and fourteen-point star are formedwith golden sticks, while the blue field at the upper left is made by metal. The bottom left of theartwork contains face of the first prime minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman. A smallMalaysia flag can also be spotted underneath the face of Tunku Abdul Rahman. Besides that,there is a black shoe at the bottom right of the artwork. The old wooden planks contain wordsof patriotism, some words used in daily conversations of Malaysians and few lines of poems.Visual Elements and Their QualitiesThe artist painted the rectangular metal with words of patriotism as well as some simple tinydoodles to create a blue field. Elements of art can be discovered among these paintingsespecially the points and lines that can be seen clearly. As similar to the flag of Malaysia, theartist uses primary colors to construct this piece of artwork. The texture of the old woodenplanks is rough, while the metal and gold are smooth. The shapes that can be found in thisartwork are geometrical shapes and organic shapes. The crescent and fourteen-point star havean illusion of depth as well as width and height, thus create a three-dimensional form. The oldwooden planks are placed inappropriately to form the fourteen stripes. The right side of thewhole artwork is slightly bigger than the left side but it can be considered as asymmetricallybalanced.Technical QualitiesThe materials used to construct this artwork are wood, metal and gold. The artist employs thetechnique of puzzle building to construct the old wooden planks, which turned out to becomplicated but in another way create a visual excitement to the viewers. Apparently, the colorpalette used in this artwork is primary colors, which allow the artwork to be presented in a veryharmonious way. The artist expresses himself by painting lots of self-expressive words andpoem lines on the old wooden planks.Analysis:Size/Scale RelationshipsThis piece of artwork can be simplified as a rectangle that consists a smaller rectangle on theupper left side. The artist brings in various sizes of old wooden planks to construct the fourteenstipes. The old wooden planks occupied an important part as they are the largest construction ofthe artwork. The scale of this artwork is based on the proportion of the Malaysian flag, which is1:2 that the right side is slight bigger than the left side.6Shape RelationshipsMost of the objects in this piece of artwork are in geometrical shapes. There are also angularshape and pointed shape like the crescent and fourteen-point star. The crescent and fourteen-point star are formed evenly with a bunch of rounded golden sticks. Besides, the various sizes ofwooden planks are rectangular in shapes and are placed next to each other inappropriately toavoid monotonous.Color RelationshipsThe whole artwork looked harmonious as the artist uses primary colors and achromatic colors toconstruct, which is a perfect combination of color scheme. The crescent and fourteen-point starare visually dominant and command the viewers’ attentions at first glance, this is achieved bycontrast of colors – golden sticks have a lighter color in compared to the old wooden planks.Picture 6 & 7 is a close-up view of the blue paintings on the metal, different values of blue colorcreate spatial illusions that fit well with the light background. On the other hand, the colors ofthe old wooden planks are not exactly in red but slightly brownish for the reason that they are akind of natural materials – wood. With the supplement of white color, the reddish woodenplanks matched well together and looked more similar as the fourteen stripes of the JalurGemilang.Textural Surface RelationshipsA strong contrast effect can be discovered from the materials used for the blue field and thefourteen stripes – metal and gold are smooth while old wooden planks are rough. The crescentand fourteen-point star create an illusion to compliment the used of golden sticks that form athree-dimensional feeling.Space and Volume RelationshipsThe artist uses various sizes of old wooden planks to represent the fourteen stripes instead ofpainting red and white colors directly. It enables the artist to play with different placement thatbrings out a fresh and active feeling. In addition, the artist also implied space through the use ofoverlapping. For instance, the crescent and fourteen-point star enclose volume thus appear inthe foreground while the blue field as the background.7Interpretation:This artwork is majorly constructed with various sizes of old wooden planks, which actuallyreflect the multiracial nature of Malaysian society. Regardless of our racial, ancestral,generational and age backgrounds, each one of the Malaysians plays an important role inbuilding and protecting this nation. This explains why the artist uses old wooden planks as amaterial to construct the fourteen stripes, along with why the old wooden planks occupiedmore than a quarter of the construction. As mentioned previously, the old wooden planks arethe most important part of the artwork, which the whole construction will collapse entirely ifany part of the whole disintegrates. It symbolizes the importance of national unity amongMalaysians and how desperately the artist wanted to make the viewers to recognize the hiddenmessage. This piece of artwork is an effective and all-purpose creation to help convey theartist’s intention – to remind Malaysians about the meanings of the colors on the Jalur Gemilang.Picture 2 is a small part of the old wooden planks, which is a modification of the Malay rejoicingpoem “Pantun Anak-Anak”. As compared to the original poem, the artist modified two lines:from “bolehkah jadi anak tenggiri” to “jangan gelor anak tenggiri” and from “bolehkah jadi anaksendiri?” to “jangan gelor anak sendiri”. The artist attempts to convey another meaning thatevery child is the pillar of the country, that they are not supposed to be hurt or deprive freedomand authorities.In Picture 7, the black shoe at the bottom right is labeled as “Adidas Kampung” as it has fourwhite stripes, which is almost identical to the trademark of the famous brand, Adidas. Ironically,the shoe is not an authentic Adidas product but rather a counterfeit product. This indicates thatthe people lived in the village are easily satisfied with what they have and are not materialistic.At first sight, this artwork gives the viewers a feeling of patriotism for the reason that it is aconstruction that likewise the flag of Malaysia. There are even more words related to patriotismon the old wooden planks as well as the blue field. It seems to remind the viewers to be patrioticto their own country and be proud of their nationality. As relates to the current situation ofMalaysia, there are many Malaysians who chose to immigrate to other countries and forgottenabout their native country. There are also Malaysians who forgotten about the meaning of thecolors on the flag of Malaysia even though they had learnt it during schooldays.8Judgement:There are undoubtedly excellent part as well as lacking part in this artwork.This piece of artwork is considered as a good one as the artist relates the past by involving theplanks on the walls of wooden house as the main material in this artwork. The artist attempts toremind the viewers about the people living in the villages and the days back then where peoplelive a stress-free life.The hard work of the artist can be seen through the old wooden planks as it takes time to collectdiscarded planks and they were kept for such a long time to construct this artwork. Furthermore,the artist also adds in his creativity by making use of various sizes of old wooden planks andrelates them as the multiracial nature of Malaysia society. Not only that, the artist indicates howimportant it is to unite everyone by applying puzzle building technique into the artwork, whichthe whole construction will entirely collapse if any part of it disintegrates.Even though Malaysians are familiar with the Malaysia flag, the artist introduces anotherinteresting art style and provides a brand new visual excitement. Different kind of paintingtechniques can be discovered when the viewer dig deeper into this artwork.However, it is difficult for the viewers to identify the deeper meaning of this artwork. Theconstruction of this artwork is complicated especially the old wooden planks, which results toconfusions and is not that easy to digest in just a glance. It requires the viewers to dig deeperand search for answers themselves. For example, the placement of the black shoe labeled as”Adidas Kampung” at the bottom right is not related to the flag of Malaysia. Thus the viewerswill have an opinion that the black shoe has no exact meaning but is for decoration only. Otherthan that, this artwork has a limitation in space. The construction of this artwork is muchcomplicated and has no empty spaces, negative shapes or forms for the viewers to take a breath.In conclusion, this artwork can be categorized as an artwork of expressivism, for the reason thatthe artist constructs this artwork based on reality as well as his thoughts and feelings throughthe society of Malaysia. He expresses himself by constructing this artwork likewise the flag ofMalaysia and stresses the importance of unity among the people. In compared to othersolutions, this artwork is considered as a more straight forward and convincing method becauseof Malaysians’ collective respect for the flag of Malaysia.