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Issue 20 2019

The Blue

Arts Magazine

in this issue Boonhlue Yangsuay Ruma Choudhury Soben Hour Ali Mabuha Rahamad Farida Zaman 1

Lotus The Blue

Arts Magazine


Photo....Top's Studio, Muar, Johor, Malaysia



66 Editorial Thoughts on the current issue

by the Founding Editor


Sculptureatwork Malaysian commercial sculpture

20 1919 West meets East

38 Hues of Happiness Soka Gakkai international exhibition 50 Boonhlue Yangsuay Emerging Thai artist 62 Ruma Choudhury Indian artist 76 Tempest KL (Kuala Lumpur) Shakespeare Players

88 Soben Hour Emerging Cambodian artist 100 Ali's Largess Malaysian artist Ali Mabuha Rahamad


Issue 20 2019

Front Front cover; cover; Fisherwoman, Nazia Ahmed Farida Zaman

110 The Land of Jin Essay on Ireland 126 For The Love Of Country Farida Zaman book launch and exhibition, Dhaka 142 Tobias Transpersonal Arts School of Art and Therapy, England

154 Thosai Cafe Innovative (South Indian) thosai in Malaysia

out now


Lotus Welcome to

The Blue Lotus (arts magazine) We are coming to the end of yet another year, and this issue is as diverse as they come. Inside there is an essay about India and Germany's Bauhaus, a 'Happiness' exhibition in Malaysia, with artists from Thailand, Malaysia, India, and Bangladesh, as well as an essay about Ireland. Art Therapy is mentioned from England and food from Malaysia (in the form of the South Indian delight - Thosai). This issue could not have been created without the kind assistance of all the participants, to whom I am deeply indebted, and you the readers. The Blue Lotus is open for submissions, but cannot pay and asks those who submit not to simultaneously submit elsewhere. Thank you. Now read on

Martin Bradley

(Founding Editor)







Sculptureatwork was originally known as Potential Art. Established in 1992, Potential Art worked with architects, interior designers, landscape designers, urban planners, contractors, museums and large corporations. The company has then accumulated valuable experience in sculpture making.In the year 2005,Potential Art transformed into Sculptureatwork, a creative bound sculpture studio with full in-house facilities to make the vision of the client a reality. We believe sculptures are the leading method of expressing and commemorating a permanently circumscribed category of subjects or sets of activities. Sculptureatwork provides a wide range of services from conceptualizing, designing, fabricating, installing and building sculptures on-site. When commissioned to sculpt a piece, site visits are conducted by our team to have a better grasp of the background and ergonomics so that we can ensure that our sculptures infuse while enhancing it the space so as to deliver the best solutions to our clients. Our passionate in-house professional sculptors, designers and artist brings the sculptures to life. A sculpture that is placed it surrounding will create sense of place and balance.




The missus (Malaysian artist Honey Khor) and I were overjoyed to receive an invitation to attend the annual MIA (Malaysian Institute of Art) gathering, this time held at the creative hub of Sculptureatwork, Malaysia’s leading base for public sculptures. We have been tinkering with the shell of our new three storey home. The basic structure of the house was there, but fixtures and fittings were, largely, absent. There were no kitchen units for either of our wet or dry kitchens, no light or fan fittings, with wires left where they and the aircon units should be - and in the most awkward of places too. So we had a lot to do. With the aid of Bangladeshi workers (don’t ask) we have been getting familiar with making things out of concrete and experimenting with lighting, wall hanging and shifting electrical sockets (and plumbing) throughout the house, from where the builders put them to where we wanted them. It has been some great task, and has been going on for some months. We wanted to input a sense of Walter Gropius’s ‘Modern’ or some sort of contemporary aspect into the house. Hence the concrete. Yes I know that concrete dates back to the Romans (200 BC) , and so is hardly new, but one Joseph Aspdin (1824) invented the regularised ‘Portland’ cement enabling widespread use of cement in home construction in England and France between 1850 and 1880, especially by Frenchman Francois Coignet. But, increasingly, raw concrete is being used in contemporary houses, as is the concept of raw bricks and exposed pipes (or so I am led to believe from such magazines as Interior Design Yearbook 2019, and Living Etc. UK 2019). It was a sheer delight then, to be ushered into the building (which is home to Sculptureatwork - yes, all one word) and were greeted by company CEO Soon Yee Ling. Soon Yee Ling, if you may remember was (back in 2008) responsible for mini sculptures of Penang businesses, at the time of its Unesco world heritage site listing, as well as ‘Voices From the People’ (George Town Penang - a collection of 52 flat, iron rod made caricatures placed on its historic streets). Sculptureatwork has made myriad public sculptures ever since, including the bright red ladies (The Past and Present) and silver leaping lady ( Jump for Joy) at Puchong’s





mini-mall Setia Walk. Inside the studio and office complex at Sculptureatwork, the first items to grab our attention were the concrete walls, concrete floor and the exposed concrete beams/pillars. The seating varied from white painted ‘chicken’ cages (which were either left to resemble themselves, or re-constructed to resemble chairs) to seats made from wooden railway ‘sleepers’. Some of the walls were adorned by some small sculptures (Maquette?), others by some of the miniatures used for the George Town event. Upstairs, cut railway sleepers had been utilised as kitchen ‘breakfast bar’ stools in one wide area focusing upon a very lifelike hippopotamus (2009) statue, mounted by three metal black ‘cartoon’ birds. There, inside that building, the serious business of contemporaneity in design rubbed shoulders with humour and humorous juxtaposition (such as the horse attempting to climb off the upstairs balcony, or the grossly enlarged star anise [Illicium verum] spice made of bronze casting, and topped with glass to form a coffee book table). Elsewhere, up concrete (yes more concrete) stairs which led to nowhere, a Chinese styled birdcage sat with its door open. Miniature figures were posed as if entering the cage, while others were already inside. Is this a comment on Marilyn Frye’s short essay on ‘Oppression” I wonder. Outside, along a broad concrete patio, both wooden and concrete benches invited us to rest. To one side, what appeared to be a life-size, yet cartoon, bronze bear (maybe Kipling’s Baloo) seemed to be motionlessly hurrying toward a sculpture of a white stag (deer) with magnificent antlers. Around the corner, as if planted and growing, was a herd of other white deer, some seated while others stood lookout for the static bear, or stray visitors such as ourselves. Further along, artwork which had been designed by legendary Malaysian cartoonist Datuk Mohd Nor Khalid (Lat), and had been placed throughout Kuala Lumpur city centre, lounged as a tribute to the cartoonist and to the company which made the sculptural images. It was a sheer delight to witness the contemporary overt plumbing in the washrooms, with joints and naked pipes on display in an ‘industrial’ look with bends and joints appearing less humble and more artistic, but not in any Melamid way (reference to the contemporary artist Alexander Melamid, painter of The Art of Plumbing, including ‘Form-N-Fit 1-1/2 Flanged Tailpiece’, ‘Large Drain Cleansing Bladder’, and ‘The No Clog Drain, Permaflow’). Ultimately we came away full of awe for the company Sculptureatwork, full of praise for Soon Yee Ling and his studio teams and with a multitude of ideas for the new house. Our visit had improved our thinking about contemporary interior design but, sadly, not the finances to put much of it into practice.




'Indology, born out of life, leads back to life; apart from academic results, i

Houston Stewart Chamberlain, A



it should, paired with life, create new life; a great purpose lies ahead of it.'

Arische Weltanschauung (1905)1






"Learning from books and teachers is like t Veda. But, the carriage will serve only while end of the highroad will leave the c Early 2019 I was in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The artist Professor Dr.

Farida Zaman and I were settling in to a series of interviews for her forthcoming biography. Dr. Zaman reminded me that she had obtained her Doctorate from India’s Santiniketan (pronounced Shantiniketan, with an ‘h’) Visva-Bharati University. In conversation, she revealed the close links between her university - the University of Dhaka, its art school (the Faculty of Fine Arts, fondly referred to as the Charukola Institute) and Rabindranth Tagore’s University at Santiniketan and it’s art school, the Kala Bhavan. She also informed me that a party of scholars from her university were intending to go to Santiniketan before the end of the year (2019). I was curious, why? Dr. Zaman smiled and told me that 2019 is the one hundredth year anniversary of the Kala Bhavan at Santiniketan, and that December was the last month that could be celebrated. Coincidently, 2019 is also the hundredth anniversary of my father’s birth (March 1919) and of Walter Gropius’ most influential German art institution (the) Bauhaus. I sit, as I often do, listening to music. Because of my father, because of the year, and because of the many other 100th anniversaries this year, I re-listen to John Cale sing 'Paris 1919', from his 1973 album of the same name. My listening is for no other reason than it’s John Cale’s best album and happens to be titled 1919. I begin this rumination on the Kala Bhavan and the Bauhaus, guiltily putting to one side other events, such as the Treaty of Versailles, the massacre at Amritsar, Britain’s race riots and many events, good and bad, of that year one, hundred years ago.

To begin at the beginning. 3 In the year 1919, Russian avant-garde artist Kazimir Malevich had founded the UNOVIS group4 (dedicated to originating new theories and concepts in art)5 at the Vitebsk People’s Art School in modernday Belarus, while German musician Gertrud Grunow (exploring relationships between sound, colour and movement) began her lecturing in Berlin in 1919, later to teach at the Bauhaus (Weimar)6. It was the year that many silent films were released 7, Frenchman Joseph Fernand Henri Léger (Fernand Léger) painted his tubular ‘cubist’ painting ’The City’, in Paris, France, after returning, shaken, by his experiences serving in the army during the Great War (1914 - 1918). The Spaniard Pablo Picasso, also ensconced in Paris in 1919, painted a sensuous ‘Still Life with Pitcher and Apples’ in his neo-classicist style and Modernist Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, in that very same year, in a small town six miles south-west of Lausanne on the shore of Lake Geneva, called Morges, in Switzerland, wrote a very energetic five movement piece of music called the ‘Firebird Suite’ (in Eb Minor). Over in China, in 1919, the May the Fourth Movement eventuated in modernising Chinese culture, first literature and posters then modernisations in Chinese Ink 24

Still life with Pitcher and

travelling by carriage, so we are told in the one is on the highroad. He who reaches the carriage and walk afoot." ( Johannes Itten) 2

and Brush painting - taking on ideas from the West and from Japan. 1919 was when India’s greatest writer, the first Asian Nobel laureate etc etc etc - Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941) opened his Kala Bhavan (Institute of Fine Arts) in his established learning centre of Santiniketan, some one hundred miles outside of Calcutta, India. It was also the year that the renown German architect Walter Adolph Georg Gropius (Walter Gropius 1883 - 1969) opened Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar (State Bauhaus or, simply The Bauhaus)8, in Weimar, Germany, on the 1st of April. 1919 was a year of positive ideas. Amidst all the negativity after the First World War (1914 - 1918), one year later there was a great deal of positivity, a sense of rebirth, of change and, dare I say it - Modernity, a look to, perhaps, to a brighter future. As the French poet, novelist, and dramatist Victor Hugo put it, ‘One cannot resist an idea whose time has come’ (1877). And the idea of an art learning transformation was beginning to blossom.

UNOVIS group

d Apples, Pablo Picasso

“The greatest teachers in ancient India, whose names are still remembered, were forest-dwellers. By the shady border of some sacred river or Himalayan lake they built their altar of fire, grazed their cattle, harvested wild rice and fruits for their food, lived with their wives and children in the bosom of primeval nature, meditated upon the deepest problems of the soul, and made it their object of life to grow in sympathy with all creation and in communion with the SupremeBeing. There students flocked round then and had their lessons of immortal life in the atmosphere of truth, peace and freedom of the spirit.” Rabindranath Tagore in the introduction to Shantiniketan.9

Santiniketan Yatra viśvam bhavatyekanidam (where the world makes it’s home in a single nest) Rabindranath Tagore’s motto for Visva Bharati University.

Rabindranath Tagore 10 (in 1901) initiated ‘a non-communal institution for girls and boys, where education was to be had in close communion with nature’11. Santiniketan (frequently referred to as Shantiniketan - Indian pronunciation’), is the ashram Rabindranath Tagore developed before the school of art (Kala Bhavan or Institute of Fine Arts) was originated. Santiniketan resides in a small town near Bolpur, in the Birbhum district of India’s West Bengal, and is some three and half hours from Kolkata (Calcutta). Santiniketan had been developed by Rabindranath Tagore out of his father’s (Debendranath Tagore’s) rural ashram, as an experiment in an internationalism which had grown out of the some notions 25




of the ‘Swadeshi Movement’ 11 with visions of a universal humanism. However, Rabindranath Tagore quickly became disillusioned with the ‘Movement’ with its increasing emphasis on nationalism. Following his father’s example (be in close contact with nature), Rabindranath created an Ashramic type school from the ashram Debendranath had initiated, which eventuated as being Visva-Bharati (or the Central University, after Indian Independence). Later, Rabindranath initiated the art school called Kala Bhavan, in 1919 which came under the care of Rabindranath Tagore’s eldest son Rathindranath Tagore, as Vice-Chancellor. Later (in 1923) Nandalal Bose, who had been a student of Rathindranath Tagore’s nephew (Abanindranath Tagore)13 at the Government Art School (previously called the Calcutta School of Arts and Crafts) in Calcutta, and a leading light in developing an ‘Indian’ style of Art, which gave birth to the ‘Bengal school of art’,14 became the second Vice Chancellor of Kala Bhavan. Rabindranath Tagore had been disillusioned by Western methods of art teaching in India which had been imposed by the British, and sought a different philosophy for an Indian art education, based upon Indian traditions and practices such as dance, theatre and play as well as Eastern techniques of calligraphy, scroll painting, Indian miniature and various other mural techniques. In her essay Irena Lesar 15 suggests that; ‘In Tagore’s philosophy of education, aesthetic development is just as important as intellectual development, if not more so, and music, literature, visual art, dance and drama were given great prominence in the daily life of the school. Students should take an active part in these finer aspects of human life, as they are essential to enrich the soul.’ It was these ideals which led Rabindranath Tagore to go on to create the Kala Bhavan, mentioned above. The Mahatma, Mohandas Gandhi, who corresponded with Rabindranath Tagore and visited Santiniketan, wrote; ‘Painting also can be of two kinds, divine and demoniac, sattvik and rajasik, moral and immoral …Painting is silent music. We can see from our experience of paintings which excite passion that, if a painter painted pictures which would purify us of passion, their power would be felt even by the coarsest of men. There are pictures painted with this aim. But of course there are very few painters of this type. If somebody from the Ashram becomes such an artist, we should admire him…I don’t know how they teach painting in Santiniketan. But there is no better place in India at present for learning this art.’16 Meanwhile, in Europe, another movement was taking place .


Bauhaus In Europe too, things were changing (for the better) after the ‘Great War’. In his ‘Bauhaus Manifesto and Program’ 17 Walter Gropius (who is deemed to be one of the great masters of modernist architecture) proclaimed that; ‘The ultimate aim of all visual arts is the complete building! To embellish buildings was once the noblest function of the fine arts; they were the indispensable components of great architecture. Today the arts exist in isolation, from which they can be rescued only through the conscious, cooperative effort of all craftsmen. Architects, painters, and sculptors must recognise anew and learn to grasp the composite character of a building both as an entity and in its separate parts. Only then will their work be imbued with the architectonic spirit which it has lost as “salon art.”

Untitled, Abanindranath Tagore

Students of British arts and crafts might recognise Gropius’ notions from ideas set down by William Morris. Nikolaus Pevsner, writing in 1936, certainly did.18 In ‘The Sources of Modern Art’, which Pevsner helped edit, he mentions… ‘The British influence declined after 1900, but the 'social awareness' of Gropius was 'ultimately derived from the Morris Movement’19. Later Pevsner had interviewed the then elderly Gropius in the United States who, speaking of William Morris, admitted ‘ I owe him so much’ 20 For William Morris (in The Art of the People) had written; ‘…that tomorrow, when the civilised world, no longer greedy, strifeful, and destructive, shall have a new art, a glorious art, made by the people and for the people, as a happiness to the maker and the user.’

The Bauhaus, Dessau

Gropius was instrumental in bringing together the Academy of Fine Arts and the disbanded School of Arts and Crafts to re-unite sculpture, painting, applied art, and handicrafts in a fresh thinking about architecture. The irony was that the initial Bauhaus programme (Bauhaus -Universitat Weimar) had no architecture classes,21 despite Walter Gropius being a well sort after architect. After ideological clashes between the ‘Modernist’ art school and the sleepy town of Weimar, in 1925/26 Gropius moved the Bauhaus into a building designed by himself, and commissioned by the city of Dessau. The Bauhaus stayed in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 creating spectacular objects such as Marcel Breuer’s tubular steel furniture, Marianne Brandt’s ashtray, the Stahlhaus (Steel House) and the famous Bauhaus wallpaper. The list of Bauhaus teachers (Masters) resembles a list of the then art avant-garde, including Lyonel Feininger, Johannes Itten, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Gerhard Marcks, Adolf Meyer, László MoholyNagy, and others. Gropius left the Bauhaus in 1928, handing his project over to Swiss architect Hannes Mayer to become the new Director. It was then that the architecture department was founded. Mayer brought with him new




From Album: Stella Kramrisch (possibly compiled


ideas on functionalism and Die Neue Baulehre (the new way to build). But, due to his Communist leanings, he was only to last two years before he was requested to resign by Chief Mayor of Dessau, Fritz Hesse. That left the path clear for the ‘Modernist’ Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to become the third, and final, Bauhaus Director in Germany. The Bauhaus was to cave in to German Nazi regime pressure and close in 1933. Participants fled to Holland then to England, and some to the USA. It was while László Moholy-Nagy was staying in London that he was approached by Executive director Norma k Stahle of the Association of Arts and Industries, later the Assistant Director of The New Bauhaus, Chicago, USA. Stahle had wanted Gropius to head up the new styled Bauhaus in Chicago , but he was teaching at the prestigious Harvard Graduate School of Design. Gropius suggested Moholy-Nagy. The ‘New Bauhaus’ began in Chicago, in 1937, under László Moholy-Nagy, and has evolved into the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Connections 1919 was to begin a series of events which would bring East and West together in a spirit of art cooperation and collaboration. In that year, one Austrian scholar, Stella Kramrisch,22 received her doctoral degree (after submitting her dissertation on early Buddhist sculpture in India) from the Institute of Art History in Vienna.23 While in England that same year, Kramrisch met Rabindranath Tagore, in Oxford. Tagore immediately invited her to teach at his Kala Bhavan. Kramrisch set sail for India in 1920 and taught Indian and Western art under Nandala Bose, at the Kala Bhavan in Santiniketan until 1923. After her spell at Kala Bhavan, Kramrisch joined the University of Calcutta and became its first professor of Indian Art (1923 - 1950). Coincidently, Rabindranath Tagore’s book ‘Gitanjali’ had been publish in Germany, in 1914, and Tagore had received favourable acknowledgement there as a figure of international renown. He celebrated his birthday, on May 7th, 1921, with recitals of poems and songs at the National Theatre in Weimar, Germany. In ‘Rabindranath Tagore in the 21st Century’ 24 it is suggested that the Bauhaus Archives holds evidence of the Bauhaus’s Johannes Itten being at the event, evidenced by Itten’s sketch of Tagore.25 In 1922, while still at Santiniketan, Stella Kramrisch, then a member of the Calcutta Oriental Society of Indian Art (founded 1907), contacted Bauhaus ‘Master’ Johannes Itten, and began the organisation of a selling exhibition of some 250 artworks from Bauhaus ‘Masters’ Paul Klee and Lyonel Feininger, as well as Itten, exhibited opposite Indian artists Nandalal Bose, Abanindranath Tagore, Sunayani Devi and Gaganendranath Tagore, at the Oriental Society of Indian Art’s 14th annual exhibition in Samavaya Mansions, Calcutta.26 That showing in Calcutta was to be the Bauhaus’s first exhibition, opened by His Excellency Earl of Lytton (the Governor), on 23rd December 1922. 27 Stella Kramrisch, undated. by Nancy Baxter), undated


Points, Wassily Kandinsky, 1920


Milk maids, Sunayani Devi


The first exhibition on German soil was to be the following year (during the summer of 1923), called ‘Haus am Horn’, an experimental building used as a showcase for the work being done at the Bauhaus. It is supposed that Kramrisch had met Itten when they were both in Vienna,28 with Kramrisch studying there from 1916 to 1919 and Itten teaching at his own art school from 1916 until he began at the Bauhaus in 1919. It is certain that Kramrisch contacted Itten on behalf of the Indian Society of Oriental Art, to organise such an exhibition in December 1922.29 Although the 1922 exhibition was not a financial success, it did bring the Bauhaus to the attention of Calcutta, and thus to Indian creatives. At that 1922 exhibition, Indian works were positioned on one wall,30 whereas the Bauhaus contingent 31 were separate.32 Other connections might include a ‘Bauhaus Institute’ in the Chinese

Bauhaus Institute’ at the China A

city of Hangzhou (2012), at the China Academy of Art (CAA), aiming to spread Western knowledge of design and academic research. That connection grew from 1929, when a Japanese teacher (Kazuzo Saito) visited the Bauhaus and began to teach modern design at the National College of Art, Hangzhou (which became the China Academy of Art). More recently (2018), CAA in its new China Design Museum, housed ‘Bauhaus Imaginista: Moving Away’. Hang Jian, deputy director of the CAA, mentioned it to be "China's first museum with a systematic collection of original Western modern design works" and "a rare example in the world of a newly built museum that is specifically dedicated to modern design”33. There has also been a free flow of art students between Kala Bhavan and the China Academy of art.34 In two rooms at the Bauhaus building, Dessau, from March 27th


until June 30th 2013, ‘The Bauhaus in Calcutta: An Encounter of the Cosmopolitan Avant-Garde’, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, Dessau, Germany, celebrated the original meeting of the Bauhaus and the Indian art avant-garde at the Fourteenth Annual Exhibition of the Indian Society of Oriental art, held in Calcutta in 1922. After extensive ‘investigations’, Antonia Behan explains …. “Bauhaus in Calcutta did not present merely “spiritual alliances” between the Bauhaus and Shantiniketan programs, but actual relationships, friendships, correspondence, and in-the-flesh meetings which reveal how globally intertwined the movements really were.” 34

Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China

In December 2018, the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), New Delhi, also hosted ‘Moving Away’ as an exhibition targeting the principles of Bauhaus design (and architecture) which has been deemed to have been influential in provoking an Eastern ‘Modernism’, more specifically to the Soviet Republics, India, North Korea and China. ‘Moving Away’ talked about the migration of Bauhaus ideas, with an accompanying symposium addressing art and design education and including Indian examples from Kala Bhavan (Santiniketan), Faculty of Fine Arts MSU Baroda and the National Institute of Design Ahmedabad. More recently, after three years of intensive construction a new Bauhaus Museum (the Weimar State Bauhaus) was opened on the 6th of April 2019, while in Dessau, another Bauhaus Museum was opened on 8 September 2019.


NOTES 1 Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Arische Weltanschauung (München: Bruckman, 1905). 2 Ed Faber Birren, Trans Ernst Van Hagen, Johannes Itten, The Elements of Colour, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1970, pp7 3 The very first line from Dylan Thomas’ play ‘Under Milk Wood, New York: New Directions, 1954. 4 Abbreviation of the Russian for ‘Champions of the New Art’. 5 UNOVIS, Wikipedia. 6 “She continued her teaching activities from 1926 to 1934 in Hamburg and subsequently worked for several months in England and Switzerland before returning to Germany during the war. Gertrud Grunow died in Leverkusen in 1944.” in 100 Years of Bauhaus, https:// 7 Ernst Lubitsch’s ‘The Doll’, 1919 and his ‘The Oyster Princess’ (1919) being but two. 8 German, Bau = Building, Haus = House. 9 The Bolpur School of Rabindranath Tagore by W.W. Pearson, originally published 1917, London, Macmillan. 10 Also known as Rabindranath Thankur. 11 Mohan Bhavani’s short documentary, 1949, ‘Shantiniketan - The Abode of Peace’. 12 The Swadeshi Movement, now known as 'Make in India' campaign was officially proclaimed on August 7, 1905 at the Calcutta Town Hall, in Bengal. Boycott movement was also launched along with the Swadeshi movement. The movements included using goods produced in India and burning British-made goods - 13 According to Iftekar Dadi, in his book ‘Modernism and the art of Muslim South Asia’ ‘Abanindranath Tagore..was a founder of the Bengal School, which assimilated numerous technical and conceptual influences, including Mughal Painting, Japanese Wash technique, pan Asian ideals and an emergent Indian nationalist art historical writings from the first decade of the twentieth century.’ 14 More correctly identified as a movement. 15 Irena Lesar , The Role of the Arts in Tagore’s Concept of Schooling, in c e p s Journal | Vol.5 | No3 | Year 2015. 16 Prof. Dr. Yogendra Yadav, Painting in Perspective of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi quotes on painting, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India, 1999. 17 Walter Gropius, Bauhaus Manifesto and program, 1919. 18 Nicholas Pevsner, Pioneers of the Modern Movement from William Morris to Waiter Gropius, London, 1936. 19 Jean Cassou, Emile Langui and Nikolaus Pevsner, editors, The Sources of Modern Art, London: Thames and Hudson, 1962.


20 Stephen Games, ed., Pevsner on Art and Architecture: The Radio Talks (London: Methuen 2002), pp. xv-xl 21 They came in 1927. 22 (1896-1993) Teacher at Santiniketan (1921–24), and art historian known as a specialist in Indian art and Hinduism. 23 “Wiener Schule”, the Vienna School of Art History at Universität Wien or The University of Vienna, Austria. 24 Debashish Banerji ed. Rabindranath Tagore in the 21st Century; Theoretical Renewals, Sophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures Vol 7, Springer, India, 2015. 25 Das Frühe Bauhaus (516–518). See also letter of G. Kunz where he quotes Bauhaus Archive, Darmstadt that the exhibition ‘was arranged following a suggestion of Rabindranath Tagore.’ (Parimoo, 169). 26 Regina Bittner, Kathrin Rhomberg, Ostfildern, Hatje Cantz, The Bauhaus in Calcutta in An Encounter of the Cosmopolitan Avant-garde, exhibition booklet, 2013. 27 O.C. Gangoly ed., The Fourteenth Annual Exhibition of the Indian Society of Oriental Art, Rupam: An Illustrated Quarterly Journal of Oriental Art, Chiefly Indian, Indian Society of Oriental Art , Calcutta, Jan-Jun 1923, pp 14-18. 28 Martha Langford, Narratives Unfolding: National Art Histories in an Unfinished World, McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 2017. 29 Kramrisch to Itten, May 5, 1922, Thuringia Hauptarchin (THA), Fiche 130, File 57,1./ Itten's letter to Klee, copied to Feininger, Marcks, and Schlemmer. Itten to Klee, THA August 7, 1922, Fiche 130, File 57, 5. 30 Ksitindranath Mazumdar, Asit Halder, R.N. Chakravarty et al. 31 Klee, ltten, Feininger, Macke and Kandinsky, plus students and others. 32 Professor Partha Mitter, in 1922: A Bauhaus art exhibition and Rabindranath Tagore's inspiration behind it, by Amit Roy in The Telegraph, Kolkata, answers the question…“Why Calcutta? Without a doubt Rabindranath Tagore’s global reputation had a lot to do with it. This is the centenary year of the Bauhaus and I have contributed essays in exhibition catalogues comparing the teaching methods of the Bauhaus and Santiniketan.” 33 Wang Kaihao, Bauhaus Spirit Moves On, in China Daily Newspaper, May 1st 2018. 34 Sisir Thapa being but one example of an Indian artist from Sikkim, who studied at Kala Bhavan between 2000 to 2005, then in the China Academy of Art 2009 to 2011. 35 Antonia Behan, a review; The Bauhaus in Calcutta: An Encounter of the Cosmopolitan Avant-Garde, in West 86th (journal), Bard Graduate Center and the University of Chicago Press, February 6th 2014.


image provided by SOKA GAKKAI MALAYSIA


Sor Sophany

image provided by SOKA GAKKAI MALAYSIA

Honey Khor

Soka Gakkai Malaysia this year features the work of two of Colors of Cambodia artists...Sor Sophany (left) and Honey Khor (right) within a kaleidoscope of images and artists from across Southeast Asia at the exhibition 'Hues of Happiness' (see poster opposite).

Happiness— a simple yet profound life state that comes in many different forms. To some people, happiness can be a greeting; a simple smile; having something that one likes; doing something one loves or sharing something with others. But, true happiness comes from within— the contentment of leading a contributive way of life. “Hues of Happiness” is a unique art exhibition gathering artists from the Southeast Asian countries, who share a common vision in contributing to the community through arts, culture and education. As suggested by the word “hues”, the colourful cultural backgrounds and diverse personal experiences of every single artist has led them in creating poetic and picturesque works brimming with a sense of happiness. They have infused their personal inspirations, perspectives, stories and acts of kindness that embody happiness, vividly in their paintings. “Hues of Happiness” presents a beautiful selection of 46 artworks by 23 participating artists from seven countries— Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia and Myanmar. This exhibition also features a special curation showcasing the output and journey of the artists, together with children who participated in the community development programme that was held from February to August this year. 39

image provided by SOKA GAKKAI MALAYSIA


left to right - Michael Kok Fook On (President of Soka Gakkai Malaysia),YB Nichole Tan Lee Koon, Sor Sophany

Little peace

image provided by SOKA GAKKAI MALAYSIA


left to right - YB Nichole Tan Lee Koon, Michael Kok Fook On (President of Soka Gakkai Malaysia), Honey Khor (artist), Michael Yee Fuh Wen, (President of Malaysia Art Socie


ety) Shireen Lee (Curator).

image provided by SOKA GAKKAI MALAYSIA


left to right - Michael Kok Fook On (President of Soka Gakkai Malaysia),YB Nichole Tan Lee Koon, Sor Sophany (artist).


image provided by SOKA GAKKAI MALAYSIA


Left to right - Anna Karina Jardin (Founder of Artdialogo Asia), Maxi V. Ramos, Managing Director of Buenas Artes Art Facility (The Philippines), Honey Khor, Project Manager Robert F. Hayden Jr., World Council Member for Asia and Soh Yi Da, ASEAN Youth Fellow 2018. (Singapore) the Pacific (InSEA)


of Colors of Cambodia Charity Art School (Malaysia & Cambodia),

image provided by SOKA GAKKAI MALAYSIA


image provided by SOKA GAKKAI MALAYSIA

Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) is an organization that promotes peace in society through cultural exchanges and humanistic education, based on the life affirming philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism. “Soka” means creating value. As Buddhists engaged in society, we believe that all human beings, regardless of gender, ethnicity or social standing, have the power to overcome life’s challenges and develop a life of immense value. Since its inception in 1984, SGM has conducted its activities based on the following guiding principles: • To promote good values and morals among its members • To contribute to the wellbeing and prosperity of the country • To foster friendship, family happiness, racial harmony and peace • To contribute to culture, social welfare and education Coming from all walks of life, SGM members joyfully engage in various activities where they develop gratitude, compassion, a sense of responsibility and service to the community. In leading contributive lives, they discover their own capacities for empowerment and improvement. Like the beauty of a flower, it can be appreciated by people from all walks of life, regardless of race, language, religion and tradition. We believe cultural exchanges help our creative potential as human beings bloom, and form a golden bridge between people. We encourage the blossoming of the flower of culture by organizing various cultural events. We also actively participate in state and national level events, as an expression of our commitment to contribute to the well-being of society. We also believe that education is a life-long pursuit of self-awareness and development of wisdom and character. It nurtures our ability to think critically and make informed choices, but most importantly, it enhances our appreciation for life itself. Through educational activities, we seek to foster awareness of our shared responsibilities for the future of our country, and for the peace of all humanity. 48

Left to right - Vicky Ho (Soka Gakkai Malaysia), Honey Khor and Sor Sophany (artists)

image provided by SOKA GAKKAI MALAYSIA


Boonhlue Yangsuay BoonhlueYangsuay is young Thai artist .He graduated bachelor degree of art from Rajamangala University of Technology Pohchang and master degree of arts from Silpakorn University. Boonleurhas attention along the way by himself appearances and person’s behaviour. From his experiences makes him understand see through and focused on interpret of them appearances which defines the truth behind it. His beliefs and the facts that appear, with artist skills able to show and express what he saw through his artwork. His painting has special technique both painting and drawing works were shown on brush stroke and colourful , which are the identity that contains a meaning. The artist used female to represent the beauty, which persuades the audience to think and search for the meaning is up to the audience and experience of the people.


The long hair Princess of legend and a tree of credulity



Lady have the strong no.1


Princess gorilla


Strong lady of hammer



The Frog Prince Desiring a bos


Lady have the strong No.3




The long hair Princess of legend and a tree of credulity no.2

Lady have the strong No.2


Ruma Choudhury About my practice: My practice is based on the Art of paper making which I create from fibre found in nature. By amalgamating drawings and art of paper making I experiment with the process and the medium to contextualize nature as my subject. I treat the surface of the paper I produce as a part of my drawing process. I have already explored fibres from banana, tussar, sugarcane. Thus I not only involve nature as my subject but also as my core medium. Paper becomes an important part of my subject, the existential crisis in today’s world is felt both by men and nature in city life. I through my work try to un caged nature and bring back the rightful importance of it once again. I also realized that the city life had effected my subjects as well. My drawing involved natural subject matter but eventually human figure entered my compositions, I consciously let that happen as I thought it is a justified reflection of my current mental self. I compose the similarities I find in human body part with nature the physical resemblance which I could see, and observe. I also create my own pigments found from nature around me by grinding coloured stones, earth, leaves, flowers, branches and trunks of trees. My works becomes a satire for nature and metaphor from the human.



















one woman

Every so often a book appears that reveals and illuminates a project that might otherwise remain largely unknown by the outside world: ‘Colors of Cambodia’ is such a book. This is a highly personal and passionate account written by Martin Bradley and illustrated by Pei Yeou Bradley of her encounter with a remarkable art-based project in and around Siem Reap in Cambodia, and how she was drawn into practical involvement with the children for whom the project exists. The book shows how a small NGO run by William Gentry in Siem Reap has been able to reach out to children in local schools, some in areas of great poverty, through the medium of art, and to give them hope for the future in a country that has suffered so much. The children and their families who are drawn into the project prove how art can cross all borders of language and culture. The book also tells of how Malaysian children and their parents have been encouraged to support the project and to become involved with the children and their work.

This is a highly personal and passionate account written by Marti remarkable art-based project in and around Siem Reap in Cambodia, for whom the 72

n’s journey

And there is the additional touch of magic as Pei Yeou and Martin tell of their meeting and of how he too was drawn into the story, and contributes to it, and of how it changed his life. His sensitive words and poetry add another colour to this unique book In a world in which the news is bad more often than not, this inspirational book tells a story of optimism and success, and of how dreams can become true. Richard Noyce, Artist and Writer, Wales, July 2012 contact

in Bradley and illustrated by Honey Khor of her encounter with a , and how she was drawn into practical involvement with the children project exists. 73




Our p


It is

Besi based on with stu t To dedicat good the


Tempest A re imagining of Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST, by one of the renown founders and initiators of the Physical/Visual, Devised and Applied Theatre movement, David Glass.

KL Shakespeare Players From an informal group started in 2011, we have established ourselves as the only theatre company in Malaysia that focuses on Shakespeare’s works. Each year, we draw a diverse audience to watch Shakespeare performed live. We do so without running away from the Bard’s language. production in 2018, SD: Romeo & Juliet travelled to many locations, performed more than 30 shows to over 5000 pairs of eyes. ond Malaysia, KLSP travelled in 2018 to Manila, Philippines; and Seoul, South Korea, closing the year with a total of some 90 performances. s KLSP’s mission to take Shakespeare to every state in Malaysia, and eventually to all countries in Southeast Asia. ides our annual Shakespeare Demystified series, we are active in providing training and workshops n “Learning Through Shakespeare”. With activities centred in Shakespeare’s texts and works, we work udents from universities, colleges, international and national schools, to increase their appreciation of the Bard, or to improve their communication skills, or to explore various aspects of stagecraft. o contribute to the local theatre development, we regularly provide free training sessions to actors ted to honing their skills. We generously share our philosophies, knowledge and experiences making eatre. We hope to help expanding the pool of actors who are serious about their work and appreciate true artists who are not afraid of hard work.


David Glass’s Tempest uses Shakespeare’s last play-of Hope, Creativity, Knowledge, Love Wisdom and Redemption--profoundly relevant to the extraordinary times we are living in as the starting point for a visual, physical and musical celebration. Set in the last days of humanity, this production tells the story of Prospero--an alchemist and shaman who holds the world’s knowledge in his beloved books. He has an adolescent daughter Miranda whom he protects and shelters. She lives an idyllic life believing that her father and the island creatures--Caliban and Ariel--are the only inhabitants of the destroyed Earth. Until she encounters other human beings. These coincidentally are Prospero’s usurpers on their way to harness power to consolidate their position in a dying world. However, a great tempest washes these usurpers up on the shores of Prospero’s island. When these shipwrecked survivors meet Miranda, a terrible secret is unleashed So begins a story of humankind’s last days. In David Glass’s Tempest, KL Shakespeare Players takes a bolder and bigger innovative step. Already in 2017, live music played a major part in the company’s Shakespeare Demystified: Macbeth.The five actors who assumed all the roles remained on stage throughout the performance, always visible to the audience.








This time around, David Glass leads KLSP 2019 production from a physical point of view rather than a textual or emotional one. Not that these other points of view are ignored or irrelevant. The unfolding of the story will be driven from the physicality of the bodies of the actors. And from there, everything else grows. Underscoring KLSP’s educational mission, each performance of David Glass’s Tempest will conclude with a question-and-answer session which allows students to inquire, make comments and give feedback as they engage with the play and the actors. This Q&A is a favourite part for students attending our performances. To devise and create this production, KLSP and David Glass together with three directors selected a cast of physical actors, Nikki Basharudin, Teoh Jun Vinh, and Zul Zamir. Veterans Lee Swee Keong a dancer-choreographer and a Butoh exponent; Seng Soo Ming, Lim Kien Lee and Lim Soon Heng, actors, complete the cast. For the restaging, Foo Chi Wei replaces Lee Swee Keong. KL Shakespeare Players and David Glass Ensemble will present David Glass’s The Tempest from 7 – 10, November 2019 in the Black Box, dpac. Tickets are priced at RM55, RM45 (student, senior citizen and Dcard-concession) and RM40 each for education groups of 40 and more. Extra day shows are available upon request by calling +6012653-0987. Buy online at David Glass’s Tempest Venue: Black Box, dpac (Damansara Performing Arts Centre) Empire Damansara, Jalan PJU 8/8 Damansara Perdana, 47820 Petaling Jaya

Images and text with great thanks to Lim Soon Heng and the KL Shakespeare Players 85





soben hour Soben Hour, was born in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, and has loved art ever since he could draw. In 2016 as he was studying grade 11 in high school, he also attended the free art school in Siem Reap Colors of Cambodia. He studied there 3 to 5 hours a week and, later, started work there in a part-time job, to study more about art and earn some money to support his study. Colors of Cambodia always gave him new hope. Soben has a lot of good memories from his period at Colors of Cambodia. He graduated from high school went to Phnom Penh to find an University in which to study. He now studies for a Bachelor degree in the Science of Nursing and has also continued his works of art. Life is a struggle but because Soben has not given up his love for art he has won first prize in the Kbach Artist competition 2018 at The Factory, in Phnom Penh, and then second prize for The Young Artist 2018 at Soo Art Center. That recognition makes him feel that his dreams are coming true, and he is so grateful for Colors of Cambodia because of the help, encouragement and frequent kind words which came his way there.





Florence Nightingale


Season of Ben


The values of a woman



Same same but different


Of my mind



Don't give up


Make you happy


Ali Mabuha



a Rahamad


ali's largess by Martin Bradley

Body shaming is no longer acceptable. It’s hateful, or so Malaysian artist Ali Mabuha Rahamad reminds us with a startling, and poignant, series of nude paintings which depict a new body positivity and congratulates female self love which denies the modern patriarchal beauty ideal. While Malaysia’s Melaka (Malacca) is heralded as ‘…the thriving port of international exchange in the early 15th century’, Muar had pipped Melaka at the post as evidence suggests that by 1361, Muar was a part of the Majapahit empire. In current times, the royal town of Muar is home to Malaysian artist Ali Mabuha Rahamad. He I had last met nearly a decade ago. I had interviewed him in Kuala Lumpur, during 2011, for this very magazine (then called Dusun), which was in its infancy (issue 5). Our former meeting was at the advent of a major retrospective exhibition of his works at the Malaysian National Art Gallery, called Sarang Seni (Art Nest). At the time Ali was dividing his time between California and Malaysia. It was to be practically half a decade later that he inherited his grandparents’ house, and decided to return to Malaysia permanently. To be fair, Ali is just one of a long line of artists who have called Muar their home. Eminent Nanyang artist Liu Kang was born in Yongchun, China, but lived in Muar during his early years and catalogued the Japanese invasion in comic form (Chop Suey). Alex Ong Boon Hau, Tan Puay Tee, Lau Mao Seng, Shooshie Sulaiman and Ng Siau Lee all hail from Muar, as did the late Malaysian film director, writer and scriptwriter Yasmin Ahmad. This particular ‘National Day’ Holiday, a small coterie of art aficionados (artist Ashley Lau, her father fellow artist Lau Mao Seng, artist Honey Khor and myself ) dropped in on the former nomadic Malaysian artist Ali Mabuha Rahamad. Ali, citizen of the universe, has travelled far and wide. He now has a splendid house tucked away in oil palm (formerly rubber) plantations outside of the Johorian town of Muar (aka Bandar Maharani). After a spasm of WhatsApp messages, Ali met us at the main road and guided us through the complexity of plantation tracks to his intriguing new home, studio and the Ali Mabuha Art Gallery. A red (laterite) earth eventually track led to an open gateway. On one side of the track was a sign stating ‘Ali Mabuha’, across the track was the opposite sign ‘Art Gallery’. Just a note, but the ‘Mabuha’ in Ali’s name means ‘Mata Bunga dan Hati’ (flowers and hearts). An avenue of splendid Malaysian fruit trees, interspersed with stone sculptures led us to the first startlingly white painted building. Ali was, of course, his usual ebullient self, full of bon home and face cracking smiles. The passing 102

Walking Flame






years have brought him to a happy, relaxed, place, and I was pleased to see him so laid back. Having just come from seeing a Daoist temple at Muar’s Parit Uras, I immediately recognised the ‘yin yang’ symbol at the back of a rattan chair as we entered Ali’s house. That symbol of Chinese dualism, of balance, was to set the scene for we, his visitors, to encounter and embrace the complexity of Ali’s earth philosophies obvious, and inherent, in his artworks. Magnificently huge canvases greeted us. In one room we were beguiled by some of Ali’s Expressionistic ‘War Series of paintings, painted after the mayhem and colossal destruction of 9/11. Tortures of war are depicted on brown and green canvases, or yellow, black and red, screaming of pain and torture drew the eye from Ali’s more ethereal, nature based, imagery. In other places, we were to be delighted by Ali’s series of paintings of large women exuding body positivity and ultimately self-love. Ali’s figures, such as ‘Meikosa’,‘Monica’and ‘Rose’have more in common with the largess of ‘The Venus of Willendorf ’ than of twentieth-first century models. His larger women are not those of Colombian figurative artist and sculptor Fernando Botero Angulo (Fernando Botero) either. Botero’s figures frequently seem morose, or have tight-lipped smiles. The British artist Beryl Cook, known for her ‘seaside postcard’ plump naughtiness is, similarly, no comparison nor are artworks produced by the Contemporary Chinese sculptor Mu Boyan, whose whimsical ‘Fatty’ series of oversized humanity intrudes with a stark realism created with coloured resin and other media. Not for Ali the emaciated near corpses of Egon Schiele or Lucien Freud, but a negation of twenty-first century near pathological obsession with ‘fat shaming’, in his celebration of womankind’s diversity. Ali takes the viewer back to the days of Titian (‘Women in a Mirror’, 1512 - 1515), or the ‘Venus and the Lute Player’ (1565 - 70) of Titian (Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio) , Peter Paul Rubens (‘Woman Before a Mirror, 1613 - 14 and ‘Venus and Adonis’ mid - 1630s) when larger women were not seen as ‘larger women’, but rather sensuous in their voluptuousness. It really was all about sight, and the sight of a woman with curves was exciting. Ali’s self-confident subjects exude peacefulness, calmness, contentedness and often appear sublime. The women on Ali’s canvases appear comfortable with their lives and their looks. His work challenges negative ideas which body fascists try to impose, concerning body size, shape, age, colour and race. Ali’s work has more in common with the Russian artist Boris Mikhaylovich Kustodiev’s and the gentle smile of his ‘The Merchant’s Wife’ (1918) or the infectious laughter of his ‘Russian Venus’ (1926). In his recent works Ali helps us to go beyond pure body image, to observe the dignity of the person as a person, in their entirety, and not just in figure. In conversation, Ali mentioned that he had been on the LRT (Light Rail Transit), in the nation’s capital (Kuala Lumpur), and noticed that there were a number of larger people in the carriages. I have to say that Ali is a slim man, of medium height, and the discrepancies between the artist and his subjects here is quite noticeable. Ali became fascinated with the shapes, the curvatures of those bodies as one might a rolling landscape - hence the series. He relishes a beauty, in the painting of those figures, and hopes that others can appreciate the beauty he depicts, too. Monica






The Land of Jin

Powerscourt Estate, located in Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland.


Honey Khor at the Harry Potter Shop, Heathrow Airport,Terminal 5


The Land of Jin by Martin Bradley

Might I take a moment, or two, to explain the title of this piece. Jin, my elder step-son who, at the time of writing, has just crept into those joyously free days of his young manhood, now lives in Ireland. He is having his university convocation. His mother and I are both acting all dutiful parent to witness Jin’s transcendence from under-graduate to graduate. The land of Jin, being Ireland. Four forty- four am. For once my early morning need to pee has paid off. My bladder has awoken me prior to the iPad alarm. I shower, dress and climb down the stairs of the old house (as opposed to the new house which we haven’t occupied yet). The taxi driver forgot to be late, and we ( the ever patient Honey and I) arrive at the airport on time. We check in with time to spare and discover the (questionable) delights of what is now called Kuala Lumpur International Airport Main (or one, as opposed to two). Everything is chop chop today and, before we know it, the not uncomfortable transcontinental aircraft is, quite literally, speedily winging its way toward the isle of my birth. Ah, the vagaries of transcontinental flights, mediocre meals and beverages not much better than water. Moan over. Heathrow. London. Within seconds I am admitted into the country of my birth curtesy of the digital passport scanner. Honey has to wait for us to be reunited, then baggage is collected within minutes, and we are free to play with the Underground, finding our way from Terminal 4 to Terminal 5. At Terminal 5, Harry Potter has a shop. Honey is delighted. We have time enough to take a drink and saunter to the Gate for our quick trip to Dublin (Irish - Baile Átha Cliath). In Dublin, unsurprisingly, it rains. Dragging suitcases to the Airlink bus stop is no fun in the rain. Being dropped off in the rain and haphazardly walking through rain to and fro, seeking our AirB&B, is even less fun after being marginally awake for a full 24 hours, not counting the napettes on the first flight of the day. Nevertheless, we are thankful. We are in Dublin thinking not so much of James Joyce and Seamus Heaney, but of Full Irish Breakfast, tomorrow. Talking of James Joyce, we are staying in an Ikea furnished AirBnB in James Joyce Street, previously called Corporation Street, and before that Mabbot Street. You can’t miss its connect to Joyce, not just in the name but in the, quite florid, mural depicting Joyce and some of his characters. On going out, we turn a corner onto Talbot Street, in the Mountjoy area, and pass number 74. It’s one of the places that Mr Joyce, that master of words had mentioned in Ulysses (where Leopold Bloom ‘...stands at Cormack’s corner, watching’. James Joyce, Ulysses, p. 355). The building had previously belonged to one Thomas Cormack, grocer, but now is a pub singing the praises of James Joyce. We are on our way to the Pantry Cafe for a Full Irish Breakfast. Tomorrow never comes, it is said. We exist in the now. Right now I have persuaded Honey to split that ginormous looking Full Irish Breakfast with me. Cartwheels of black pudding rubs shoulders with white pudding. Two weighty rashers of quite delicious Irish bacon accompany this, with two equally tasty sausages, two divinely delicious eggs and a quite curious American Hash brown. Coffee too seems to have more in common with 113

Full Irish Breakfast - two rashers of bacon, two pork sausages, white pudding, black pudding, two eggs, hash brown, tea and orange juice, at The Pantry, 64 Talbot St, Mountjoy, D


Dublin 1.

Smithwick's Red Ale, Dublin.


an Americano than other coffees. Dublin is... interesting. Other towns have their Up and Downtowns, one or t’other side of the railway tracks while Dublin is economically divided into Northside and the Southside, by the River Liffey. One of the beauties of Dublin is that, as a city, it is entirely walkable. Dublin reminds me of the West End of London in that respect, and youthful journeys through Soho to Hyde Park ending, perhaps, at that marvel of human interaction which is Portobello Road. Should you land in Ireland’s Dublin at the right time of year, now for instance (October/November), and have infinite time to spare, it is entirely possible to tramp the damp pavements, wending your way along the two halves of Dublin, either side of the River Liffey (called ‘An Ruirthech, in Irish, ‘The Pain of Life’) or, being a tad more adventurous, cross its twelve bridges again and again, savouring the delights of either side. The evening rain stops, momentarily. Dublin’s Dawson street is a carnival of colour. Vivid lights reflect on the glistening road. The luas (tram) way seems as joyous as the cafés, clubs and bars, thrown against the darkening backdrop of this Autumn evening. It gets dark here about five pm, light at 7am. I’ve left Honey to chat with Jin, her son, in Café En Seine (insane?) where he tends bar, and have begun wandering past men with moustaches but no faces, women, naked, whose backs are harps and foxes all dolled up and partying in shop windows. Dublin heading towards night is insomniatic and, of course, suitably surreal. We traverse the city and out, on buses, happily tapping our green ‘Leap’ cards for payment. Green is now the colour for Ireland, therefore the TFI (Transport for Ireland) Leap card is green, but it has not always been so. Once Ireland’s colour was blue, dating back to the mythic symbolic of ‘Flaitheas Éireann’. The original colour of Saint Patrick was sky blue, which later became known as St. Patrick’s Blue. Some claim that it was the colour of Ireland’s symbol, the green clover, which became a symbol of 1798 Irish Rebellion against the English and has, subsequently, been adopted for independent Ireland. We go back and forth between Blanchardstown (Baile Bhlainséir, in County Fingal) and Dublin City. The first journey, by rail, has taken fifteen minutes for the train to travel between Connolly Station and Castleknock, the nearest rail station to Blanchardstown. However, it has taken a further thirty minutes, without buses or taxis, in the pouring rain, to our next AirBnB. Wet. We are wet. Our clothes are wet. Suitcases, as it transpires, are not rainproof, and are wet, neither is my Italian designed (ironically made using Cambodian fishing net material) bag with all my essentials in, which is also wet. My, admittedly now aged, outer jacket (shell) which was waterproof some sixteen years ago, now isn’t, neither are my trainers. I am a soggy mess. The sogginess of my mess is further confounded by a ‘Boil Water’ notice issued by the local water company (conveniently called Irish Water). It seems that the constant downpours have affected the area’s water supply too. A ‘Boil Water Notice to protect the health of customers supplied by Leixlip Water Treatment Plant’ has come into effect for many of Dublin’s outer areas, including Fingal, where we stay. It really is a case of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and ‘water water everywhere, nor any drop to drink’ unless, of course, it’s boiled first. 116

River Liffey, Dublin.


The good news, (if you can call being forced to spend money I haven’t got, good news), is that I have bought a dapper new jacket from a Japanese company, designed in the UK and made in China. The jacket is all black and stream-lined, making me look at lest five minutes younger than I am. And, yes, it is waterproof, at least the label says it is, so fingers crossed. Blanchardstown is, actually, a village. A megamall, (the largest retail complex in Ireland), called quite appropriately Blachardstown Shopping Centre (SC), has developed outside of that village and has come to dominate all around. Like many malls, the shopping centre houses myriad shops and equally myriad opportunities to make yourself broke. On this occasion it has enabled me to buy the aforementioned (possibly waterproof ) jacket, equal to the price of one Indonesian solid wood coffee table back in Malaysia. I know this, because of the rash of buying we went through to furnish the new house. You may, or may not, know that on his 1968 album ‘Electric Ladyland’ Jimi Hendrix sang ‘Still raining, still dreamin’. He may as well been singing about us in Ireland. Today, here in Blachardstown, it has rained all day. Ordinarily, the duration of rainfall, its insistence, weight or measure would not have phased me. However, the recent soaking and being away from home and its various comforts, ie a stocked larder, fridge and freezer has forced me to consider one of two uncomfortable options for lunch, that is - starve or brave the weather inclement, yet again. I choose the latter. Bear in mind that we have no car here, and that the nearest bus stop is some five minutes walk away, and that said bus stop does not stop a bus heading in the direction of the local petrol station wherein lay the required sustenance for lunch, and which is also some ten minutes walk away, therefor the decision to both go out in the rain, and to walk to the local petrol station may seem foolhardy to some, but I am in full hero mode, and hungry. I wear a black Calvin Kline shirt too thick to don in Malaysia, which was bought at a discount mall in England some many, many years ago. I also wear my grey inner fleece, my new waterproof jacket over that and, finally, a yellow plastic mac bought in Bonn, Germany, last year (for such occasions). Looking a little like Paddington Bear, my head and my trunk are protected from Ireland’s wrath, leaving only my Marks & Sparks shorn legs (from the knees down), and my poor battle weary trainers, unprotected. Off I go with a quick prayer to Ana/Danu, (womanly chieftain of the Irish gods) on my lips, to battle nature’s forces and, to tell you the truth it’s not too bad until, that is, it is. I decide to take a short cut. Above, is a tangle of roads and roundabouts, making it difficult for a pedestrian to wend their way from the Waterville housing estate (where I am staying), to that little, friendly, Circle K petrol station at the top of Main Street, Blanchardstown, wherein lay glorious ‘ready meals’. I decide to take the short cut, through the tunnels, below. The name of the estate should have been a clue, shouldn’t it. Under that road tangle is a pathway. That pathway eases through two short tunnels. Orange, yellow, brown and red Autumn leaves are, not unattractively, caste on the pathway and dampened by the rain. There are small rivulets of water running down the incline to the first tunnel. I walk with confidence, happy to be avoiding the traffic above. True, the going is a little soggy as I reach the entrance to that first tunnel, but I 118

James Joyce statue on Earl Stree

step carefully and walk on. I walk under the second tunnel and stop. I have come a considerable distance. There are only two choices. One, wade through the murky mini lake blocking my egress or two, retrace my footsteps right back to the main road and continue my journey through the road tangle that I was trying to avoid. I plod on, knowing that my trainers are not waterproof and well aware of the trouble this is going to cause me - damp socks, damp feet and seemingly a lifetime of damp shoes. Ho hum. Mission accomplished. I am back nuking my chosen roast beef ready meal in the spacious kitchen shared with the AirBnB owners, who just happen to be Brazilian. It is a curious fact that both of the Air BnB establishments we have chosen for our Irish jaunt are run by non-Irish. The first was the home of a delightful young couple from India (Chennai and Gujarat, respectively) and this, again young, couple and their far from friendly cat, are from Latin America. So, here we are, in the land of Jin, arising at seven in the cool morning to catch a lift to Jin’s university. On this morning, which we have pledged to spend indoors, the sun displays all its majestic winter glory. How’s that for irony. We are at the very purpose of our Irish mission - to be at my stepson’s convocation in the newly minted Technological University Dublin, Dublin 15 (Blanchardstown). We have arrived early, with thanks to a coterie of Malaysian Chinese relatives of other graduating students and their hired van, to beat the crush for robing and photography. Perhaps a tad too early - was that the nightwatchman I saw unlocking the doors and an owl scurrying home. Having discovered that the university refectory is not open, probably due to preparations for the apres ‘conferring’, we have sauntered, taken photographs, talked and done it all over again, ad nauseam, until we are finally ushered into the sports hall, not to penetrate the various baskets hanging above but to see Jin gain his much deserved Bachelor’s Degree. The degree is only, really, a scrap of paper. It has taken three years of Jin’s young life, working hard, studying and absorbing some of the academic life to arrive at this juncture. In the sports hall we stand when we are told to stand, and sit when we are told to sit. We leaf through the convocation catalogue to see when Jin is due on stage and, lo and behold, there he is, briefly walking, dignified, across the stage, shaking hands and holding that scrap. It is as if a sunbeam has illuminated the entire hall and bathed us all in a momentary golden glow. A second more and it is gone, and so is Jin, back to his seat. Dublin, City of Literature 2010, is diverse enough to encompass the Guinness Storehouse and The Cauldron ( brew potions with molecular mixology & responsive magic wands in a cocktail Master Class) at one end and Trinity College, the Book of Kells, the Writer’s Museum and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane with Francis Bacon’s reconstructed studio at the other. While in Dublin, I skilfully hunt the perfect Full Irish Breakfast, not realising that I could not better that first tasting back at The Pantry. In-between-time I sample the best donuts I have ever tasted at The Rolling Donut and, although not really a beer drinker, simply the best, chocolaty, creamy Guinness stout that I have ever drank, at the ‘Guinness Storehouse’, at a price, of course.

et, Dublin by Marjorie Fitzgibbon.


Honey Khor with her graduate son Hung Jin, and Martin Bradley



Winged horse by Hugo Hagen


Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?     Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—  While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,     And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;  Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn     Among the river sallows, borne aloft        Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;  And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;     Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft     The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;        And gathering swallows twitter in the skies. From - John Keats - To Autumn Ireland is not just Dublin. Jin’s friend Joshua has hired a car for a grand day out. Not really a road trip, but more of a change of scene. And what a change it is. Squeezed into an Irish ‘Go Car’ (Own the trip, not the car) with fingers extremely crossed to bring us clement, if not good, weather for our trip, we head out to Enniskerry, County Wicklow (the ‘garden’ of Ireland’), and before long encounter the vast amount of acres consisting of the Powerscourt Estate. According to various sources, on those now extensive grounds once stood an original 13th-century castle, owned by a man named La Poer, It had three storeys and sixty-eight rooms. The land changed hands, the castle was modified,substantial grounds and gardens were added over the centuries and, eventually, the estate was bought by the Slazenger family. This entirely magical time of year leaks a profusion of intense colour, coupled with extensive, romantic and the entirely fascinating gardens, which stand against an eggshell blue sky, with delicate, white little fluffy clouds. We are at Powerscourt. Wicklow’s Autumnal air brings clear vision and, in the distance, its peak highlighted by golden sun, stands The Great Sugar Loaf Mountain (Ó Cualann and Beannach Mhór) with its Cambrian quartzite slopes further revealing glorious, Irish, beauty. The complex nearer gardens hide statuary surprises almost at the every corner. Sublime dells are tumbled with grey mossy rocks, yellow, orange, red and brown leaves. Now leafless forests are masts striving for the skies and bringing distinct reminisces of Lewis’ Narnia and/or Tolkien’s Lothlórien. Down delicate paths, miniature pagodas observe Japanese bridges crossing streams bordered by the maroon leaves of squat trees. It is a perfect time. There are few other visitors as we circumnavigate the grounds, heightening the feeling of a natural magic in the air. It is there, practically tangible, a place of elves and the fay. If we were to be lost, it would be lost in a reverie, a phantasy of moss covered caves, of volcanic arches. Powerscourt’s robustly intriguing statues include ‘Winged horses’ (created by Hugo Hagen 1869) watching over ‘Triton Lake’; the winged figures of ‘Fame’ and ‘Victory’ (again created by Hugo Hagen, 1866), Muassulli’s ‘Sitting Mercury’ and ‘Sleeping Faun’ (1883) and a host of others waiting to waylay the unwary visitor adding, of course, to the 123

otherworldliness of the delightful, colour stricken, gardens. We are intensely lucky. We are able to enjoy the sunshine right up until the end of our visit, and it this then that hearty gusts of wind add ‘Sturm und Drang’ to Powerscourt’s overall romanticism. It is our last full day in Ireland. Tomorrow we fly.

Pepperpot Tower


Colourful Autumn





of Chandpur. Travelling on that elderly, overcrowded humanity, brought further insights into the Dhaka and making frequent pilgrimages ba and its lush rural surroundings. In the fishing town of Chandpur, I was a laws and people who have known her sinc Kaiser, Farida, her daughter, son-in-law, two we took off to the village outside of Ch Farida was born. It was there that I was to

Martin Bradley

The intriguing journey to writing this book began back in February 2018. That was when I first met Nuruzzaman Kaiser. The journey continued in October 2018 and, finally, I met with both Nuruzzaman Kaiser and the artist Farida Zaman in December 2018. In that December we discussed the possibility of creating a book , for Farida. As it turn out, that was this book. After a day of discussion, I was engaged to write about Farida and to design this book for her, for which I will be eternally grateful. The journey precipitated another jaunt, this time my flying to Dhaka for a brief residency between February and March, 2019. That was when I was given the great privilege of residing in the Bangladesh artist Farida Zaman’s apartment, within the Residential Area of Dhaka City, Bangladesh. It was, and is still, a great honour to been able to have access to the subject of this book, for that three week period, and to be accepted to live as one of Farida's family for that period. Farida, her daughter, sonin-law and three children welcomed me into their home, and made me most welcome, while Nuruzzaman Kaiser took me out and introduced me to to local artists. When possible, over those three weeks, Farida and I made time for audio-recording a series of interviews. I wanted to capture details of the artist’s early life, and fill in the gaps of my knowledge about her. That was proven to be a very useful enterprise. While I was in that apartment, having access to Farida, her paintings and photographs I was able to absorb some of what makes that artist ‘tick’. I used my full access to that apartment, and the knowledge regarding Farida which I was able to glean from that experience. On other days, trips from out of that apartment, through the congested alleyways and into the heart of the city of Dhaka itself, brought home to me Farida’s stated preference for the Bangladesh countryside, with its innate grace and quiet. This was something which I was to discover for myself, during two days journeying, some four hours by ‘launch’ (ferry) south of Dhaka to see Farida’s family home, just outside of the port town


only brother, and his family. Seeing that small village, the mosque Fa Farida’s parents, brought an awareness of unable to gain. I was to witness, first hand fish ponds, and the way that the village men sketched, by the artist, Farida, herself. The brother, to give me a taste of the sort of within the artist’s memory, since young. It Bangladesh fishing to those countless canv simpleness of life in the countryside and With thanks to all involved, those scenes a Back in Dhaka, I was able to visit the F This was the art college which has had such her student years, growing as a teacher, an To see that architecture, in reality, was to

another dimension of Farida, this multi-dimensional woman. d, boat, beside all manner of Bangladesh I am deeply honoured to have been given such trust from Farida, e sort of life Farida must have led, living in her family, friends and colleagues throughout my stay with them. My ack to the comparative sanity of her village, experiences in Bangladesh enabled me to execute this small piece of work, and write a few words in honour of Farida Zaman, the exceptional able to meet more of Farida’s family, her in- artist. ce she was very young. With Nuruzzaman o grandchildren and an adopted grandchild, Martin A Bradley, Kuala Lumpur handpur, called Karaitali,Faridgonj, where December, 2019. o meet Obaidur Rahman Faruqui, Farida’s

Left to right - Professor Nisar Hossain, Her.Excellency .Ms Julia Niblett, Mostafar Monowar, Syed Manzoorul Islam, Martin Bradley, Farida Zaman

Farida’s brother had built and the graves of Farida that I would have been otherwise d, the netting of fish from one of the local n work together. This was also observed, and netting had been pre-arranged by Farida’s f scenes which had imbedded themselves t was fascinating to compare the reality of vases where Farida had portrayed both the the efforts necessary to bring that about. are now imbedded in my memory too. Faculty of Fine Arts of Dhaka University. h a profound effect on Farida Zaman from nd becoming Director and Professor there. o bring me even greater insights into yet

Farida Zaman


book launch


Fishing boat and nets installation


Bangladesh National Museum Web:



Fishing nets


Fishing boat and nets installation


My country Blue


My Country


Martin Bradley


My Country


My Land






Transpersonal Arts


For more information about Tobias School of Art and Therapy please visit or email 143

In a quiet leafy lane just a mile outside East Grinstead, West Sussex, England, is Tobias School of Art & Therapy. It is a special and tranquil place nestled among natural woodland. We have been training art therapists and arts counsellors for over forty years. The most fascinating aspect of our courses is the gradual and surprising discovery of the sources of health in the worlds near and far from nature to the stars… The courses promote the development of artistic skills and aesthetic awareness in such a way that artistic processes become gateways into nature’s life-giving secrets. Students come from the local area and around the world giving the school a truly international feel which enhances their learning experience. Our graduates have embarked on fulfilling careers within various sectors and institutions including schools, clinics, hospitals, mental health facilities, hospices, prison, addictions, additional needs provision and private practice. The Transpersonal Art in Therapy training is based on the philosopher and social reformist Rudolph Steiner’s work known as Anthroposophy. This is a modern spiritual path that respects the freedom of each individual, through a holistic understanding of body, soul and spirit. It is taught within a critical context including Psychodynamic and Humanistic theory and practice. It reflects the deep relationship between creativity, community, health and spirit, and explores the ways in which the personal and the transpersonal work together through perception. Transpersonal Arts in Therapy C&G Level 7 Award MCGI (Masters Equiv) Our Part Time/Modular training involves being at Tobias for 4 weeks per year. It is ideally suited to students who work and/or live further away from us. It is with pleasure that we welcome students from all over the world to this course. There are 8 intensive modules over a 4 year period. The modules are split into 2 weeks in the Spring and 2 weeks in the Autumn. Our next start date is 27 April 2020. 144


Tobias School of Art and Therapy explores new dim interaction. At Tobias individuals learn how to brin contexts and transform live 146

mensions in art , cherishing colour, form and human ng visual artistic activities into social community es through the power of art. 147

deep experiential exploration of colour

Goethe's Colour Wheel


Boutet's 7-color and 12-color color circles from 1708


Tobias School of Art and Therapy explores new dim interaction. At Tobias individuals learn how to brin contexts and transform live At Tobias we pride ourselves in having 40 years ex 150

mensions in art , cherishing colour, form and human ng visual artistic activities into social community es through the power of art. xperience in delivering a holistic approach to arts 151

Transforming Lives Through Art


For more information about Tobias School of Art and Therapy please visit or email 153




The Thosai Cafe by Martin Bradley

Just recently, I was invited to attend the ‘Thosai Cafe’, at The Curve Mall, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. That vegetarian establishment boasts of a multitude of ‘Thosai’, with bona fide spices. The Saturday evening, after rain, was mild for tropical Kuala Lumpur, making the outdoor seating comfortable as the sun began to set. The Thosai Cafe, situated near to Starbucks and another ‘container’ cafe - ‘Chaiwalla & Co’, at The Curve, began to fill up. Its produce, containing pukka herbs and spices flown in especially from India, scented the air and added an authentic touch to the cafe’s ambience. The mildness of the evening and the amazing aromas from the spices produced a mesmerising effect, with the food as the final masterstroke of this aromatic canvas. For years I’d not known about the South Indian dish ‘Dhosa/Dhosai/ Thosai’ until, one day in the early 1990s, a friend and I were looking for that Indian musical maestro A.R.Rahman’s songs on DVD, in East Ham, (London). Nosing around, we wandered down the High Street, past the mosque, into a wholly other section of the town. It was late morning, and I was hungry. My friend noticed an Indian eatery. We went in. It was a small eatery specialising in food from Chennai, not really a restaurant, or a cafe, but serving samosas (which I discovered in London’s West End circa 1960s). I had thought to have a samosa or two, but then I saw other people having platters with some large crepe looking object. My friend explained that it was ‘dosa’ or ‘thosai’. I tried one and loved it, the chutneys, and dhal which came with it. That was approximately a quarter of a century ago. Since then, in my travels, I have discovered a variety of thosai, as well as more South Indian food including ‘Idly’, ‘Vadai', ‘Iddyapam’, ‘Appams’, and a whole variety Sri Lankan cookery (after a holiday in Colombo) and dishes from Chennai ‘Chettinad’ cooking (as I once lived for six months in Chennai). I have eaten thosai and other Indian foods in Tamil Nadu, Goa, Mumbai, Delhi, as well as ‘Dum pukht’ cooking in Rajasthan, etc etc etc and, of course, the delights of Bangladeshi food on a recent trip to Dhaka. Malaysia has good South and North Indian food (Brickfields), while Singapore (Little India) also has good North and South Indian food. Siem Reap (in Cambodia) is also developing many Indian eateries, but it was England’s East End of London which first turned me on to thosai. But what, you may ask, is a thosai. And that’s a very good point. Firstly, South Indian pronunciations tend to be like this:






1. Dhosai - Tamil ('Dh" as in 'Th' in English letter 'The') Tamil words don't usually end in 'a' but in 'ai', like kadai, eNNai, veNNai, paanai etc. 2. Dhose / Dhosa - Kannada / Telugu In Tamil, Kannada and Telugu, letter 's' is pronounced as in snake 3. Dhosa - Malayalam In Malayalam, letter 's' is pronounced as in sheep. Eventually Dhosai, or Dhosa became Dosa in the East and in the West. One myth suggests that dosa is sometimes pronounced as “Do-ShhAh". When fermented rice batter is placed on the skillet/tawa, there is a "Shhh..." sound. The same "Shhh..." sound is heard when the dosa is turned to cook on the other side. The Sanskrit word for the number two is “Dve". ("Do" in Hindi). So, Shhh + Shhh= 2(Shhh). Hence, Dve(Shhh) or Do(Shhh) == Dosa. Imagine, if you will, a large crêpe which, we are informed, is a thin pancake. Only that is where the resemblance to crêpes ends. Thosai/dosa has been described as being a cooked, flat, thin, dish comprising of a fermented batter of rice, urad daal, and fenugreek seeds, similar to an idly batter but thinner. It is left to ferment then ladled onto a flat metal griddle (tava). The batter is spread in a circular motion with the back of the ladle until it fills the pan; it is drizzled with oil, cooked on one side, and then flipped and cooked for another minute.The folded, or rolled, thosai/dosa is served with a variety of chutneys, often including a tomato chutney, coconut chutney and a dhal (lentil) dish called ‘sambar’. The variety of thosai/dosa is, seemingly, endless. One book describes recipes for thirty-eight thosai, from a ‘Bajra Kambu’ thosai, to a ‘Wheat Jaggery’ thosai. While The Thosai Cafe claims seventy different thosai, in Bangalore, India, a number of fast food (99 dosa) stalls are known to produce a large variety of thosai, and one Indian blog (Cooking 4 all Seasons) makes the claim that there are at least one hundred and one types available. Thosai/dosa’s origins are unclear. Some say that the dish is over 1,500 year old, and originates in the Tamil Nadu, South India, and is known as Tocai (or tho-sai) others say the dish is described in at least one Sanskrit







Lot no : KG19W , Ground floor , Next to Borders , Beside TESCO, C

Phone: +60 1 168

classic (Manasollasa) written in 1051 AD (by Western Chalukya king Somesvara III). Another suggests that Udupi (in Karnataka) being vegetarian, is the birth place of the thosai, yet the Indian food historian K.T. Achaya claims that thosai is first mentioned in the eighth century, in Tamil Nadu, and elsewhere a century later. Others hint that thosai is a watered down idly, originating from the same fermented batter. Which brings us to yet another revelation - that idly, and therefore thosai, are not originally from Indian, which had no Tamil history of fermented rice batter at the time. Some say that the notion of fermenting came from what is now known as Indonesia. The “Kedli” of Indonesia predates ‘idly’ which arises (pardon the pun) as “Ittali” only in 17th century India. There is a story which suggests that a fermented food (Kedli), a favourite breakfast of one Indonesian Hindu King, was taken to India by his cooks who accompanied him in his South Indian search for a bride (8th century). Those cooks prepared Kedli for him. The local Indian cooks studied the preparation of Kedli and modified it according to their imagination and created ‘idly’, later ‘dosa’, but definite proof is lacking. An aside……In Chennai, K. Krishna Rao (who established the Old Woodlands during the early 1940s) is quoted as being the originator of the modern ‘Masala Dosa’, which is now listed in CNN’s ‘The World’s 50 Best Foods”. In Malaysia’s ‘The Curve’, the Thosai Cafe expanded my thosai horizons, making me realise just how versatile the humble thosai can be, though, to be honest, plain or ‘Masala Thosai’ (filled thosai) is good enough for me. Just as with pizza, you can innovate all you want but sometimes simple and humble is frequently the best. That being said, the thosai at ‘Thosai Cafe’ are not just any run of the mill thosai. Instead of being made as the above suggests, with a mixture of fermented rice and dhal, Thosai Cafe’s thosai is what is known as ‘Rava’ or semolina + husked wheat thosai. No rice. The thosai produced are thin and crispy, enabling a variety of toppings to be heaped upon them, without making the thosai soggy. Three cheers for The Thosai Cafe for bringing that South Indian savoury to the attention of more people in Malaysia.

Curve mall, Mutiara Damansara, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

14-711 8902 169

Dusun Publications The Blue Lotus Publications


Books by Martin

Bradley 171

Out NOW...... An exciting new book about Bangladesh artist Farida Zaman. This books charts Zaman's successes from a childhood in rural Bangladesh to her training at three of South Asia's top art schools (Bangladesh's Charulekha - Dhaka, India's Baroda, and Santiniketan in India's Bengal). Early in 2019 Martin Bradley spent time in Dhaka getting to know the artist Farida Zaman, observing her life, becoming familiar with the local culture and, of course, getting to know Zaman's exhilarating paintings. This fresh look at Farida Zaman's works can only ever be a snap shot, but it is a snap shot filled with information about the artist's life, her background as a female painter (in Bangladesh) and as a Professor at Dhaka's most prestigious school of art, affectionately known as Charulekha.


by Martin Bradley


Books By Ma

Luo Qi and Calligraphyism (2019) China Academy of Art China One of a series of biographies concerning the Chinese artist Luo Qi, and his contemporary blend of the ancient art of Chinese calligraphy and Western concerns with 'Modernism' in art.


The Journey and Beyo (2014) Caring Pharmacy Malaysia

A brief pictorial look at history of 'Community Ph in Malaysia, charting the community pharmacies an roots in Singapore and M

artin Bradley


t the harmacy' rise of nd their Malaysia.

Uniquely Toro (2013) Walters Publishing House The Philippines A 'Retrospective' concerning 'Toro' an enigmatic artist from Manila in The Philippines, whose dynamic Pollack like paintings have captured the Asian imagination


Books By Ma

Remembering Whiteness & Other Poems (2012) Bougainvillea Press (digital) Malaysia Martin's first collection of poetry concerning his life in South East Asia. Many in this collection have been read in performance across Asia and Europe.


A Story of Colo (201 Everday Art Stu Mala

This is the jo Malaysian artist into working wit children's char and joy of giv and eventually education of Khm book is about the of learning alo volunte Profusely illust Honey Khor (K

artin Bradley

ors of Cambodia 12) udio & Educare aysia

Buffalo & Breadfruit (2012) Monsoon Books (digital) Malaysia

ourney of one t (Honey Khor) th a Cambodian rity, the beauty ving, teaching sponsoring the mer children. This e ups and downs ong the way to eering. trated by artist Khor Pei Yeou).

Martin unwittingly discovers, that there is nothing quite like uprooting yourself from your home of fifty-four years in suburban, temperate England and transplanting yourself into rural, equatorial Malaysia. with its trial and tribulations.



The Best of Asian Short Stories (2018) Kitaab Singapore

Best of Southeast Asian Erotica (2010) Monsoon Books Singapore

New Malaysian Essays 2 (2009) Matahari Books Malaysia

Story - Bougainvillea

Story - Awakening

Story - Colourful Language

A sequel to Martin's 'The Good Lieutenant". Reggie Gold's younger son, John, pays his respects and discovers more than he bargained for in the process. It is a journey into John's past. A journey from John's comfort zone of Blicton-on-Sea, to equatorial Ipoh, and to emotions and cultures he did not know he was ready for.

In the heated atmosphere of an Indian Malaysian 'roti' shop, pubescent passions become inflamed. It is the awakening of young, innocent, desire and the complications which arise.

Not so much a story, as a light hearted essay about the difference between American English and British English, the notion of Malaysia's continuing Colonisation of the mind, and the effect of the West's materialism on Malaysian young minds.



Urban Odysseys KL Stories (2009) MPH Publishing Malaysia

Silverfish New Writing 7 (2008) Silverfish Books Malaysia

Silverfish New Writing 5 (2005) Silverfish Books Malaysia

Story - Mat Rempit

Story - The Good Lieutenant

Story - The Orchid Wife

A Mat Rempit is a Malaysian term for "an individual who participates in immoral activities and public disturbance with a motorcycle as their main transport", usually involving underbone motorcycles. This is the story of one wannbe Mat Rempit, 'Abangah', and what happens to him in Kuala Lumpur.

The story of British Lieutenant Reggie Gold, working for the Federation of Malaya Police, and his family in England, during the days of Malaysia's 'Emergency'. This story underlines the sacrifices undertaken by British soldiers, in Perak, Malaya, during a very difficult time for Malaya.

This is, ultimately, the story of an Indian Malaysian couple, Devi and Chandran, living in Butterworth, near Penang. It is a story of the cruelties and abuses within marriage and how they become resolved.










Profile for martin bradley

The Blue Lotus magazine Issue 20  

The Blue Lotus magazine covers art, artists and all modern creatives from and within Asia

The Blue Lotus magazine Issue 20  

The Blue Lotus magazine covers art, artists and all modern creatives from and within Asia


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