Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Malaysian Garden and the art of cut flowers

One of the main highlights of my creative endeavours this year is my focus on cut flowers especially the tropical kind. The reason I concentrate on experimenting and developing this line of interest is very much related to my concept of the Malaysain Garden.

For a long time the Malaysian Garden has no name. I thought deeply into this issue and finally in 2005 I created the concept of Laman Kambatik. In the Malay language, 'Laman',  refers to garden but in a much enlarged connotation in accordance with the Malaysian gardening practice. In Malaysia, a garden is a fringe clearing from the jungle or forest and thus embody certain implications that are absent in other gardens. Then again our gardens are not 'for your eyes' only that play on aesthetic or garden planning elements.  It plays many roles like an edible resource, a wildlife centre, a playground and leisure park, a biodiversity in microcosm,a resort escape from the tropical sun and rain and an aromatic centre.

For the many reasons above I have coined the term 'Kambatik' to define the concept. 'Kam' is a derative of the word 'Kampung', a Malayisan terminology used to mean  rural villages and 'Batik' is a traditional art form, yet remaining versatile to this day as in the dynamic textile art it is sold overseas. 'Kambatik' reflects the essence of Malaysian creativity especially its specifics - spontaneity, decisive flow, deep panoramic colours and much artistry and experimentation.

In my 'Forward Years - naturally ' period which I am living right now, I will work further on developing the opportunities and businesses related to the concept.

However, in today's post I'll just stick to the art of cut flowers.

Daily Cut Flowers 

For the purpose of explaining, experimenting and defining cut flowers arrangement of a tropical kind, I created a blog called daily cut flowers. Here the emphasis is to show that in the Kambatik Garden planning you should be able to obtain and compose floral arrangement for vases, bowls, boats, table pieces or wall pieces by just having a brisk walk or run around your garden.  This shows the versatility and usefulness of the Kambatik Garden planning.

As an example, tropical exotics like the heliconias should be fully exploited as in minimalist or ikebana style compositions.  Secondly our tropical forests are known for its evergreen wash and deep strong colours.  Thus its colourful foliage of which many are variegated should be used in artistic combinations.  There are other parts of the inflorescence that can be utilised like the colourful bracts and seeds or fruits from an almost limitless choice. So does the rich scents and perfumery of some species of the ginger, gardenias and plumerias.

It is my fervent hope that next year I'll sum all my attempts in the form of a book as part of the overall list of events to be incorporated in my second solo art exhibition targetted in October 2009 at Kuching.


Protege said...

You have so many hobbies and so many talents.
I love flowers, there is something special about their fragile, yet strong beauty.
My mother loves gardening and have introduced me to the magic of plants. I too grow many flowers ad plants on my small garden; they make it a true heaven to be in, comes summer.;)

Eki Qushay Akhwan said...

Encik Mahmud,
Your description of "kambatik" as a garden reminds me of the yards (front, back, and side) of Javanese kampong homes where I grew up and probably other places in Nusantara. I would like to see in person what a traditional Malaysian garden is like and if it is similar to those in a Javanese kampong.