Saturday, January 31, 2009
In the foreground is a flowering 'Setawar' or Air Plant ( Kalanchoe pinnata). I have taken the liberty to place a banana leaf as a backdrop to help highlight its colours. I love its clusters of tubular bell-shaped flowers hanging downwards. Another Malay synonymn for it is ' Sedingin ' which loosely translated means the 'cool one'. Apparently the saw- edged leaves after being pounded into a paste can be applied directly to the chest or forehead to lessen bodily heat or fever or as antidote for insect bites, boils and burns. Sometimes lotion from the leaves are used for a variety of sicknesses like arthritis.
Aside from its herbal medicinal use, it is symbolically used in rituals. Its leaves are swayed by ritualists to welcome spirits. When planted around paddy fields they are believed to bring in a good harvest.
Here's a close up of the inflorescence. The flowers with reddish violet colours are about 3-4 cm long. Nowadays I understand that the Dutch have successfuly made hybrids of them producing yellow, orange, pink and purple flowers. The flowers are long lasting ( 2-3 weeks). The Setawar is originated from the equatorial island of Madagascar but now is widely found throughout the tropics. This succulent plant thrives on well-drained soil and prefers a semi-shade location. I prefer to plant them en masse or in groups though it is possible to grow them singularly in pots or containers.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Alan Greenspan had been appointed by President Ronald Reagan as Chairman of The US Federal Reserve Board in 1987 and finally retired in 2006 during Bush's tenure. Alan Greenspan wrote glowingly about Ayn Rand in his book and shared some key ideas about the importance of mathematics and intellectual vigour, laissez-faire capitalism, the innate nobility individuals have and their highest duty to flourish them into full potential. Only after discovering Ayn Rand did Alan Greenspan realised that ' all my work has been numbers-based, never values- based' ( pg.52). Ayn Rand persuaded him to look at human beings, their values, how they work, what they do and why they do it, and how they think and why they think. These broadened his horizons far beyond the models of economics he learnt. In his words Alan Greenspan wrote, " I began to study how societies form and how cultures behave, and to realize that economics and forecasting depend on such knowledge - different cultures grow and create material wealth in profoundly different ways. All this started for me with Ayn Rand. She introduced me to a vast realm from which I'd shut myself off".( pg.53)
Reference: Greenspan, Alan ( 2008) The Age of Turbulence, Penguin Group (USA), New York.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Part of the lion dance troupe members who gave me the opportunity to enter the lion's head.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Tampoi ( Braccaurea bracteata)
The 'tampoi' fruit has a white sweet pulp and is mainly eaten fresh. A local wine is also prepared from this fruit.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
The above is typical of the modern architectural design of the buildings erected at Bintulu Port where the prevalent motifs are related to its activities like water ( e.g. shape and curves of roofs), marine architecture ( e.g. hull, decks, bridge, etc.)
Monday, January 5, 2009
This is the book cover that I designed and authored to accompany my 1 st Solo Art and Poetry Exhibition in 1981 . A copy of the book is kept at the Library of Congress and can be searched by browsing the Library of Congress Online Catalogue, and then typing "Pameran Lukisan dan Puisi Mood" under basic search. This book contains a collection of my poems in English and Bahasa Malaysia which I wrote from 1967 - 1980 and sketch drawings of the paintings on show. It contains 53 pages. The book size is 21 cm x 12.5 cm. Why sketch drawings? I couldn't afford to publish it in colour or have the paintings photographed! Therefore the catalogue of paintings were sketched.
Well, the coming 2nd Solo Exhibition will be a lot more different. Colour images will be there. Better printing and professional touches to all design and copy writing. The book will be bigger and thicker to cover all the newer interests and hobbies I picked along the last 28 years. Chiefly among them are : landscaping, eco-farming, tropical cut flowers, writing, photography and cats.
'little clouds' which in Greek is 'nephelium', hence the fruit is called Naphelium lappaceum.
I harvest these from one of the tallest nephelium trees at my farm today. But the tree I selected is unique because it is of the wild species type.
The tall tree on the right is the fruiting nephelium. Standing at 25 m it must have been there before I was born, probably about 60 years ago.
Nowadays nephelium trees are much shorter through scientific intervention. Locally nephelium fruits are called 'rambutan' of which the root word 'rambut' in Malay means hairs, referring to the hair-like appearance of the fruit's skin covering which I think is a more apt desription of the fruit. The wild species has an acid sweet taste while its more modern cousins are very much sweeter and of thicker pulp.
Borneo and Indonseia is the original home of the rambutan tree. Our climate here with a rainfall of 3000 mm per year is just perfect. Typical of rainforest trees its leaves have a 'drip tip' structure like its long and elongated tips to enable it to quickly shed water from our torrential downpour. As an added interest, Malaysia exports rambutans to India where they are considered priced wedding gifts. Well I guess it's like the role of grapes and apples in Malaysia as well which are also preferred fruits for wedding gifts.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
- As part of my 2nd solo exhibition (scheduled October 2009) one category of artworks that would be displayed will be tropical cut flowers. To have a glimpse of them please click to daily cut flowers at the left side bar.
- I am thinking of reproducing them and newer ones which will be done throughout this year in a book to be launched during the exhibition. My love affair with cut tropical cut flowers can be explained briefly below:
- It's rich, vibrant and need I say 'hot' colours - e.g. red ginger,varieties of hibiscus, heliconias etc make our immediate surroundings alive
- They cost little as those plants are a step out of the garden
- The arrangements make great conversational pieces especially when presented in modern or international idioms e.g. tropical ikebana, minimalism , etc
- A way to promote 'Laman Kambatik' ( Malaysian Garden) concept of nativity, accidental beauty ( as in batik inspirations) experimentalism e.g. its artistry and diversity - colourful foliage,seeds and bracts.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
In the stillness of night
stirring my mind remote sleep
the drum roll of mysterious thoughts
from the endless reservoir
of the ocean deep
The night floods have crept
the valley floors and crevices
have filled my wandering trails
every secret corners and hidings
that my consciousness has awaited
in loving ambush.
Wake now to the flood's tidings
for it shall leave with the strike of day
fortify your thoughts and let none astray
direct and channel her captive spirit
and let it enter your receptive vision
to breathe her living spirit
for tomorrow your heart will rejoice
her fertile influence
by the light of day.