Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Am I ready for my MASTERS DEGREE?

I am in the process of writing my MFA proposal for USM and it seems the more I look into it the more I find I have to learn about it; just the proposal itself, format and all. It is interesting however now that i have rummage through all the sources including confiding with the various faculty members who are also my close friends one or two.Initially it was the question of can i do it? Then came the can I afford it? and followed by is it worth it.
I have a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, graduated in 1982. I graduated with a degree entitled "Personal Concentration major" because I designed my own degree through a program called "The University Without Walls" which was pioneered  by the University of Wisconsin at Madison. I was recommended this program by my mentor and art professor the Late Mr. William Prevetti at the University who thought that I was wasting my time in the studios and too smart to know better.
When I was asked to write my proposal for the program I called it 'Art in Quest of the Universality'. I wrote a lengthy ramblings of a little of this and little of that and somehow it got me through without the  followed by interview which others had to do. And thus began my actual college life which was mostly spent travelling all over the world till this date: I am still schooling. I still keep an ongoing journal of sketches and writings, with the last one being done in Rome and Dubai and I still am writing an ongoing blog which has numbered some 890 entries since i began blogging, I am still drawing and painting whenever my heart moves me to and I have an average of two solo exhibitions a year although am tired of it.
Yes I am still in school, making mistakes and trying hard to justify my ways knowing fully well i do not convince not even myself. They called me the perpetual student when I was at the University as it took me almost five years to complete my degree and hung out at the campus like it was my only home even after graduating; it was one of the most beautiful times of my life. I am still learning it is like an addiction, an obsession the need to fill my head and my time with knowledge and creativity. I have the feeling that if not for my zest for being a student i would have gone insane a long time ago; I found that life was one hell of a boring place to be and was on the verge or drinking myself to death at one point in my life after my divorce while living in Green Bay, however God's Grace came in the form of my apartment neighbor by the name of Allen Hautamaki and who happened to be one of the student councilors at the University in Green Bay (UWGB).
Allen talked me out of working as a boner in the meat packing plant in Green Bay and later in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I spent a total of three years of my life hacking away at semi frozen beef quarters and hinds in a 45 degrees temperature slaughterhouses  so i can keep my wife and child alive. But it was not soon enough, it was not until I became like the cows i was boning and my mind was numb from the Wisconsin cold and the only escape was the booze. These were the darkest years of my life as i was put to the grind to test my spirit to the core: I was a Muslim in Green Bay, I buried my soul into the bottle, I ate anything an everything prohibited or otherwise; my sanity hung at the tip of the icicle. Along came Allen and he talked into me taking the SAT test to qualify myself for college.
When I started school I felt a sense of being free, I felt salvation from the the horrors I was doing to myself, the guilt i felt in loosing my wife and child, The hope i lost in everything I had dreamed of when I left Malaysia to raise a family in GB. The shame and loneliness of missing my own family and friends back home and I often had nightmares waking up with the terrified feeling that I cannot find my way back home.
UWGB these four letters stuck in my mind ever since i started school like they were my ultimate Mantra, they stood for my freedom from my own self created delusions.: no one was to blame I realized but myself as most of those who knew me in GB loved me sheltered me and gave me all the support i could ever needed.  One of whom was my late mother in law who never turned me away from her home even after I was divorced. I was fortunate in the fact that I had many hands that reached out to keep me upright and kept me straight till I graduated from UWGB. and left the State for good leaving behind bitter sweet memories.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Two Paintings for sale!

"The Final Cut"  is an acryclic on plywood panel measuring 4 feet by 6 feet. The painting was done with spontaneous strokes unsing a brom to express the motion of a slash afflicted by a swordsman. The figure in the foreground is a distorted scream of the victim while the background figure is of the striker who faces away from the the viewer.
 The apinting is messy to add to the dramatic apperence of the event. Others may view this painting with different take as one of my friends said it was of a horse in the foreground as it rises out of water... 

This apinting of the same size and measurement of  a splater which reminds me of one of those moments when I have had a 'Cosmic orgasm'.  The painting more importantly emphasizes the strong cntrast of two colors, that of black against white with textures created by the process of blending through smearing. It is also done in acrylic and with a little charcoal added to blend or give it a smooth trnsition of forms.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A word to my Children.

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it…

Life is life, fight for it.”

[Mother Teresa]   It is much easier to just say I quit when the chips are down but it is allot harder to rebound and dance to the eternal tune of that which is the cosmic song or Love, Faith and Truth. To regress or progress to succeed or fail, to laugh or cry, it is all in the steps we take as we march towards our final destination; our eternal home. Battered and bruised, our souls splintered, our dreams shattered, yet we trudge along without any rest or regret as though answering a call to come to rest at the days end, to lay down and fall asleep in the arms of Peace and tranquility. We are the best of creations we were anointed to become the Vicegerent over our domains, 'Khalifas " on the face of this earth, Keepers of the faith in humanity, do not let this Devine Will be stripped from us turning us into monsters and demons preying upon that which we were assigned to protect. Let us not be so lost in our recognition of who we are that our children and their children will curse us for having left behind nothing but sorrow and pain, anarchy and confusion; a world strewn with despair. Mine is but one lonely voice among the many that has been reaching out to touch your feelings and draw you towards the light of awakening, leading you away from self doubt and ignorance. I share with you my deepest thoughts and emotions that you might come to see the faults i have committed and avoid the pitfalls i had fallen into; that you might choose a better more noble path to follow. read me as though you might read a mind hungry for that which is the Truth, seeking to make amends for a lifelong errors in choices and kneeling before my Maker to ask for His compassionate Grace in forgiveness. I do not write just simply to show i can nor to entertain another's ego; i write to destroy mine. I write sometimes simply because it is the one means I have to say that i have not wasted my day with nothing accomplished, I write to keep my mind from slipping into darkness. So my children wherever you are, this is my message to you of who I am, for better or for worse i have tried to put it down in writing that you may forever reflect upon my works and in the process find comfort that your father has done it his way. Yes Like the Sinatra song, I did it my way! I have fallen to the bottomless pit and rose to the peak of the mystic mountain along the way, I have crawled and swim to reach the other shore; as I am nearing my end I can only say to all of you that this long and winded blogging has been started with you in mind for i have nothing of value to leave you in the material sense but only this and whatever is left of my artworks. I pray that somewhere in one or two sentences among this hundreds of entries you find something worthwhile to keep as your gift from me to carry you forward into your future. I believe strongly is living to serve; I believe in servitude as my form of worship. I am thankful for having lived life to the fullest albeit for better or worse. I am happy to have had so many beautiful relationships in the process. I am grateful for the time I have spent being with you, a part of you, I will always cherish the memory of the three women who bore me my children, It is my hope that all of you will live life with as much passion as I had. It my wish to let you know that I love you more dearer than my own life. May the Lord bless you with His Infinite Grace.

The Exhibition was first held in South Korea venued at the Korea Design Center in 2010. In the effort towards making this even global, the sponsors had decided that the show be held outside of Korea.

Asian countries includes China, India, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Korea, and many others. Great Britain, France, Germany are a few of the Euro countries participating in making the even more global as so will the participation from American Designers.

It is an honor for School of The Arts to be made the host for this even and MGTF will be giving its support in making this event a success. This show will be promoting the works of 160 designers from the various Asian Countries.

The idea is to bring to Penang the Best of the Best in Creative Design from Asia. For those who are in this field young and ‘otais’, it is seriously encourage that you be there to lend your support and perhaps learn a thing or two from the Internationally acclaimed designers.

Rub shoulders with the best and see where you stand and the many opportunities to meet those who think and act global, it through the expression of their own native cultures.

Meet the Trend Setters – Styles, techniques, psychological impact – spiritual?. Emotional, it is a good place to share our thoughts and creativity.

Opening Ceremony: 22 Feb 2013 (Fri), 3.30pm

Venue: MGTF, USM

Officiates by Y. Bhg. Prof. Dato' See Ching Mey

(Deputy Vice Chancellor, Division of Industry & Community Network USM)

(opportunity to meet with 11 artists & designers from Korea on the opening reception dont miss out!!)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My mother told me there would be days like this.

So where are we at Bahari? Are we still in this game of existence, of day to day making sense or cents out of nonsense or no cents? How far or how near are we from our goals and expectations or are we at last really washed out, throw in the towel and say screw it all for nothing? Almost nine hundred entries of the blogging and what have we got to show for it? Bare yourself, share you life's experiences, create and hopefully benefit those who happen to look into what we aspire to accomplish through this blogging , you say. Well after all these years and the ups and downs where are we at, Bahari?
Still breathing, still kicking, still wondering where the next penny is going to drop from as I have spent my last dime on a cup of Ali Cafe from the vending machine, that is where i am at. My daughter's friend called me up telling me that my daughter called her from Hanoi needing money as she is not having a good time there,mostly not getting along with her friend and my son needs a new tyre for his bicycle and perhaps tonight's dinner and cat food! The washer at the house is broke so i have to handwash my and my son's cloaths, yes when it rains it pours. But hey Such Is, and this too will pass. One day you are spending some 700odd Euros in four days in Rome and the next you are scraping around for cash to pay for your dinner, that is where I am at.
There are those who will laugh and those who sympathise with my predicament but for so long as I am breathing and am able to provide I know it will all work out for shit happens for good reasons as there is a silver lining behind every dark cloud, I believe so. It may have been a mistake to make my daughter do what she hesitated to do like joining her friend in Hanoi for her holidays and yes my son in Dubai will say. "I told you so, its a mistake as you cannot afford it..." I will have to swallow the pill, I accept the consequences of my actions, always does in the past.
Nothing is permanent, not the good or the bad as all is subject to change and change for better or worse will happen in the course of a lifetime for better or worse it is all in  how we look at life. If my intention be known it is to teahc my two children here how it feels not have money, to be hungry and to be dependant on others. It is never a good feeling for anyone and as such it is my hope that they become strnger and learn to strive to survive if and when I am gone. But it looks like they are not really trully a chip of the old block as they still fail to see what it takes to excell. I have failed my children, I should have stayed employed and making money like everyone else so they do not have to go through hardships an me too for that matter. But as Napoleon once said, "Space you can recover, Time never".
What have i left/ Faith? Faith in my Lord to provide in my time of dire need? My son in Dubai who is going through his own motions in life? or my sone in Switzerland who has his own rivers to cross. There is only one faith left and that is in myself, to make shit or miracles happen and I have been at this for nearly sixty odd years now, doing this and done that; what have got to show? Should i be ashame of myself ? Should I blame all the wrongs that have touched me and my children for the way i have chosen to live my life? What good is all the soul searching and mind mapping journies that I have been trekking all these years? Have i really squandered all my options, jeopardized my childrens' future through wrong choices of self serving interests?
God, I have no answers anymore! I am tired, getting too old for this. I just feel like laying down and not wake up for good, if only i could. God forgive me for feeling such despair, this feeling of hopelessness, if only I had listened to my mother when she switched off the light slammed the door shut and left me in the darkness while i was in the middle of creating an art piece at three in the morning; to tell me to stop wasting my time.! It took me ten years to start painting again after that but I did and look where it got me! Sure, blame it on your mother, you say, if you only knew. The past will always haunt you especially when it is etched deeply into your psyche and the root is too deep to be rooted out, this is what the Buddha called the deep rooted Karmas.
So, where are we at Bahari? Have we learned much from life or is life still shoving crap down our throat?  Grist for the mill, someone once said, that is all it is, the cork and screws that keeps the machine running, the compost heap that one has collected in order that new things can be grown from the product; if only I could stand away from it all and view the larger picture to see where or what it is all about.

The Karmic circle

In today's papers, an Indonesian maid was sentenced to 20 years in prison for throwing a four month old baby around like a 'Rag doll' and her actions were captured on the CC Camera. She was on her first day at her job and the baby landed in the hospital. No, not every Indonesian maids are mean and cruel but there is every now and then a case of unfortunate choices made by the employers and it can happen to any race.
Yes what is the world coming to!? Have we become much worse than the animals that we can commit such heinous acts towards our young without any sense of pity much less remorse? Why are we being tested so drastically with such shameful acts  like abandoning new born infants in toilets and garbage bins; where are we as a specie headed for? Perhaps to fast and too much Globalization is not such a great idea as people cross borders for the the sake of employment are not yet ready to accept the consequences of being  uprooted and placed in a foreign environment and couple this with a disturbed mind or a criminal mind being employed into our homes it makes for shit to happen. And yes shit is beginning to hit the fence as more and more abuse stories surface from both sides of the equation. Employers abuse their maids and maids abuse their employers.
As the wise ones have been saying, we have forgotten how to be thankful for what we have or are given, we take things for granted and for our own self gratification. We forget that all things are transient and that what we do will come back to haunt us in one form or another; we are loosing our sense of values and our humanity towards those who seek and need our strength. We are becoming more and  more greedy and self serving even forgetting good deeds done to us in our times of need. Where is compassion in this days and age, what happened to Love and Understanding? Even the Gods must be weeping for what is becoming of us as humans whether on the Global scale or as individuals. Threats of wars and annihilation, exploitation and corruptions, human and drug trafficking; we are facing a human dilemma like a cancer threatening to rip us apart as we often times watch helplessly.
What is wrong with us? Why have we become like demons instead of angels as we were created to be? It is indeed sad and not to mention a fearful worry the way humanity is headed. This is the 'Kali Yuga', the Age of destruction according the the Hindu calendar of Ages and to the Buddhist it is considered the Dharma Ending Age, to the Christians and Muslims it is the the approach of the End of Days as life as it is will turn into Chaos and Anarchy rules and I hope this vicious circle of Karmic consequences will somehow find a miracle cure. During my 'sembang', shooting the breeze, with my friends at one of my hangouts the issue was discussed with quite an emotional fervour and after listening to every opinions put forth i realized that most of those present came to the same conclusion; that man is if has become worse than animals in his behaviour.
Are we? Are we worse than the lesser creatures that inhabit this planet? Those that are incapable of thoughts and emotions? I gave my opinion at the end of the discussion by asking this and with added that there is some things worse than us even if we are worse than animals and that we often forget of their influences in our lives. Iblis, Satan and Jinns; as said in the scriptures for the people of the book, Man is a pawn in the 'Game of Power' where religion is concern for God, Man has to understand his two enemies in life and that being; his ego (Greed , Hate, Delusions.) and the 'whisperer of dissension and evil acts' the Devil; the sower of discord and destruction. The people of the Book has Iblis and Satan, Buddhism has Mara and His Hordes, Hinduism has its own Demons; all bound and determined to prove man as incapable and undeserving of being bowed to much less served as God's finest of creations.
Whether we choose to accept this or not is irrelevant to those who do not believe in any form of religion or belief but the fact remains that we often do not act out of our own free will when we commit heinous crimes against our fellow man. The saying that the devil's ability to make man believe he does not exist is his most potent act. Today less and less of us are into the habit of equipping ourselves with knowledge; we read less if not at all, we live our lives oblivious to what or who we or have come to be in relation to man and society. We leave it to thee other guy to do our home work and carry out or chores while we are lull into deep sleep as we spend our time day in day out blinded from any form of Truth. When the worse happens we take refuge in the fact that we simply blame ourselves, our lack of knowledge and our hopeless and helplessness.
Man is locked into a 'Vicious Circle' like a snake eating its own tail not knowing what it is doing. Our ignorance of who we are inherently at all levels of humanity from the Devinne to the Sinner has slowly been catching up with us in the forms of negative manifestations such as wars and cruelties towards one another, lack of Love and Compassion or even conscience; in this sense we are indeed becoming worse than our fellow creature and other sentient beings.
The cure is to return to our original state of faith and devotion towards our Lord, That which we hold to be true and Immovable, That which we hold to be The Truth, that which we came from to Which we will return. Man was created as the best of Creations for a reason and it is in our interest as humans to discover this before it is too late, before our infants and children become food and fodder for the unwholesome and unseen claws of darkness. It is in our Collective Interest that we 'Wake Up!" and stay Awake! That we teach those coming after we are gone that there will be no peace for us until we can come to look at ourselves and know who we truly are and in this discovery act as One Devine Voice in saying No! Enough is Enough! The Light of Creation will prevail and Darkness will be replaced by the Man's awakening and realizations from his deep stupor. The Karmic Circle will be broken, the Snake will be Wise and free from consuming itself: with greed, hate and ignorance.
And the Lord said, "Let there Be Light!"

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Contd. Ink and brush study -CB2

Light and dark is the essence of black and whit sketching,forms and shapes are created by this thorough understanding to such a degree that it is done without second thoght.

Without being overly vulgar, one can create a whole lot of humour about sex.

Sketching your mind is like tapping into the subconcious, downloading files that one never know is hidden somewhere in the recesses of one's psyche.

Art is a therapy for many who finds it hard to espress themselves in the 'Normal' ways. It also is one form of expression where the content of the expressions flows out uninhibited; which makes good art.


Contd. Study Ink and Brush Sketching

My attempt at sketching with Ink and a fine brush led me to do some oriental figures with the flowing  robes and colorful designs. No particular interest in the subject matter except to have some fun.

 A fine tipped brush can do wonders what pen and innk cannot due to the flexibility of the brush tip.

These are small sketches abou three inches tall the most but the challenge was to create an illusion of design and color while making the subject look like it is in action.

Adding humor to the sketches makes it more interesting and often enought the subject matter comes latter after the completion of the sketches. Thoughts and ideas about what to write manifest as the sketches progresses.

The mind has a voracious habit to express in any form possible. If one takes the trouble to pursue a subject long enough oe will come upon a theme to work with or one can enjoy until it passes.

These later skecthes were done with the CB2 in mind, a character that had its origin in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I spent more than eight years of my life living in Green Bay and I graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. (UWGB), Ya! Hey Green Bay! 

The Cheeseburger Buddha aka 'Th Mystique Man' among other akas was a persona i created to express the out of the ordinary pigment of my imagination, ( most of which cannot be loaded here were either destroyed for their content or given away).

There are many entities in my mind, always at logger heads with one another and I have to in one way or another bring them all out to makes some sense out of their constant bickerings. Int he process i also find in them my subject maters to illustrate.

Having fun while sketching is the key to not being bored doing it. Sketching is the art capturing what Is in the moment, my thoughts and ideas, my schemes and whims, my fears and fantacies.


From an old Sketch Book - 1982 - Green Bay, Wisc.

The following sketches done in 1982 when i was going to college in Green Bay, Wisconsin in the United States might have been done to commemorate 'Mother's day' at the time. I was fooling around with India Ink and brush which till this day i still enjoy every now and then.
There are proper ways of sketching children and i am not good at it. These sketches were doen from imagination and the subject matter were spontaneously manifested as the drawing happen.

The Mother's Quotes came from the Internet and various other sources.


Monday, February 18, 2013

People I Have Met - Google+

People I Have Met - Google+I can imagine Mike Shaw travelling in the East in countries like India and China and capturing simmilar features of people, it would be awesome.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Welcome Year of the (Water) Snake.

.Regression is a painful phenomenon to wade through at this time in my life an so I have to find the ways and means to generate my energy to overcome this feeling. This morning I handed one of my works to the Penang State Art gallery to see if they would purchase it for their permanent collection and my 'Rezeki' is good I might be able to buy some new art materials to continue with my works. Most of my art materials were taken to Dubai and so I am back to square one.
My daughter is about to leave for Hanoi for a month vacation with her closest friend whose father is a Malaysian Diplomat in Hanoi; I told her to go as it will broaden her perspective of the world around her. I hope she will have a good time there as I am sure her friend's father would make sure that the girls had a good time. My son Karim who has started his further education at Hang Chiang college is now getting the feel for what being educated is all about; he wants to be a movie director. Somehow he has a hard time learning the basics,like the joy of reading and what it would take to be ahead; but i still have the confidence that he will pull through and find his own ways towards achieving his goals. My son in Switzerland, cant say much of what he has been up to lately, but I know he too is doing his best at whatever he aspires to do. From his occasional entries in the Face Book of his artworks he seems to have touched something of his own, I hope he persist and keep growing with it. My son in Dubai, well he is busy with his own life, making things happen for his future.
Almost a month since i return and everywhere and everyone i talked to very few has much positive changes in their lives to talk about and more express despair and confusion with how things are in their lives especially with the way the Malaysian political scene is manifesting itself. In no time in the history of this country are the Malays more disenchanted and disillusioned than now. It seems their future is up in limbo as their hopes and aspirations are beginning to be sapped from the grasp. Most people i talk to express uneasiness towards what is to become of their future with the challenges ahead. Most i know are living in abject denial and resorting to lets wait and see attitude towards the upcoming elections. True to their nature Malays have a hard time admitting to the weaknesses and faults of those they elected as leaders. They would rather let the law of the land take its course even if the justice system in the country itself is dysfunctional.
I have heard so much horror stories of the hardship faced by the poor in this State of Penang alone that it makes me want to switch off my sensitivities and turn a deaf ear simply because it hurts. My helplessness in being able to do much to ease the burden faced by those i know of and care about makes me hopeless. Rapes, robberies, and inhuman acts between man has become synonymous with the politics of the country. It seems like we are heading for a meltdown or a decadence of society. it all seems in the service of self interest; taking care of number one.
This being the Year of the Water Snake it is my hope that something in the nature of what the snake stands for will manifest and we will learn a thing or two from it. One of the character of the snake is that it is symbolic of manifesting wisdom.  It is also a symbol of the healing powers or rejuvenation and renewal; the snake sheds its skin every now and then.
"Ancient Chinese wisdom says a Snake in the house is a good omen because it means your family will not starve. This could be taken metaphorically to mean that a Snake could never have a problem with his family starving because he is such a great mediator, making him good at business. Or it could mean that a Snake would be willing to sacrifice his possessions, something the Snake has a lot of, in order to pay for his family’s food. Any way it is interpreted is representative of the Snake’s character and is a measure of the value he puts on his material wealth. The Snake is keen and cunning, quite intelligent and wise."
The Snake is the intuitive, introspective, refined and collected of the Animal Signs. They are attractive people who take cries with ease and do not become flustered easily. They are graceful people, exciting and dark at the same time.
Contemplative and private, the Snake is not outwardly emotional. He can appear cunning and reticent and works very modestly in the business environment. The Snake will plot and scheme to make certain things turn out exactly as they want them to. They are not great communicators and can become quite possessive when they set their minds on achieving the interest of a partner."
Chinese Horoscope.

In this year of The Snake let us hope that we will move wisely and contemplatively towards the change that we all need to face in the upcoming election.Let us not allow our emotional drive overtake our sound judgement and look forward towards a more  prosperous year all around.