Saturday, April 19, 2008

Can't Malaysian Paper Manufacturers Produce Good Watercolour Paper?

Most of the watercolour papers we see today are that from the West. Not that they are no good but the exchange rates are certainly not in our favour.

According to my sources, the price of paper across the board will be up by at least 30 per cent next year. Some of the good brands are already up by at least 20 per cent if you were to frequent art shops.

Paper is something you cannot stock and if we know little of how to store it, then it will be investment down the drain as the paper yellows and loses its fine quality.

There are several Malaysian companies which produce good drawing blocks. Over the past three years, many ventured into acid free paper which is quite suitable for watercolour work. The grammage, too, is good at 300gsm.

Right now, the only market leader is Chee Wah Corporation which goes by the brand name CAMPAP. Others produce mediocre blocks for use in schools, which is quite a lucrative market. Chee Wah also produce good watercolour, oil and acrylic paper and boards. However, what little stock the have are usually sold out and it is quite tough to source for them, even in Kuala Lumpur.

For the sake of watercolour art and future of watercolourists, I hope there is a manufacturer who will be willing to produce good paper. Afterall, the material is right here under our noses in the orient.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Whatever happened to the Putrajaya Watercolour Exhibition?

Someone who read about the Putrajaya Watercolour exihibition held between 5 Aug - 10 Nov 2007 last year which I highlighted in an earlier post wrote to ask me when the results will be released.

I am wondering about it as well since several artists have been informed that they have won and their work would be exhibited.
That notification, made by mail, came sometime in February, I was told. However, to date, I have not heard any more about it publicly.
If you are one of the participants or winners, and would like to know more, perhaps you can visit their website here.
Of if you have the time, call Baharuddin Aziz (Timbalan Pengarah, Jabatan Landskap, Perbadanan Putrajaya,Kompleks Perbadanan Putrajaya,24, Persiaran Perdana 62675 Putrajaya) at 03 - 8887 7138

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Art Bazaar At KL Railway Station

Its days are numbered, but someone has found a creative way to "rebrand" the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station - probably as an art bazaar.

I know, you may not have heard about it before unless you stop over at the Railway Station. And these days, you don't need to as it is no longer useful as a transport hub because the next stop - KL Sentral - is much, much more useful and convenient.

Anyway, I found out that there is an art bazaar at station. Whoever put it there, I must say it is a good idea and the limited few stalls that I saw showed some potential as a mini art mart - nothing more, and even that, if you noticed them.

Perhaps, this is what the owners of KL Railway Station building can think about - turning the station into a viable economic venture than let it go to waste and grow cobwebs on the ceilings. With the Central Market a cough away, this could be yet another heritage reclamation project. And why not!

Anyway, from the art work on display, I gathered that there are only a handful of artists exhibiting. And selling. There are some watercolour and some oil. Some abstract, some sketches. The latter I liked a lot - splendid architectural pieces done in ink and pencil, depicting the nation's landmarks.

Seeing this place reminds me of the Laman Seni which is now but a memory. It was set up to give artists a place to converge once a month and sell their work amidst a carnival-lie atmosphere. Just when it was about to reap its first taste of success, some big brother decided that it would be better off in Putrajaya, and so it was dismantled and artists who sold here was invited to move to Putrajaya.

The idea fell splendidly on its face and without Laman Seni, few people find reason to visit the National Art Gallery in Jalan Temerloh. Otherwise, the first Sunday of every month is looked upon by people living around the Lake Titiwangsa area, which is just a stone's throw away from the gallery.

Footnote: Hopefully the new Tourism Minister Shafie Apdal will read this blog and perhaps bring back the Laman Seni? You can't draw crowd to the gallery with art alone. Activities like Laman Seni is important and popular. Just look at Amcorp Mall's flea mart. There is a lesson to be learned there. Bring back the Laman Seni at Balai Seni Lukis Negara and I bet your last packet of nasi lemak the crowd will be back and the National Art Gallery not so eeriely deserted on weekends.