Spirit of Wood: The Art of Malay Woodcarving - Farish A. Noor
With dozens of beautiful photographs and extensive text, this Malaysian art book is a testament to the skill and spirituality of Malaysia's traditional woodcarvers.
Wood has always played a significant role in the Malay world, including the Malay Peninsula, as a means of shelter, livelihood, comfort and convenience. Among the living arts of Malaysia, woodcarving is one of the oldest, and for centuries woodcarvers enjoyed a prestige that few others did. A master woodcarver was not simply an artist. He had a mystical affinity with his material, and through his art he could unlock, channel and enhance the semangat, or life force, inherent in the wood. His works ere sought after not only for their beauty, but also for the symbolic power and meaning they embodied, in particular the keris, considered the pinnacle of woodcarver's art.
Each of the pieces in this catalog of Malaysian art illustrates a specific motif, use of a pattern or form, or interpretation of a legend. The woodcarvings range from extremely important and rare pieces, such as royal ceremonial objects, to wood panels, household objects and elements of traditional Malay architecture.
Periplus Edition. 2003. First edition. Hardback with dustjacket.