Issue/17/
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Essays

Malaysia

SACRED PICTURES

SECULAR FRAMES

Spirituality in recent Malaysian art

Niranjan Rajah

SULAIMAN ESA, Garden of Mystery I, 1992, mixed media, 185 x 180 cm, collection the Queensland Art Gallery.

Ananda Coomaraswamy has observed that the essence of European aesthetics, and that of modern art in particular, 'resides in a peculiar sensibility outwardly manifested as an . . . urge to express and communicate a feeling'.1 Any spirituality attributed to works of art conceived in terms of this individualistic model is incompatible with the religious spirituality of the traditional art…

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