I first met Shaq, the only Orang Asli in Malaysia with a Bachelor’s Degree, a few years ago. I sensed as soon as I saw his work that he would quickly soar to the top in the art world and indeed he has. He has been exhibiting in Melbourne and has already sold his paintings to several internationally prominent art collectors.
Shaq has accomplished what amounts to a new art genre. He calls it “Stream of Consciousness” and in finding this label did not wish to specifically indicate either the subject matter or the technique….but, rather, the Artist’s Process of Creating.
Shaq explains that this technique/style/ genre came about during a period of angst in his life. One day he found himself picking up a brush and stroking the canvas here and there and feeling an odd flow of energy seeking to find its way onto the canvas so he grabbed colors – not colors that made any logical sense – just colors.
Something deep inside him was seeking expression and it was as if he had no idea what was coming or what was being created…..it was all happening from somewhere deep inside his subconscious mind.
As he explains it: the feelings were flowing out and through his brush. The usual careful and meticulous color blending which has been a trademark of Shaq’s work was absent. The images that came onto the canvas were unusual and unrecognizable to even the him, but still he was driven and inspired to move the brush and apply the color; he allowing his hand to move freely over the canvas while slowly images appeared where only blotches or lines existed, slowly the image was revealed and from what was within his hidden consciousness came visions of meaning and – in the end – came once again Shaq’s essence came shining through. As is usual in his art….the soul is always there; but Shaq says that in this genre the interpretation of the message is left to the eye of the beholder. Whatever was Shaq’s purpose or message or reason this does not so much matter as does the need for his art to reach out and touch the viewer’s own soul in some personal and meaningful way.
His abstract art has been created in such a random style and yet brought – through all the unusual shapes, techniques, coloration– a deep and sensitive image guaranteed to touch the viewer’s heart and mind.
Somehow by allowing these canvasses to be painted, Shaq has found that his personal darkness has lessened. He is back into a much more positive zone and you will see evidence both of his original exceptional technique interspersed and intertwined with his Stream of Consciousness technique. He seems now to have control as to when and how to utilize either or both in the expression of his message.
If you are interested in meeting Shaq while he is in Malaysia before he leaves for a month long exhibition tour in Canada, or if you are interested in purchasing any of the paintings displayed here, please contact Marybeth Ramey at [email protected]
This article was written by Marybeth Ramey ([email protected])
Source: The Expat March 2012
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This article has been edited for ExpatGomalaysia.com