3. Another Prelude - Rethinking ‘Malay revivalist proclivities’
Which master narrative?
i. Search for Malay ‘roots’ (1970s) and
ii. ‘Malay-Islamic revival’ in art (1980s) (24)
1990 was partly imagined than factual, as the following sections will elaborate. In addition, reference to Piyadasa’s personal take on such revivalist proclivities, especially in relation to UiTM, should be done in comparison to the late Ismail Zain’s essay Masa Depan Tradisi – Dikhususkan Kepada Pengalaman Kuno di Malaysia (The Future of Tradition – Focusing On Primitive Experience in Malaysia) and Syed Ahmad Jamal’s Rupa & Jiwa (Form & Soul).(27)
Ismail’s works Permukaan Dalam Ruang # 3 (Surface in Space) (1969) and The Wayang Story – Yield, yield (1970) for examples, despite their apparent reference to the shadow puppet tradition and Malay domestic space, contain traces of his early interest in the semiotics of Malay visual nuances within a modernist context. Syed Ahmad Jamal’s Rupa & Jiwa as well as his work Tumpal (1975), despite their Malay postures, were presented within a highly Western modernist gallery context.