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Underwater Pieces
The works of an artist who dives for inspiration
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Living by the ocean has brought impressionist artist Razak Abdullah back to the sea, again and again. And now, Razak brings the sea to art lovers through his collection, Portraits of Bidong.

The new series depicts the underwater life that Razak discovered during his frequent diving sessions, a pastime he enjoys immensely.

“Diving is a favourite hobby of mine and when I need inspiration, I dive,” Razak said.

His early years in Kuala Terengganu has helped him understand the beautiful, simple things in life that most take for granted.

“The ripples in the sea reflect on the corals and the crystallisation of colours makes the seabed a whirlwind of colours,” Razak said of his paintings.

Razak hopes that his paintings will help in preserving the corals and Mother Nature.

“I am a firm believer in the preservation of nature; if we continue our present ways, we may not be able to see corals in the next 10 years,” he added.

At the launch of the Portraits of Bidong at Galeri Chandan in Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur recently, the guest of honour, Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, said that Razak’s efforts to save nature through his paintings should be applauded.

“I think that his paintings deserve international recognition for the effort he has put in and I will try to bring his artwork to the many international exhibitions we have lined up,” he said.

Razak does not weave any subtle hidden messages into his works. However, his painting Topsy Turvy shows the clash of waves that he feels resembles the life of humans as well.

Razak is a firm believer in beauty and only sells his paintings that he himself feels are beautiful.

“Everybody loves to look at things that are beautiful and please the eye, so if I think that the painting is not befitting, I tear the canvas myself,” he said.

According to Razak, his paintings evoke a poignancy in line with the mood of the work.

A man who loves poetry and music, he recognises love and its effect on people, and believes that his paintings reflect that love.

“It is the romance of the paintings that reflects me as I am and the romantic person I am within,” he said.

Portraits of Bidong is being showcased at the Chandan Gallery, 15, Jalan Gelenggang, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, until Sept 12/08. Viewing hours are from 10am to 6pm. For enquiries, call 03-2095 5360 or visit

Images and text by The Star Online, Malaysia

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