Contemporary Malaysian art: the integration of Islamic values in new trends and approaches since 1980 / Muhammad Faiz Sabri

Sabri, Muhammad Faiz (2020) Contemporary Malaysian art: the integration of Islamic values in new trends and approaches since 1980 / Muhammad Faiz Sabri. PhD thesis, Universiti Teknologi MARA.


Contemporary Islamic art has been recognized and was developed within the Malay
culture since the 13th century, where the Malay society formalized their culture based on
Islamic concepts and teachings. The years between 1980 and 1990 can be considered as a
revival period of Islamic art in Malaysia and became one of the main significant art forms
in the development of modern art at that time. However, in the 20th century, modern
global influences have given a ‘new meaning’ to contemporary Islamic art in Malaysia.
The Islamic Malay Cultural spirits have slowly missed their place in society. Therefore,
this research was conducted to understand in depth the view of contemporary Islamic art
in Malaysia from the year 1980 to the present by analyzing the concepts and philosophies
of Islam applied specifically in contemporary Islamic artwork. This research was
employed a qualitative type of research as a method, and the significance of this research
is the model developed, which refers to the case study as introduced by Creswell (2017).
Over 196 samples of contemporary Islamic artworks were collected based on five
prominent Islamic art exhibitions namely Pameran Seni Lukis & Seni Khat (1984),
Identiti Islam dalam Seni Rupa Malaysia: Pencapaian dan Cabaran (1992), Manifestasi
Jiwa Islam dalam Seni Rupa Malaysia (1993), Art and Sprirituality (1995), and Kesenian
Islam: Suatu Perspektif Malaysia (1995) and it has analyzed based on the four steps of art
criticism introduced by Edmund Feldman (1994), which consists of description, analysis,
interpretation and judgment. In defining certain Islamic concepts in selected artworks,
this research was referring to the principles of Islamic design introduced by Ismail Al-
Faruqi, which consist of abstraction, non-individualization, intricacy, successive
combination and repetition. The selection of the sample was based on the Islamic art
theme, which specifically focusing on a group of prominent Islamic art exhibitions that
were exhibited during a few decades. Apart from that, in order to support the
understanding of the view of contemporary Islamic art in Malaysia, the interview session
with Islamic art experts and academics were conducted and transcribed to see their
opinions and perceptions regarding the topic covered. This action was taken in
conjunction to enhance the understanding of the findings of this research. Consequently,
the analysis and findings of this research showed that the selection of the samples was
classified into four disciplines of art, namely painting, sculpture, printmaking, and mixed
media, as these forms of art still recognized and show it’s relevancy in Malaysian art
scene nowadays. On top of that, the findings of this research also found that the main
strategy that frequently used by Malaysian artists in producing contemporary Islamic
artworks are according to the five principles which have introduced by Ismail al-Faruqi
that consists of abstraction, non-individualization, intricacy, successive combination and
repetition. It is hoped that this research will contribute toward enhancing the view of
contemporary Islamic art specifically after the year of 1980, thus guiding contemporary
Muslim artists to appreciate and understand contemporary Islamic art well. Finally, it is
hoped to stimulate a potential emerging artist to create new expressions of contemporary
and innovative artworks while at the same time remaining true Islamic spirit.


Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Email / ID Num.
Sabri, Muhammad Faiz
Email / ID Num.
Thesis advisor
Mokhtar, Mumtaz (Dr.)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general > Contemporary, The, in art
Divisions: Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam > Faculty of Art and Design
Programme: Doctor of Philosophy (Arts & Design)
Keywords: Art; Islamic art; contemporary art
Date: November 2020
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