GO BLOCK – POTILOMBUS WAYAHINIK PINOGUMU

Oleh Juhari Said


PENGENALAN


Pameran Go Block yang pertama telah diadakan di Galeri Petronas, Kuala Lumpur pada 5 Februari 2009. Lima orang karyawan kontemporari negara iaitu Izan Tahir, Zulkifli Yusuff, Kim Ng, Shahrul Jamili dan Juhari Said telah dijemput mempamerkan karya-karya mereka. Kurator jemputan pula adalah Badrolhisham Mohamad Tahir dari Universiti Teknologi Mara. Ini adalah julung kalinya Galeri Petronas mengenengahkan karya-karya ‘pemikiran yang berkembang’ dari aliran seni cetak atau seni grafis. Pameran ini mendapat sambutan dan sebaran yang begitu baik sekali.


Dari kiri, Juhari Said, Shahrul Jamili, Izan Tahir, Zulkifli Yusuff dan Kim Ng

Pada 15 September 2010, Muzium dan Galeri Pulau Pinang bersama Universiti Sains Malaysia telah menganjurkan PIPE’10- Pameran Seni Cetak Antarabangsa Pulau Pinang 2010. Seramai 563 karyawan dari 46 negara telah menyertai pameran ini. Disamping pameran ini, Go Block berpameran dengan cara yang tersendiri disekitar Bandaraya Pulau Pinang. Mereka bergabung serta dibantu oleh pelajar-pelajar Universiti Sains Malaysia dan kumpulan pengayuh beca Pulau Pinang.


Go block di Bandaraya Pulau Pinang pada 2010


TITIK MULA


Dalam seni cetak atau limbag sining pendekatan itu berbeda mengikut pola budaya fikir, persekitaran serta keperluan masyarakat diwaktu-waktu yang khusus. Di Nusantara, seni cetak atau seni terap merupakan kegiatan asasi yang dipraktikan saban hari atau musim. Ia bersifat holistik dan merangkumi kehidupan manusia. Sememangnya itu ciri-ciri kesenian daerah kita. Maka wanita-wanita tempatan dipakaikan ‘karya-karya tangan’ yang di panggil batik. Corak batik dihasilkan dari matrik yang diperbuat dari kayu, sehinggalah ia berubah menggunakan kepingan logam seperti tembaga dan zinc. Pembuatan batik terbahagi kepada kerja-kerja khusus, dari seni reka, pembuatan blok atau matrik, mengecap, mewarna sehinggalah proses penyiapan. Begitu juga telepok yang menggunakan blok kayu, cuma prosesnya agak mudah berbanding dengan membuat batik. Peranannya adalah penyeri pakaian wanita melayu zaman dahulu dalam istiadat tertentu dan istimewa.


Seni masakan juga tidak ketinggalan mempraktikan kaedah cetakan terutama dalam membuat kuih. Acuan kuih putu yang diperbuat dari kayu cengal banyak dihasilkan di Kelantan di abad 19 dan awal 20an. Sistem bekerja menggunakan matrik ini adalah lahir dari kesedaran terhadap proses ‘ulang’ yang boleh memenuhi permintaan serta penjimatan tenaga serta kos yang minima.


Perkembangan dan penerokaan seni cetak ini begitu maju selari dengan kesenian yang lain terutama dinegara besar seperti China, Jepun, Korea, Eropah dan Amerika Syarikat. Pembuatan skrol yang menggunakan blok kayu sebanyak 130,000 keping oleh sami-sami Buddha Tripitaka pada tahun 972-83 amat mengkagumkan. Dari sini ia berkembang ke semenanjung Korea dan Jepun. Di zaman Edo (1603- 1868) cetakan kayu Ukiyoe telah menjadi sebahagian dari tunjang dalam sejarah seni tampak Jepun dan juga menjadi kegilaan pelukis-pelukis impresionis di Perancis. Ketika ini juga kesenian katagami atau stensil berkembang dengan pesat sekali. Teknik ini juga popular di negara China dan Korea. Cuma katagami menggunakan matrik yang dibuat dari lapisan kertas buatan tangan yang dilekat lapis oleh jus buahan. Dari tradisi ini tercetuslah teknik saring sutera yang mana ia lebih moden, tangkas dan tepat. Sehingga teknik ini berperanan sebagai pendokong penting dalam arus Pop Art di Amerika Syarikat.


Kerja–kerja mahir pembuatan senjata perang Empayar Parsi dan Ottoman juga telah memberi petunjuk dan inspirasi kepada seniman-seniman Eropah terutama dalam pengolahan seni cetak gurisan asid, intaglio dan mezotin. Ia lebih rancak lagi apabila kilang kertas yang pertama Eropah dibangunkan pada 1150 di Toledo dan Xativa. Kemudian Eropah disuntik dengan penciptaan mesin cetak dan pembuatan matrik oleh Johann Gutenberg di Jerman pada 1450. Dalam situasi resah untuk maju, Eropah dipacu oleh revolusi industri yang bertebaran di seluruh kota-kota besarnya.


POTILOMBUS PINOGUMU


Penghijrahan seniman ke daerah yang lebih selamat serta aman sebelum dan semasa perang berterusan apatah lagi setelah ia tamat pada 1948. Sosio budaya manusia kembali subur disegenap pelusuk dunia terutama di kota-kota besar. Ia berkembang pesat lewat 40an dan seterusnya 50an. Destinasi utama adalah kota London dan New York. Imigrasi ini pula terdiri nama-nama besar dari Eropah seperti Josef Albers, Max Ernst, Andre Masson, Andre Breton, Matta serta lain-lainnya. William Hayter menubuhkan Atelier 17 di Paris berpindah ke New York pada 1940. Pratt Graphics Centre pula menuruti pada 1950. Pada 1957 Tatyana Grosman menubuhkan Universal Limited Art Edition di West Islip. Tiga tahun berikutnya Ford Foundation membantu June Wayne untuk memulakan Tamarind Lithography Workshop di Los Angeles. Kemudian diikuti oleh studio Gemini G.E.L, Tyler Graphic Ltd dan Landfall Press dan lain-lain.


Pihak universiti dan pusat pengajian tinggi juga mengamalkan sikap yang terbuka dan sentiasa bekerjasama dengan seniman dan golongan profesional yang ingin menerbitkan karya-karya mereka. Disamping itu banyak program residensi yang memberi peluang seniman dan pelajar berkarya ditempat-tempat tersebut. Pemikiran serta sikap inklusif ini secara tidak langsung telah menyemarakan lagi perkembangan seni tersebut. Gabungan antara seniman dan ahli akedemi yang bijak dan berfikiran jauh seperti Donald Saff di University of South Florida sangat manafaat dalam rangka pertumbuhan seni cetak di era 60an. Ini gelora ringkas perkembangan di tahun 60an, aktif, tangkas serta berani! Dengan segala kepakaran, teknik serta teknologi seniman bergerak bersama para akedemi cerdas berdedikasi dengan dibantu oleh golongan profesional. Ketika ini seni cetak melonjak jauh dari tradisi dan konvensi seni cetak yang sering diamalkan. Tidak keterlaluan kalau dikatakan pada awal 60an seni cetak itu sudah berangkat ke daerah yang agak asing bagi sesetengah golongan seniman kerana keupayaan berfikir dan memahami agak berbeza. Bagi yang lain pula ia tenaga baru untuk terus berkarya melantun tafsiran dan pengertian seni cetak jauh kehadapan penuh kesegaran!.


Robert Rauschenberg, Tampa Clay Piece 3 (1972- 1973), Edisi 20
Roy Lichtenstein, Brushstroke Chair (1986-1988), Edisi 12

Maka kita melihat karya Robert Rauschenberg yang bertajuk Accident (1963) yang memenangi hadiah utama di Ljubljana Graphic Biennale, dimana beliau menempel batu serpihan dari matrik di bahagian bawah karya itu. Seterusnya cetakan dimensional atau cetakan berbilang matra dari karya Claes Oldenburg yang bertajuk Profile Airflow (1969) atau James Rosenquist bertajuk Mirror Flag (1971) juga Frank Stella yang menggunakan pulpa kertas dalam karya bertajuk Olyka iii (1975). Inilah sebahagian perkembangan seni cetak yang cukup menarik bermula dari awal 60an.


Setiawan Sabana Jagat Kertas: Menelusuri Diri, Muzium Seni Asia, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. 2013

Di Malaysia pada 1980, muncul cetakan dimensional yang bertajuk Alibi of Pulau Bidong sempena nama pulau di Terengganu yang menempatkan pelarian perang Vietnam. Ponirin Amin menggunakan origami kertas yang disusun diatas petak-petak seperti papan catur dan tali yang digantung dibahagian tengah seperti jaring ikan. Mungkin ramai yang tidak menyedari bahawa matrik disini adalah pada lipatan origami dan alat cuban untuk membuat jaring tersebut. Hakikatnya tidak ramai pengkarya yang meneroka kemungkinan dan menjelajah pengertian baru dalam seni cetak. Ia memerlukan penelitian halus mendalam. Jadi seniman harus bijak dan juga seorang pemikir yang konsistan kerana berkarya bukan seperti musim layang-layang atau gasing dizaman kanak-kanak. Karya yang lahir mungkin bakal penanda serta rujukan dalam sejarah. Mungkin ramai diantara kita masih kabur dan berada jauh dari denai laluan seorang seniman. Pada 1984 muncul seorang seniman di Bandung, Indonesia yang menggunakan kertas sebagai bahan untuk berkarya. Lazimnya pegrafis menggunakan kertas hanyalah sebagai alas atau lapik! Tetapi Setiawan Sabana menunggang dan membedah kertas. Kertas yang dihasilkan dari acuan dipamerkan sebagai karya instalasi dan adakalanya diiringi oleh performen.


Tisna Sanjaya, Barehands - Asian Artist Residency Project, Balai Seni Negara, Kuala Lumpur. 2017

Tisna Sanjaya, pegrafis dari Bandung ini mendapat didikan di German mengabungkan perwatakannya, pengamatan serta pengalaman untuk menjadi sumber meluaskan pengkaryaannya. Sejak 2007 beliau telah menggunakan ritual perubatan tradisional daerah pedalaman Nusantara dalam mempersembahkan karyanya. Tubuhnya dijadikan objek stensil yang menggunakan media alami seperti kunyit, rempah, arang dan sebagainya. Selain itu beliau akan melakar secara bersahaja diatas kanvas sambil berinteraksi dengan penonton untuk ikut serta semasa persembahannya. Kebanyakan karya-karya beliau menjurus kepada kritikan sosial masyarakat setempat. Tetapi kritikan beliau akan jadi pudar untuk respon amarah kerana perwatakan rendah diri dan senyumannya amat menyenangkan.

Seni cetak adalah salah satu cabang kesenian yang dicipta oleh manusia, sama seperti kesenian yang lain. Ia akan terus berkembang dan meluaskan sempadannya tanpa dapat dibatasi .Cuma masa akan menentukan sejauh mana idealisma itu akan tiba kerana perjalanan itu harus realistik supaya kita tidak jadi seorang pemimpi. Realisma tanpa nilai-nilai yang ideal akan menjadikan hidup kita tanpa martabat. Mungkin juga kita sering perlu bertanya kepada diri sendiri, kita berkarya itu untuk apa sebenarnya atau kita langsung tidak pernah bertanya?


JUHARI SAID

Akaldiulu

1 Oktober 2018


_________________________________________________________


GO BLOCK – THE EXPANDED PRINTMAKING


INTRODUCTION


The inaugural Go Block exhibition was held at Galeri Petronas, Kuala Lumpur on 5th February 2009. The exhibition featured the works of 5 leading contemporary Malaysian artists: Izan Tahir, Zulkifli Yusuff, Kim Ng, Shahrul Jamili and Juhari Said. The guest curator was Badrolhisham Mohamad Tahir from Universiti Teknologi Mara. It was the first time Galeri Petronas shone the spotlight on printmaking - displaying works that showed ‘the developing mind’ of printmaking in the country. The exhibition was generally well received and widely spoken of in the arts scene.first paper mills in Toledo and Xativa during the 1150s further spurred the development of European printing. By 1450, Johannes Guttenberg unveiled his famous printing press that was to be a watershed in the history of printing. All these, among others, were forerunners for the industrial revolution that would sweep through Europe in years to come.


On 15th September 2010, the Penang Museum and Gallery collaborated with Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) to organise PIPE 10—The Penang International Printmaking Exhibition 2010. A total of 563 artists from 46 countries around the globe participated in the exhibition. Besides the main show, Go Block also took on a unique spin by going onto the streets of Penang with the assistance of USM students and a team of trishaw operators.


STARTING POINT


The approach to printmaking or limbag sining may differ according to the polars of cultural thought, environment and social needs throughout the ages. In Nusantara (the Malay Archipelago), printmaking is a basic activity practiced daily or according to the seasons. It is holistic and encapsulates human life. Such were the features our region’s native artforms, where local women make dresses out of the ‘handicraft’ we know as batik—motifs and patterns imprinted on fabric from a matrix crafted out of a wooden block. These days, however, zinc and bronze blocks have replaced wood as the preferred material for batik makers to create their matrix. The making of batik can be broken down to specific processes: designing, making the block or matrix, printing, dyeing and the final treatment. The same goes for the art of telepuk (cloth gilding) which similarly is made using a wooden block, though telepuk is arguably a much simpler process than that of batik. Telepuk adds glitter and glamour to the traditional Malay dresses especially those worn during special occasions and formal ceremonies.

Traditional culinary arts also widely use printing techniques, especially in the making of confectionery and cakes. An example of this would be the moulds used for making traditional cakes like kuih putu. Carved out of cengal wood, many such moulds were made in Kelantan during the 19th and early 20th centuries.


The system of working from the matrix is likely rooted in our human need for consistent reproductions—a process that can efficiently fulfil market demands with minimal effort and cost. The exploration of printmaking developed in parallel amongst major civilisations of China, Japan, Korea, Europe, and later in North America. As far back as 972-983 BC, the Tripitaka Buddhist monks were known to have made over 130,000 wooden print blocks. This knowledge spread across the Korean peninsula and Japan. During the Edo period (1603-1868), the Ukiyoe wooden printing techniques were an integral part of Japanese visual art and garnered a fanatical following even among the French impressionists. Meanwhile, katagami (stencilling) flourished in Japan and soon spread across China and the Korean peninsula. The Japanese katagami traditionally used handmade paper which was then layered and held together by a fruit-based glue. The modern silkscreen printing methods—an efficient and precise printing technique—can trace its evolution from the art of katagami. Silkscreen printing figured prominently in the Pop Art movement of North America.


Interestingly, the expanding arms race throughout the Persian and Ottoman empires in ancient times drove European artists of the period into producing prolific work in intaglio and mezotin. The establishment of Europe’s first paper mills in Toledo and Xativa during the 1150s further spurred the development of European printing. By 1450, Johannes Guttenberg unveiled his famous printing press that was to be a watershed in the history of printing. All these, among others, were forerunners for the industrial revolution that would sweep through Europe in years to come.


THE EXPANDED PRINTMAKING


The migration of artists to safer and peaceful regions prior to and during World War II did not stop even after it ended in 1948. In the post-WWII era, socio cultural development once again flourished all over the world especially in the big cities. The period beginning 1940s and throughout 1950s saw major cities like London and New York being the choice destinations for migrating European figures like Josef Albers, Max Ernst, Andre Masson, Andre Breton, Matta and many others. William Hayter founded Atelier 17 in Paris before moving to New York in 1940. Pratt Graphics Centre came into being in 1950. In 1957, Tatyana Grosman started Universal Limited Art Edition in West Islip. 3 years later, Ford Foundation aided June Wayne in establishing Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles. Soon, studios like Gemini G.E.L., Tyler Graphic Ltd, Landfall Press and many others came into existence. Elsewhere, universities and higher education institutions welcomed artists and the professionals who were producing their works. Such institutions operated residency programs which allowed artists and art students to work on campus.


This atmosphere of inclusiveness and openness spurred the development of art. Collaborations between artists and visionary intellectuals like Donald Saff of University of Southern Florida led to a developmental framework for printmaking in the 1960s. This was the Sixties wave of change: active, agile and brave. It was a time where artists moved alongside academicians with all the expertise, techniques and technology available to them, enjoying further support from the professional crowd. Printmaking made a significant leap away from its traditions and prevailing conventions of the time. It is not far-fetched to say that during the 60s, printmaking had entered realms too alien to be comprehended by even some fellow artists. To understand it, one needed a profound shift in thinking and perception. For others, this provided a new, fresh impetus to create, find meaning and project interpretations far ahead into the future.


Thus, we have Robert Rauschenberg’s Accident (1963) that garnered the main prize in Ljublana Graphic Biennale and which saw the artist pasting broken pieces of his matrix beneath his work. Next came Claes Oldenburg’s Profile Airflow (1969) with its dimensional or multi matrix printing; James Rosenquist’s Mirror Flag (1971) and Frank Stella who deployed pulp paper in his Olyka iii (1975). All of these were only a facet of the bigger, fascinating developments rolling out across the printmaking landscape.


In Malaysia, the dimensional print, Alibi of Pulau Bidong, appeared in 1980. The artwork was named after an island off the Terengganu coast that housed a camp for Vietnamese war refugees. In his work, Ponirin Amin used paper origami arranged on squares somewhat like a chessboard with bits of string hanging beneath akin to fishing nets. Many may not have realised it, but the matrix lay in the origami folds and the mending needles used to weave the fishnet. The fact that remains is that not many artists are willing to explore the new possibilities and meanings in printmaking. Such act requires a more sublime observation. The artist needs to be wise and consistent in his work - as art is not child’s play. The ensuing art piece may serve as a marker and reference in history. Perhaps many of us are still vague about, or have veered far astray from, the true path of the artist. In 1984, an artist from Bandung, Indonesia began using paper as his medium at a time many printmakers treated paper less ceremoniously, relegating it to merely an underlay or placemat on their worktable. Yet, Setiawan Sabana manipulated and dissected this common material. The paper that emerged from his moulds become installations which at times were displayed accompanied by a performance.


Tisna Sanjaya is a printmaker who hails from Bandung and was trained in Germany. His work is defined by an ability to combine personal character, observation and experience. In 2007, he began incorporating the traditional healing arts of Nusantara into his work. His body was transformed into an object of stencilling using natural materials like turmeric, spices, charcoal and other substances. During his performances, Tisna casually draws on canvas while interacting with his audience. Many of his works are critical of society. Yet, he rarely incurs wrath from the audience due to his humility and disarming smile.


Printmaking is a branch of visual arts, and like other art forms, was created by the hands of men. It continues to grow and expand its unrestrained boundaries. Only time will tell how far any form of idealism can go; the path must be realistic so that we are not reduced to being mere daydreamers. Yet, on the other hand, realism without ideals renders our lives ignoble. We may perhaps have to start questioning ourselves more frequently: why indeed do we continue creating art? And why was it that that we had never once thought to raise that question in the first place.



JUHARI SAID

Akaldiulu

1 Oktober 2018

Translated by Dhogee

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