Tuesday, December 30, 2008

If Pictures could tell a thousand words!!

No matter what shape size or colors they come in, they still wins my heart.

I Wayan Asta - Balinese Artist.

I WAYAN ASTA, one of the most welknown of Contemporary (traditional Balinese Artist) lives ni Taman Ubud, Bali. He was a humble and charming man whose hospitality i enjoyed. Most of his works were done with acrylic and depicted monkeys. From the traditional old topics of the Barong and Ramayana to the more contemporary of monkies playing basket ball and shooting pool.
He was born at Taman Kaja in Ubud in 1954 not very far from his present studio home which is on the otskirt of Ubud town resting next to the ricefields. He studied painting under his uncle I Nyoman Meja also a reknowned Ubud painter in 1967.
Asta started painting animals and birds innitially and latter became interested in Monkies which he depicted with human traits. Conveniently enough his present studion is located not far from the famous Monkie Forest in Ubud.
He expressed his willingness to oparticipate in having a show in Malaysia if it could be arranged. It has been an intention of mine to try and arrange for a group show of Balinese Artist to be held in Penang under the sposorship of any of the intstitution that is capable of carrying out such a project. USM would be ideal if there is an interest in such promotion in the Arts department and the Gallery Tuanku fauziah is a perfect venue for such a show. The penang State Art Gallery is another Venue if there is concensus agreement for the benifit of such an exhibition to the local community just as it had the show of Artists from Brunei. I think it would be a good cultural
exchange to have artists from the surrounding South east Asian Countries do Group Exhibitions in this State. Local art lovers and artists alike can learn of other's works of art and expression of culture in their own traditional as well as contemporary ways.

Javanese/ Balinese Art

The maticulously painted scenes of the
ordinary foks in their daily lives is one of the
themes that makes art and recorder of
culture and history.

The artists spent months almost meditatively focused on their pieces
to create what seemed like and impossibility yet the finished products
becomes a masterpiece.

Most landscape painters have made and effort to capture scenes that has a
spell binding moment in the psyche. The mind captures these images like the lenses of the camera and etched it into the subconcious. When reproducing the scene the artist evokes the subconcious through a meditative state of concentration and transfers the image onto the canvass.

What struck me most of the Artworks I came upon in my travels in Central and east java was the fact that they numerous! It seemd l;ike there is an artist lurking at every corner of the street and most of these are no ordinary painters of sculptors. The styles and techniques are no much different from those found anywhere around the world, acrylic being the most common media and oil being then medium of choice for those who can afford it. Water colors are not so common strangely enough and printmaking was almost rare to come by.

It was the theme of the works that made Javanese painters more distinguished from others artists from around the world especially those from Bali. The Hindu theme with all the colorful deities and demonic characters, never failed to capture my attention. The characters adapted from the epic Hindu stories of Ramayana and Mahabarata, the barong and the Kacak themes found their ways into the expression on canvass. Art, myth and magic seemed to walk hand in hand in Balinese art.

The everyday life of the people which was as equally colorful found great expressions in many masterpieces that I came upon hanging in the galleries in Ubud and Jogjyakarta but most distinguished is the display of wooden sculptues and wood carvings that was a thrill to behold as it this medium of expression the artist has to be able to put form into lines and designs and accurately manifest a piece of finished work. The choice of wood, the choice of subject and the choice of setting all play an equally important role in order that a sculpture can come to life. Painters can paint and depict a scene with lines and colors but a sculptor has to work from a block of wood and chip out a form as he progresses towards the center of the block and his design and drawing is in his mind expressed through his feeling of the block of wood.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Balinese Hinduism

When I was among the Balinese visiting their homes I sometimes forgot that they were Hindus and assumed them to be Muslims even Malays from the manners and appearences only a whole lot better when it comes to manners. Whenever the fact that they were Hindus struct me in the midst of my socializing with them I felt a kind of sadness in me for them and myself. I really wish deep down that they were Muslims or that I was a Hindu just like them. There was so much humanity and kindness in their ways that in itself I was affected to their culture. They cared and it showed in everything they do and said, in every move and rituals they endeavored it was written all over their faces. This was what the Golden age of Hinduism was like perhaps in its most corrupted sense as modernization has not spared its claws even here in paradise or what is left of it.
I asked a stranger late one night while walking home from my late dinner in Ubud if it was safe to be walking so late in the night. He said to me not to worry there is always someone watching over your safety even if you do not know it, you are our guest here and your safety is our resposibility. After walking a few blocks on down a car passed alongside me and slowed down. A head stuck out the window and the man asked if I was alright or did i need a lift home. I thanked him and waved him off, it was a patrol car and the driver waved back as it drove off. I realize that all good things must come to an end somehow, sometime, but i hope that Ubud will take its time before succumbing to what is called modernization today. I hope the simple folks who daily line the street peddling their wares will still remain cheerful and cutiers despite the arrogance and the thoughtlessness of the rich visitors who came to spend their time away from it all.
The Bali that I saw was I am sure far removed from what it was some years ago before greed, hate and ignorance had taken its toll upon the locals. However it is still somewwhat a paradise where it felt like this was what humans are supposed to be like in any given society at least the affection for one another and the respect for each other.
There is something about the brand of Hinduism that is not like your average hindu you find in Malaysia, the seem to be missing the sense of arrogance of being a Hindu. There was no apprent need to prove who one is or what one's nationality or ethnic heritage is as it is with the Indians or hindus in Malaysia. Like the Chinese and the Malays the Indians here have to exert extra push upon who they are in order to make sure that they get what they righfully deserve in a multi-racial society. Bali is not the case and thus there is no need for any exageration of being who or what one is or belongs to. Balinese Hinduism is Hinduism as it was hundreds of years ago where there was no threat from any external forces to content with. (relatively speaking off course.)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Immigration Blues

On the seventeenth of this month I made a trip to the Immigration office to get my daughter's student permit visas renewed for next years school session. I was late for six days in doing so and was fined one hundred RM and given six month of renewal as opposed to the normal one school year. On top of that I have also to pay for the 60RM actual fee for each renewal of this visas. I took it holding my tears hard from leaving my eyes from anger and frustration. It was not the fines and the pinalizations the urked me but the arrogance and the lack of manners by which the officer in charege handled me a sixty year old perhaps older than his own father. I spent three hours sitting and waiting for something that normally would have taken less than fifteen minutes. It gav me the great opportunity of observing who gets the VIP treatment and who get s shoved around like I was.
If the Immigration had been consistant in their manner of handling my case like fine me two years ago or a year ago when I was months late in doing the same thing I could understand better but it seems like I am a rare case or to be made an examople of for some odd ball reason. I felt like an alien in my own country with an Indian lady sitting across in her sit passing any kind of judgement over me as she seems fit for the past three years that i had dealt with her and now this young Malay who saw the opportunity to kick the old man because he dared to have children who are American citizens! Three cheers for Malays and three more cheers for being a Malaysian!!
The accusation made about me being "Melayu yang ta' berdentiti" in a comment made in my blog a few entries ago rings some thruth now! Who the hell am I?? Do i even have any slightest right as a Malaysian citizen in my own country? Waht great have I commited that I am being treated like a Pariah and my children having to bear the consequences?
I had the mind to write a nasty letter to the Immigration Director but i held it back out of consideration for my own future and that of my children whose citizenship is up in a balance. And what good would it do after all I was late for six days!! My duaghter who had grown up in this country since kidergarten till she is now in form four going form five was an illegal alien for six days of her life. If deported where would she go? Her mother is terminally ill and vegitating in a Nursing home in America, who can she depend on? How could she deprive this country of anything worthwhile if she had over sayed six days of her life in her father's homeland? And she belongs to the Police cadet in her school among other contributions she had made being an active student? These are things that blew my mind when I am dealing with petty tyrants who runs the government bureucracy an had it in their minds that they have the authority to be rude and condescending because they wear the uniform. Not a word of copassion or understanding not a word of greeting between fellow Muslim, between an elder and young no sir! Did this jerk even ask why I was late? The answer was simple economics, not enough money to cover the cost after having dealt with my son's issue (with the Immigration).
I too have served this country in more ways that I dare to reveal! Suffice to say that if I were to reveal some of the things I did in my years abroad for my country I could be accused in the court of law and not the one that belongs to this country. I have witnesses to a thing or two that i have done for this country but hey, who gives?? As the Dr.M said they forget ever so easily. If the Immigration Director reads this so be it and if wishes to or have the time of day to meet me Insha"Allah, but otherwise this is what it felt like and I put off writing this down just so i dont get carried away and expose myself too much that would jeopardize my children and their future.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Living like Cattles

It's Friday and I made it to the mosque this time and it was at the masjid Kampung Rawa not too far from my home. I got a ride there from my neighbor's kid to the mosque his father is a very close friend and someone I have had many religious discussions with over the fact that i am in need of a religious spring cleaning. He had once set me up to meet a friend of his believed to be able to turn my head around with his ideas and religious beliefs but in the end both his friend and I had a great time agreeing with each other over our individual perceptions and he was pointed out as one who betrayed a friend's confidence. This happeend in the good old days when my late friend the Cikgu Yusoff Ali was still around and hot religious discussions were being carried all through the nights at 'Pa'Pin's Coffee shop on the corner of Jalan Perak and Jalan P. Ramlee. It was quite an awakenning expereince for me then as i had just reentered the country, the culture and the religion after having left it all for the previous twenty four years. It was my indoctrination of sorts into Islam and being the odd ball in the group whose head had been twisted left and right while in the West, I was often the center of attention or attack whichever was the case maybe. My answers to the questions thrown at me were always given with a Zen Buddhist twist to it, like answering a question with a question sort of thing and this often irritated most of these die hard so called contemporary Muslim thinkers.
Today the Imam was spitting out brimstone and fire from the pulpit accusing the Penang State Government for trying to destroy the 'Akidah' of the Muslim youth of this 'our beloved Island' by holding yet another Dance festival tomorrow! He spat out accusations against just about every institutions and foundations for the downfall of our Muslim way of life and the corruption that infested Islam among the Penangites. Not once did he turn the finger around at himself or the Penang Muslims themselves for selling their religion and culture cheap when things were at the height of prosperity among them, like when the island was under the rule of the Alliance or Barisan Nasional, wher nothing was accomplished in terms of social or religious upgrading other than more mosque being build and more salaries being raised among the Ulama's. What was done as far as the common people and the youth welfare when they had the chance? What was said and done about the stench that is eminating from the river a few hundred yards from where from the mosque? Never in my years of Friday prayers have I heard an Imam went on rampage about the state of the polluted rivers in this 'beloved Island of ours.'
God created all and fair to all and he gave us brains of equal size and capability, how can we pass judgements upon those who do not profess to our own way of belief? As a nation we like to brag about being a multi-racial, multi-cultural, Multi-religious society and how we have lived side by side in harmony and tolerance, yet in our mosques and temples our churches and wats we grind our knives and poison our arrows in preparation for Armageddon and all in the name of God!
Lets not allow our children to be influenced by these dances and Yoga and the likes that corrupts their innocent minds! Great! let them play their video games on the computer or hang out at the Mall instead all day long and watch soccer games all through the night! The older folks ,Hey, they are contented with the reruns of old P.Ramlee movies, let them be. The men who are retired? let them hang out at the coffee shops thats the best hole for them why worry they cause not harm so long as the teh tarik and Necafe is right and the roti canai does not cost too much, let them be. If the spirit moves them the pious ones will hide in their corners and zikhr to Allah in attonement for the past sins and preperation for the next step in the afterlife, the fortunate, the awakened few. They will have nothing to do with the masses and their irreparable ways of modernism, for these are the few who have seen the light in Mecca and made their covenant to only seek Allah and give up this so called world of ours. May Allah bless them and keep them.
Life is peachy for most Malay Muslims here in Penang and if there is any complains it would mostly be about getting their SOCSO or KWSP at the end of the day for those who are salary earners and how to spend it. Talks about the business of the day will eventually lead on to how the use of Jins and shaitans were involved in every run of businesses from coffee shops to major corportations in order to cut off the copetitions head. Only Malays will declare to themselves how they all have PHDs, Ask these guys about Akidah and Syariah and they will tell you the answers all night long for so long as the coffee flows. Ask them where their children are and they will raise their cell phones and dial for their kids, no problem, everything is at the finger's tip.
There is no unniversal scheme to destroy Islam and if there is it would be the Muslims themselves that would deserve the credit. Oh yes there is always the boogey Jewish or so called Zionist regime that is always lurking around the corner to pounce at every unwary Muslim as he passes by and make him disappear from the face of the earth. This is a very popular believe and has won the hearts of millions of unwary Muslims so much so that they walked around corners in paranoia. When things dont go right at home or abroad blame it on the Jews or the Christians or the Hindus but the fact that islam is still in the grip of sectorial segregation and causing untold miseries in the lives of its followers is swept under the carpet. This is the Muslim contemporary scapegoat for the failures they have against righting the religion of Allah! The fingers seldom points at the one who is pointing but always at the devil out there. Corruption is out there! Ignorance and Greed is out there! It is in them no, not us for we are Muslims! For god's sake we are Muslims!
I was sipping coffee and chewing on some chicken Satay with my cousin and friend who owns a burger stand at the Taman Saadon Astaka or eating place till about 2am. We were discussing about the same issue as the one raised by the Imam at the mosque today. Yoga is sin the fatwa said, what Yoga? Raja Yoga? Hatha Yoga? Bakhti Yoga? What yoga? Kriya Yoga? I asked them. Do they know Yoga? Meditation should be made a sin too, if Yoga is depiction of Shivas posture or whatever it is that the religious wise men accuse it of that is anti Islam. The Buddha sit in meditation and most buddha statues depicts this position so there aught to be a fatwa against sitting meditation. Tai Chi as most people has pointed out should be banned too for it is very Chinese or Taoist in principle. In the end what is there left for us Muslims to work with to sharpen our mind and hone our understandings? The Holy prophet said for us to go all the way to China if need be to gather knowledge, He did not say destroy the Great Wall. Nor did God commanded Moses to get rid of the pyramids but just "take your people out of darkness."Perhaps this is the issue we are not suppose to have too much learning, it is not healthy for us, we aught to let our wise muslim leaders do the thinking for us why not? Life is kosher as it is, got your retirement or pension your KWSP, there's the coffee shop to hang out and your cronies to shoot the shit with.Your kids are wherever they are safe for so long as you got them a hand phone to keep tract of them, your wives are happy so long as P.Ramlee in black and white is wooing Saloma on TV, let the Ulam'as do the thinking when it comes to what is right or wrong concerning the religion, just as the politicians will take care of your political needs. No one ask for or need your opinion so keep it in your blog.
Islam is Perfect as it Is it is the Muslims who have to make perfections out of themselves by being knowledgeable, great collective thinkers, far sighted and intuitive in their approach when it comes to their understanding of the religion. To know God, know thyself first. He who knows himself knows God. One of the great Caliphs of Islam said this. How can one point a finger at anyone else without thoroughly investigating the finger that is pointing if it is pure and clean in the eys of the AlMighty. We are all His Creation, Muslims and Non Muslims alike! Even the Devil himself is His creation! He gave us one miracle and that is the Mind (the Intellect)to work with is this what we end up with? Blowing up innocent bystanders including fellow Muslims, killing each other simply because we cannot come to an agreement on whose sect or mazhab is correct or acceptable which is not? Is this all that we got to show for being what a Muslim is all about? Finger pointing, declaring fatwas on every thing our taste does not agree with or that threatened our status quo as Muslim leaders? Islam is not only becoming the dreaded terrorist religion of the world now it is also becoming the laughing stalk, a religion moving backwards in time.
"Then We have given the Book as an inheritance to those whom We have chosen among Our servants; So some of them are those who wrong themselves and some of them are those who take the middle course(Whose errors and good deeds are equal),and some of them are those who are foremest in deeds of goodness by Allah's will That is the greatest Grace."
(Sura Fatir ,32)
Hanya Allah yang Wujud!!
Hanya Allah Yang Wujud!!!
Dia -lah yang Maha Wujud!!!!
The rest is pure history...His--story.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Balinese Wood Sculpture

Using the most basic of tools most of these sculptures were created from wood of local trees and the Master sculptor belonged to a line of wood sculpture artists from The Ubud Bali Area. The subject matter were mostly human as well as animal forms most of which found their way to European countries.

What is most relevant in learning after witnessing the amount of work and the dedication poured into it by the Artisans who chisseled, scraped and sand papered away all day long in the effort to produce a pice of sculpture is the fact that although it may seem like just another form of earning a living for these workers it was done with enthusiasm and care. They were not doing anything special but merely putting in day's work but this is the spirit that any good artist should emulate, nothing special just doing a day's work. The creative thought has been put into the work by the sculptor and all there is to do is to bring it into manifestation, to bring out the form from the raw piece of wood. This has to be executed almost effortlessly, with natural instinct born from experience through repetition and mindfulness invovlvement.

If there is anything that the Balinese Artists are great at that would be sculpture in wood and stones. All over the island one cannot fail to come across one form of wood or stone sculpture whether in the form of deities and demigods or simply animals of all kinds. Whether in the temple yard or in small gardens, in boutiques as a part of the decor or in the corner of coffee shop as a simple shrine to some unkown spirit. Sculpture is a part of the Balinese way of life and culture so much so that nothing is impossible to be depiced in sculpture form and no size too big or too small so long as there is he means and the price to do it. There is ample enough of subject matter from devine to the comical, from the sophisticated human forms to the simple monkey forms to make up for subject matter.
One of the boys at the 'Senang Hati Foundation' an art shop located on Jalan Raya Ubud Gianyar, in Ubud, who would took me around on his motorbike was Komang who is also a very good wood sculpture and specializes in creating horses. He worked without any form of reference or drawing and what he produced was as accurate as a horse can be. He took me to one of the major wood sculpture shop along the road on the way to the Goa Gajah, called Budi Abstrak run by I Nyoman Widarta a master sculptor. I had a good visit with Mr. Widarta about his works and the business in general. He was a ver y low key kind of person who despite his enormous talent for the medium of sculpture in wood was most humble and unpretentious.
His warehouse cum sculpture shop was full of works of art that could easily fetch a handsome price anywhere in the world and they do. Sadly though it the prioce of shipping them abroad that eats up at the cost and understably so as sculptures tends to be heavy and occupy space when considered for delivery like to Europe or Japan. A huge piece sat in the corner collecting dust. It was sculpted out of the base of a tree trunk and had all kinds of creatures including horses engraved into it and it wad sold to and Englishman but is still pending delivery. As I look around the cluttered space filled with all kinds of imagnable sculpture i wondered what this man would become if he were to teach in Malaysia at an Art school. Most probably he would simply settle for a few pieces a year and be happy to get his salary every end of the month giving himself excuses like everyone else that he has no time for it. Here he produces througfh his employees these out of sight pieces like they oozes out of his brain daily.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Win Some Loose Some

I seem to have difficulty in trying to load the pictures i took while on my trip to Java into my blog entries, am still not good at it, what a bloody shame! Time is wated in trying and what a waste it would be if I were to loose all those great shots i took of the whole trip wihtout having the chance to share it on my blog. Getting my mind to focus! Getting my spirit to centerr upon what Is! Getting a hold on my sense of creative awareness into gear! Getting myself prep for what should or aught to be done instead of procrastinanting! But what? Yes I have many things i could be getting into motion but i cannot seem to get a hold of myself from drifting into a state of lethargic limbo, which I know from past expweriences would lead into depression and onto despair and inactivity, then comes blame and followed with anger and rejection. Works like a clockwork and what is the cause?
I have sat in meditation every night and every morning trying to figure what gives but to no avail. Worked my heart out yesterday stirring mega sized pots of curries for over two thousand people's worth of catering. Felt like I was going to collapse by the end of the day but had to drive to the hospital and pick up a newly born baby girl another addition to my grand nieces. It was great to see yet another soul being introduced into this suffering world another potential angel being brought down to earth to help heal the pain or another victim for the slaughter house. Life goes on no matter what I may do or think and I have to keep trudging along till the end justifying my own very existance, still like a bloody fool trying to answer the outdated out moded question of who am I? On looking at the innocent infant I realized how futile is is to keep on playing this charade of proving to oneself that life has anything more than it really is.
But true to this blog the moanin and groanin has to go on despite all the trippings and the short term comforts or vacations. The human mind has to be put to the grind if it is to stay sharp and healthy otherwise it will end up petrified and age sets in in its glory of decadence and despair. Most people that i have met and talked to of my age are now turned to God as their center of attention. The Preparation for the after life has long since bean for them and it has kept them well safe and sound from any form of mental dellusions or grandiose unattainable dreams. For me i am still floating along among the flotsam of human misserries and self doubts, I have yet to find and anchor for my soul to latch on to as a final stage before the next phase of its journey. I am still caught in my own self made self created dellusions which I had hoped would be the source to answers that i seek to the questions I had earlier on asked of myself with regard to my own existance.
It took the historical Buddha over forty years to discover his answers after undergoing numerous forms of transformations physically mentally and spiritually before he could claim to have attained to liberation, I have hardly begun. I am your average backslider, I give up and give in too easy and compromised my way through life whenver it is the better means. I have become a coward in my old age and no more care for the rebeliousness of my spirit like it once was used to. I fear what is to come and for what was already instead of facing what is and making the best of the moment as my son once mentioned...Carpe Diem!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mental scatology

It's Friday and so what, thank God? I am beginning to drift into my old moody blues again and i can feel it coming. It is always accompanied by a slight flu, migraine headaches and not being able to get things moving whether with the kids or with my own works. What is it exactly that I am complaining about i do not evn knbow but there seem to be a nagging feeling about things not happening, not being accomplished and the feeling of being taken for a ride by others in short low self esteem is killing me. A close friend once told me not to be too hard on myself and this is one of those occassions when i should listen to his words.
This morning I tried to down load some pictures from my trip into my blogs but failed miserably and did some sketches from the pictures instead which made up for lost time and effort as the sketches came out quite okay. The I went to visit my friend Nazlina whos is working on my Sendai Book and learned that not much progress has been mad although she seemed genuinely is into it but too much other works is in the way as always, mine gets the back burner whenever this happens. It is disappointing and makes you want to throw in the towel. I wish I had my own computer or better yet a lap top as I shure as hell am tired of depending on others. How much time i have wasted in finding a computer yesterday and got nothing done in the process.
After my visit at Nazlina's I had to rush home to get my daughter to her tution class and while driving her to her class I was busting my chops at her for not completing the laundry that I had started this morning thus leaving the cloaths still in the washer. I gues that was the last straw for the day and this is why I am in a pissy mood writing this blog. Now that I have let it all out it does not seem like too big a deal after all, so what if i am not getting things done? What the hell do I need to get things don for anyway? What if i do not hav a lap top or a computer what's the big deal about writing a blog or sending or reading emails anyways? Yes my friend was right, I am hard on myself and i aught to kick myself for it.
I am one dick head who does not know hoqw to count his blessings and b thankful for what he already has, Friday it is today, so what? I missed the Friday Prayer on purpose and why? IO have not ben to the mosqu ever since i was told off by the jerk of an Bilal or Katib at th Sungai Pinang Mosque for standiong in the wrong place one evening (directly behind the Imam). It was a NO! No! He told me and later he continued to chide me when he met me at a coffee shoptelling me what an ignoramous i was and he did this agian for the third tim calling me this time satupid for not knowing the 'Tatatertib' of or protocol of the prayer in a mosque. So i say to myself fuck you anf fuck your mosque eversince. Ys I am ignorant of the ways of Islam the rituals according to the Sunnah Rasul of Allah. Yes I cannot read the Quran other than those that I regularly recite when I pray, but hell I never in my life claim myself as a great Muslim opr a devoted one at that, so why the need to kcik me in my teeth for making an honest error of standing directly behind the Imam and for the simple reasom being that i was pushed into it so that the lin is closed by the guyt standing next to me. Make sense? No! That's right nothing makes sense except when you carry it on your mind like an illness. The guy who got you all riled up about this whole matter is not all there in his head they tell you and not to pay too much attention in what he says or does! Great! Hellilluueeah!! The Holy Prophet would have a shit fit laughing at this scenario if he were alive.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Some things never change...

Three days I am back and my mind slid right back into the same old groove of being lethargic and lack of creative impulses to start any significant work. I have ideas of what I want to accomplish and the means to do it more or less but my mind is asleep or so it seems, like I am being doped. Physically it's migraine as usual which can be attributed to the scorching weather for the past few days here.
Visited my friend Lee and his family last night tot return the camera and had a good time relating my trip and also talked a little about life and religion. I was very refreshing to be able to share your thoughts with peole whose intelligence and understanding has surpassed yours as they often make you assess what you think you know and correct you when there need a correction to be made. Lee mad me a generous gift of a copy of Lee Joo For's Art book of which he was the editor. I was very impressed with Ju For's works when seen collectively as in the book. His works throughout his career was very dynamic and so was his life. It is very refreshing to see how and artist has grown in his works along with his age and the book helps one to map his life as an artist for better understanding and for posterity. For local artists this is a good source in order to get a better idea of the who is who or the what of contemporary art in Malaysia is and be proud of the success of our fellow Malaysian artist. Ju For is respected by artists of all ethnic background here in Penang not only for his works but also for his low key and low profile manners that is always approachable not only to Chinese but all artists who met him.