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Lot 027

b. Selangor, 1963


Acrylic on canvas
129cm x 90cm

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur; acquired directly from the

ESTIMATE  RM 5,000 - 8,000

Haron Mokhtar visits Malacca in his Melayu Pop cultural potpourri focusing on the Cheng Hoon Teng temple or ‘Clear Clouds Temple.’ The temple was founded around 1645 to 1660 by Kapitan Cina Tay Kie Ki @ Tay Hong Yong and rebuilt by Kapitan Chua Soo Cheong in 1801. The artist remarked that he saw the unique temple with decorative motifs akin to the Malays as a symbol of the “socio-cultural heritage of the Chinese in Malaysia, their freedom to practice their religion and live in relative peace.” The temple which was also used as an administrative centre and ‘Court of Justice’ is typical of South China architecture with the gabled carvings, curved roof, timber columns, lacquer finish and there is even a caoshu–styled calligraphy done by Dutch scholar Robert Van Gulik. At the bottom are stationary trishaws with side-carriages of which the modern versions are decked with much more garish colours and decorations.

Haron Mokhtar made a big splash on his graduation year (BA Fine Art in Painting and Printmaking, UiTM from 1983 to 1987 when he won the Major Award in the Young Contemporary Artists competition with his Melayu Pop mix of traditional architecture and culture. In 1988, he added his Art Teacher’s Diploma. He had taught in schools in Selangor and Sarawak and since 1998, was a senior teacher on humanities at the SMK Ungku Aziz in Sabak Bernam. His other awards included Second Prize in Landscape Selangor competition (Shah Alam Art Gallery, 2002), Consolation Prize, Historical Incidents competition (National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, 2005), Second Prize, Merdeka competition in 2010. His last solo exhibition Warisan was held at the Pelita Hati Gallery of Art, Kuala Lumpur in October 2011.