Dewan Sri Pinang, Penang State Art Gallery
2 November- 31 December 2015
Officiated by the Chief Minister of Penang YAB Mr Lim Guan Eng on 14 November 2015 at 4pm.
Forty years ago in 1975, Syed Thajudeen a young graduate from the Madras Government College of Arts and Crafts held his first solo exhibition at the Penang State Museum and Art Gallery, and 10 years earlier when the Museum was opened by Sir Raja Tun Uda, Syed participated in the inaugural exhibition as a school student. Coming full cycle, Syed Thajudeen is now holding his Retrospective, a collection of his works over the past 50 years at the same premises, a testimony of his love for the state of Penang.
“I am very thankful for the opportunity to exhibit again at the Penang State Museum, it has been a long journey from my first solo to date and I feel a sense of déjà vu to be back where it all began. I am looking forward to showcase my works over the years , the evolution of my thoughts and feelings”, said Syed Thajudeen
One of highlights of the exhibition is a spectacular large-scale mural on canvas, The Kapitan Kling Mosque. This painting measuring an enormous 457 x 244 cm took the artist two years to complete down to its intricate details. The Kapitan Kling Mosque is dear to the artist as he spent many hours as child enchanted by the splendor of the mosque. The mosque was built in 1801 by Couder Mohiuddeen Merican a notable merchant and an Indian Muslim leader. The mosque is an icon of the contributions of the Indian Muslim community and the painting is a tribute by the artist to the community and state. The Retrospective will feature Syed Thajudeen’s famed monumental paintings such as his first mural piece, Ramayana, The Eternal Love between Hang Tuah and Puteri Gunung Ledang, The Beginning: The Founding of Melaka by Parameswara, Advent of Islam and Merdeka.
From the mural sized paintings to his miniatures, the exhibition will also feature Syed Thajudeen’s famed ‘Kebaya’ series. The artist splendidly captures ladies in different moods adorning the lovely Kebaya. Beauties of Penang, is his latest work painted especially for the Retrospective featuring ladies in Cheongsam and Penang landmarks. Syed Thajudeen believes in preserving our culture and heritage through his paintings, his legacy for the future generations.
The artist is a connoisseur of love having painted his protagonists in various stages of love. He has depicted the first instance of love through his Meeting of the Eyes, the yearning of lovers with his Longing for Love and Waiting for the Lover series and the culmination of the yearning with the Syed Thajudeen through his paintings has depicted the love that transcends that of lovers , with his Mother and Child series, the Merdeka Series and the Spiritual series. At each stage of a man’s life he would experience love, at birth a mother’s love, as a young adult a lover’s touch, as a mature man a strong sense of duty and love towards his nation and finally as an older wise man have a deeper love towards his Creator. His paintings capture the very essence of being human and with his Origin series he explores the moment of creation.
Syed Thajudeen is an artist extraordinaire, a master of his trade, who dedicated much of his life to his work, which he painstakingly created to bring joy and happiness to those around him.
Syed Thajudeen (b. 1943) has been painting for the past 50 years and is recognized as one of the stalwarts of the Malaysian art scene. He has honed his mastery of the figurative figure being able to create miniature pieces to mural-sized masterpieces. Although Syed Thajudeen’s stylization are influenced by the Bauhaus art of Paul Klee and his Indian education background, themes of his work are mostly based on the Malay culture which can be seen in his Kebaya series. Syed Thajudeen has exhibited extensively around the world, including the USA, Belgium, UK, UAE and China with 9 solo exhibitions under his belt to date. 2015, is a significant year for Syed Thajudeen, as the Penang State Museum and Art Gallery will be hosting his retrospective, after a span of 40 years since his first solo at the same venue.
Syed Thajudeen’s paintings are a permanent collection of the National Art Gallery of Malaysia, Singapore Art Museum, Beijing Olympic Museum, corporate buildings and many private homes in Malaysia and abroad. He has taught Fine Arts at the MARA Institute of Technology, Malaysia and been a resident artist at the United Asian Bank. He currently serves as a board member of the National Visual Arts Development Board, Malaysia.
1968-73 – Diploma in painting, Government College of Arts and Crafts, Madras, India.
1973-74 – Post-Diploma in painting, Government College of Arts and Crafts, Madras, India.
1975 – 1st Solo Exhibition, Penang State Museum and Art Gallery, Penang
1975 – 2nd Solo Exhibition, Samat Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
1997 – 3rd Solo Exhibition, Pelita Hati Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
2002 – Seroja, Sutra Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
2004 – Love and its Many Splendoured Images, Sutra Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
2006 – Cinta Tercipta… And there is Love…, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
2007 – Cinta Tercipta… and There is Love, Pelita Hati, Kuala Lumpur
2007 – Women in Kebaya : A Tribute to Datin Paduka Seri Endon Mahmood, Tanjung Art Gallery Penang
2010 – Paintings on Love, KL Lifestyle Art Space @ Jalan Maarof, Kuala Lumpur
2015 – Retrospective, Penang State Museum and Art Gallery, Penang
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
1965 – Group Show for the Opening of Penang State Museum by Tun Sir Raja Uda, Penang
1970-74 – Annual Shows, Government College of Arts and Crafts, Madras, India
1978 – Malaysian Art 1965-78, Commonwealth Institute, London, UK
1979 – Salon Malaysia, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
1982 – ASEAN Mobile Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur/ Singapore/ Jakarta/ Manila/Bangkok
1983 – 2nd Art Biennale, Bangladesh
1985 – 12 Malaysian Artist Exhibition, Taiwan
1988 – Contemporary painting of Malaysia, Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, California, USA
1989 – 1st ASEAN travelling exhibition of painting, Photography and Children Art, Kuala Lumpur/ Singapore/ Jakarta/ Manila/Bangkok
1990 – National Open Show, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
1990 – Malaysian painting in Cologne, Germany
1990 – First Asian Symposium on Aesthetics Workshop and Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur/ Singapore/ Jakarta/ Manila/Bangkok
1991 – Asian International Exhibition, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
1991 – Annual Open Show, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
1992 – Malaysian paintings in Brussels, Belgium
1993 – Malaysian Art 1993, Petronas Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
1994 – Islamic Art, Petronas Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
1994 – Time and Space -with Indian artists, Menara Maybank, Kuala Lumpur
1995 – Man and spirituality, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
1995 – International Islamic Exhibition, Jakarta, Indonesia
1998 – Malaysia Artist Group Show 1998, Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi, UAE
1998 – Rupa Malaysia, Brunei Gallery, University of London, England
1999 – Malaysian Contemporary Art Exhibition, National Museum of Art, Beijing, China
2001 – Open show, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
2003 – 45 @45, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
2004 – Contemporary Art of Malaysia at the turn of the 21st Century, Guangdong Museum of Art, China
2007 – Merdeka 50: A Celebration of Malaysian Art, Islamic Art Museum, Kuala Lumpur
2007 – Between Generations: 50 Years Across Modern Art in Malaysia, UM, Kuala Lumpur and USM, Penang
2010 – World Expo Shanghai, China
2012 – Olympic Games Art Exhibition, London
2013 – China Malaysia Friendship Exhibition, China
2014 – ReImagination Exhibition, Galeri Chandan, Kuala lumpur
SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
National Art Gallery, Malaysia
Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
Olympic Museum, Beijing, China
PETRONAS Gallery, Malaysia
Bank Negara Museum and Art Gallery, Malaysia
Avillion Port Dickson Resort, Malaysia
Yayasan Seni Berdaftar, Malaysia
CIMB Bank, Malaysia
For more information, images or media enquiries contact
The Bauhaus Gallery
Penang State Museum and Art Gallery
No.57, Macalister Road,
Georgetown, Penang 10400, Malaysia.