Malaysian Art: Selected Essays 1979-2009 - Zakaria Ali
These essays sum up pretty much what Zakaria Ali has been thinking about art, whose intricacies have prompted him to adopt various ways in which to put into perspective on how best to glean the levels of meaning embedded in works ranging from the Jalong bronze, the Pengkalan Kempas inscriptions, the Rembau tombstone, the photography of Mohammad Radzi Hanif, the self portrait of Amron Omar. the kampong series of Yong Seak Ling, to the water colours of Mansor Ghazali. Such varieties reflect the response to the pressures of a given time at a given locale, inducing the artist to use all the available means at their disposal to forge work of art that have, thus far, withstood the test of time. To essay their beauty has been the primary concern of Zakaria Ali, who envisages that the search to define has turned out to be an end in itself. Beauty, like style, evolves, largely resistant to finite demarcation, lurking somewhere in the terre incognita of the yet-to-be. A such, these essays are exploratory, even speculative, meant to celebrate the sheer joy of responding to the works of art that irritate, illuminate and ultimately, enlighten.
UPSI. 2010. 240 pages. Paperback.