By Rafeaton Fauzi, Hasliza Abdullah & Seow Siew Ling
JustReadOnline TV, May 12 2017
Narrator: Who has not heard about the legendry princess of Mount Ledang. Almost every living soul in Malaysia knew the story about the beautiful princess who set to be able to change to look a bit protect the mountain. Ancient history and myth described the Mount of Ledang as being a site of rich gold deposit which alert orient traders. Interestingly today, the story of journey made by Malacca Sultan toward to convey the marriage proposal to the Princess of Mount Ledang and the discovery of enchanted garden as told in the Sullalatus Salatin or the Sejarah Melayu are translated in the form of songket paintings. The idea to put songket on canvas was muted local artist Faizal Sidik, who is also National Visual Art Gallery curator. In his paintings Faizal combined craft and traditional literature and manage to revised the mystery and described the beautiful scenery scene by Tun Mamat and the Admiral were passing thru the enchanted garden during the mission to proposed the princess for the sultan. The mysterious and enchanted garden came alive the reason Faizal Sidik a month long solo exhibition held at Museum of Asian Art, University Malaya Kuala Lumpur. The ‘Faizal Sidik : Songket Paintings’ exhibition showcased over 50 paintings produced by the artist from the year 2010 to 2016.
Faizal Sidik: There is a scene in which a vassal of Sultan, Tun Mamat and Admiral for up to Gunung Ledang, be in for a ride on Gunung Ledang he came across a enchanted garden. So my songket paintings is inspired from the enchanted garden.
Narrator: The solo exhibition were also adaptation from Faizal concern of Sejarah Melayu manuscript which copies may preserve at main libaray in the world such as in London, Netherland, Jakarta and Rusia. Songket paintings on canvas are also the continuity of traditional and contemporary paintings using motive of star flower, flowe cape, sunflower and cloud. Faizal Sidik is hardworking and focus to his studies and sensitivity in understanding fine art, especially relating to nature and monarchy. His paintings are pale of tradition Malay literature as a medium communication supported by the visual technique of songket weaving as symbol borderless of aesthetics value. Looking back into a frame of time, the Petaling Jaya born artist has been going beyond the borders to find new idea for his art and to uplift the status the national arts and heritage including to Berlin, Rome and Venice.
Faizal Sidik: I think that we actually have to ask again who are we? Where were we came from?. The point here is that we do not have to produce art work as they (the West) because it is only suitable for their climate and atmosphere. My inspiration come from Southeast Asia, I think so many thing that we can sharing to public from songket as a craft tradition.
Narrator: Apart of organizing solo and group exhibition, Faizal is also active in curating art shows and writing articles for catalogues, newspapers, magazines and blogs. For sure the collection of songket paintings on canvas by Faizal Sidik is a continuity of tradition in contemporary paintings. Songket painting like this not only capable of giving a new dimension in the national visual art industry but also showcasing the uniqueness and creativity of local artist.