The Pahang Art Gallery (Balai Seni Lukis Pahang) in Kuantan was established to accommodate the growing special interest in arts and painting in the state of Pahang Darul Makmur.
The building location was initially launched in 2006 by Dato’ Maznah binti Mazlan, the Pahang State Executive Councillor.
And in May 2007, the state government, with the co-operation of the National Art Gallery (Balai Seni Lukis Negara), opened the gallery for public visits.
Mohamad Ismadi Sallehuddin, a graduate of University Technology Mara in the arts, was appointed the gallery’s first Curator. An established artist, he had his artworks exhibited and sold not only in Malaysia but also in countries such as Germany, France and Australia.
Among the objectives of establishing the Pahang Art Gallery is to develop an avenue where artworks by local Pahang artists can be show-cased and exhibited.
And hopefully of course it will promote, foster and develop greater interests by the public in the visual arts like paintings, sculptures, sketches and other local drawings and works of art.
In fact, works of arts by well-known Pahang artists depicting various genre and specialties are now displayed in this building. Abstract and semi-abstract, modern realism, portrait, landscape, batik, and other styles, media and categories of works of art can be seen and appreciated.
That originally, in the mid 1990s, it was proposed that the Pahang Art Gallery be established and located at the JKR building at Jalan Masjid.
But when the Museum Tokoh Pahang (Pahang Heroes Museum) was decided to be established, that proposed building was taken and used as the museum’s location.
But finally, after about 10 years, and after lots of hard work and requests by the Pahang artists association, SENIKA, the state government approved and allocated the present location.
END OF SIDE-NOTE
Zubir Awang is one of the pioneer artists of Pahang and famous for his early 1940s charcoal works of Elizabeth Scott and Kasma Booty, a popular Malay movie actress in the old days.
Famous Pahang artists, to name a few, include Abdul Latiff Awang, Ramli Malik (famed Malaysian batik pioneer), Redza Piyadasa, Haji Aman Ahmad, Joseph Tan Chian Jin, Osman Limat, Dato' Tengku Alaudin Tengku Abd. Majid and Professor Dr. Mohamad Najib Ahmad Dawa.
I am not doing justice here because there are of course many more Pahang painters who contributed greatly to the development and appreciation of the visual arts not only of Pahang, but also Malaysia. With the grace of God, I hope to list them and tell more about Pahang artists and art galleries in the state, in a future web-page.
The various styles, media used and genre of artists from Pahang were recently (in November 2007) shown and exhibited under "Lakarasa Inderapura" at the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur.
This inaugural exhibition of Pahang artists displayed and show-cased about 70 works by 52 artists, and was well received by the public. (The photos on this web-page are from the Lakarasa Inderapura exhibition).
Perhaps I should also mention that most of these Pahang artists have exhibited and sold their works of art not only in the country but also overseas, and with raved reviews.
Well, you can find it at No. 579, Jalan Seri Kemunting, 25100 Kuantan. It is housed in a two-storey old brick building close to the Kuantan River.
The white painted building, previously a government officer’s quarters, can be accessed via the entrance to the Majlis Perbandaran Kuantan (MPK) Main Office building near the Shahbandar Jetty, where the popular daily Kuantan River cruises are operated from.
It is the first bungalow on the left.
Tuan Wil Tuan Mat, who likes to paint landscapes and daily lives in Pahang, is the current Resident Artist of the gallery.
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Well, the Balai Seni Lukis Pahang (Pahang Art Gallery) in Kuantan will hopefully engender and develop greater interest and appreciation among youngsters and students as well as the general public in all kinds of works of art in Pahang.
And hopefully too, it will promote and create greater awareness of the existence of Pahang artists and their works of art to residents of Pahang as well as visitors to the state.
So whenever you’re in Kuantan and you wish to see or buy local art works, do stop by and visit the Pahang Art Gallery at Tanah Putih, and enjoy.
As always, from me ...