The Encyclopedia of Malaysia: Crafts and the Visual Arts


Volume editor Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal
144 pp, 290 mm x 220 mm

ISBN: 978-981-3018-57-0
RRP USD29.95 buy from amazon

Category: Reference, The Encyclopedia of Malaysia Series
Theme: Malaysia
Series: The Encyclopedia of Malaysia

Crafts and the Visual Arts is the 14th volume in The Encyclopedia of Malaysia series. It provides an insight into the rich and varied craft traditions and modern art of Malaysia, which are inextricably linked to the country’s history, people and culture. Crafts and heritage specialists, academics, artists, art historians, educationists and curators describe the country’s crafts and visual art manifestations and trace their origins and development.

The volume showcases the beauty and history of the traditional crafts with sections on pottery and earthenware, woodcraft and carving, plaiting and basketware, textiles and embroidery, metalware, and recreational and ceremonial crafts. The development of the modern art tradition in Malaysia from the 1920s and the establishment of local art infrastructure from the 1950s are covered in the last two sections of the volume.

These sections trace how, in tandem with national development and the search for identity after Independence, modern art has evolved to become a medium of expression for uniquely Malaysian subjects and discourse.

Visit the The Encyclopedia of Malaysia website.


Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal is a renowned Malaysian artist whose varied career has spanned 50 years and still continues. Over the years he has played a significant and pioneering role in the development of modern art and art infrastructure in Malaysia as an artist, art educator, and through holding various important administrative positions, including that of Director of the National Art Gallery. He is the recipient of many prestigious awards, has participated in numerous exhibitions, and has published books on Malaysian modern art, crafts and culture.


Sixty-five different topics are explained clearly and concisely by subject specialists and leading academics. Authors include Syed Ahmad Jamal, Ghulam-Sarwar Yusof, Siti Zainon Ismail, Henry Bong, Heidi Munan, Patricia Regis, Mohd Kassim Hj Ali, Ham Rabeah Kamarun, Redza Piyadasa and Muliyadi Mahamood.


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