“There isn’t a single person or landscape or subject which doesn’t possess some interest, although it may not be immediately apparent. When a painter discovers this hidden treasure, other people are immediately struck by its beauty” (Pierre Auguste Renoir)
Impressionist art as I understand it, is about the thrill and delight of the visual sensation. It took me awhile to understand that to appreciate an impressionist painting is to take a few steps back and enjoy the broken colors to fall into place to form the subject of beauty right before your eyes.
I often wonder whether it is my eyesight that is taking its time in absorbing the colors or my brain in registering and digesting it.
The power of concentration and observation is compelling in the impressionist artist. The understanding of colors and light and how this is recreated with paints and brushes on canvas is truly an innovative visual thought.
Razak Abdullah paints directly from nature and celebrates this technique of expression to achieve the color blends and capture the energy behind the subject. In conversations with him on his work, you can feel the thrill of his intimacy with the subject matter. His animated descriptions and detailed understanding of the layers and relationship in nature, expresses his faithfulness to and enjoyment of the vibrancy of the subject, as tasted through his eyes.
His impressionist art has now taken another dimension. He invites us to appreciate the symphonies of light and color under the sea in his Portraits of Bidong series. It is a pleasant departure from the normal impressionist landscapes as the colors and light are ‘tasted’ through underwater vision.
Illumination under water depends on the thickness of the layer and the reflection and scatter of light rays in the water. Sunlight is reflected in by the surface of the water. The amount of refracted light not only depends on the angle between the rays and the surface of the water but also in the quantity of the air bubbles in the surface layer that have been formed by the motion of the water.
Razak’s underwater panorama would have been an interplay of light and color dancing to the tunes of these refractions and the vibrancy of life under the sea.
He seeks to convey this impressions to us, communicating the delightful sensations and inviting us to delve, observe and celebrate the colors and energy of nature.
“It is on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly”, (Monet)
Mohammad Nazli Abdul Aziz
Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur
Razak Abdullah’s Potraits of Bidong will be on show from August 12, 2008. The images of the artwork are the copyright of the artist. No part or image may be reproduced by any process without written permission of the copyright owners.