Nov 2019 - Visit to artist Abdullah Razak

MCG Explorers Nov 11th visit to artist Abdullah Razak
(organised by Jay Jungmin Lee and Pamela de Lange)


The November Explorers’ tour took 14 of us to the outskirts of Sungai Buloh to ‘Khaya Rendang’ (lush canopy of Mahogany), which is the name of the residence the 73-year-old artist Abdullah Razak designed for he and his family to live, but also where he exhibits his art and has his studio.


The house is surrounded by a beautiful garden with more than 100 rare botanical plants and trees collected and planted by the artist himself. This is to remind him of the wonderful carefree days he spent in Terengganu during his childhood days.



Abdullah Razak started painting in 1969, an oil painting depicting a pair of fishing trawlers on a muddy beach at low tide and one or two boys on the beach. These pieces of art are still hanging in his studio. He continued painting as a hobby but worked on a successful career as a graphic designer and businessman.


Only in 1996 he realised that his passion was not in business but in art and he started painting full time. His first solo exhibition was in 2003 at the Impressionist Colonnade in City Square showing his impressionist works, mainly influenced by nature in a Monet style of drawing. He even created his own Monet pond in the garden.


Just last week was the opening of his 4th solo exhibition called ‘Bbollog’ meaning chaotic/topsy-turvy and depicts the day after the 14th general election when Barisan Nasional mourned their defeat. It is a collection of paintings with exploding colours, all of which are now expressionist. The artist has lost almost half of his eyesight and cannot paint the level of detail as in earlier years.


Still Abdullah Razak radiates that feeling of total bliss and satisfaction of someone who lives his passion in everyday life. He still has lots of energy and plans for the future.


We all had the chance to sit in his studio where he talked about his life and to see his private collection (not for sale any more). In a separate hall the latest exhibition is still showing and Mr. Razak was very patient answering all our questions.



Later in the morning we were treated to some local delicacies that Mrs. Razak had kindly organised for us with coffee and tea. We sat on the huge terrace overlooking the gorgeous garden.

It felt very special to be welcomed by this friendly couple and their friends in their very own peaceful oasis surrounded by all these colourful artworks.

For those who are interested in visiting Khaya Rendang (again) please visit the website and call for an appointment.

Pamela de Lange