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Title: Contemporary Malaysian art : an exploration of the Songket motifs.
Author: Bahauddin, Azizi Bin.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3435 4868
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis explores the Malay songket motifs in relation to Malaysia's cultural identity and the transformations of these motifs within the context of the researcher's own art works. An examination of Malaysian government's fixed National Culture policy on identity is contrasted with the reality of identity as dynamic. The identity policy was created and asserted on a multi-racial population based on concept of MalaylBumiputera with no recognition of the 'Other', the nonBumiputera culture. Divisions among the populace were created by the privileges of political, economic and social adjustments given only to the Bumiputera. The lack of addressing the concerns of recognition and acknowledgement of the 'Other' and existence of 'difference' and stereotyping becomes the main interest of this research. In this thesis, the Malay songket motifs were used as a vehicle to demonstrate the Malay's strong association with traditional customs and rituals, a culture that became the focus of the National Culture policy. The motifs symbolises the dominance of the Malays clinging on to power to control the nation, echOing the height of the Malacca Malay Sultanate Empire eight centuries ago. The sense of growth, unity and human spirituality associated with animism was expressed in the songket motifs. However, evidence of the motifs assimilation with Hindu-Buddhist and Islamic influences proved that there is no Malay 'purity' in this art form. The researcher's practice transforms the flat images of the songket motifs into installative art works. Foods, light, shadow, images and sound become the media which express the research findings drawn from documentary, visual and oral sources concerning the songket motifs. His practice differs from the normal practice of Malaysian artists, who literally translate Malay culture into art work. The researcher's practice employs specific references to Malaysian sources free from didactic, cultural-political content. Above all, as a Malaysian working in the UK, the researcher not only engages his theoretical findings to inform his practice, he becomes part of the research. He is both a Malaysian artist himself and a contributor to that part of Malay culture that is examined in this thesis. He contributes to the compilation of the songket motifs information into CD-ROM.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cultural identity