Apr 2018 Visit to Patisatu

Visit to Patisatu


On April 9th , 20 ladies drove to Patisatu, in Puncak Alam, the Studio and home  of three leading Malaysian artists for a morning that stimulated our senses! 


Patisatu  in Malay means 'Top of the world'. The idea behind the studio and home of Umibairuza and Ahmad Shukri it is one of unity and togetherness. They conceptualized the idea and with the help of architects started to build in 2004. It took three years to complete, Shukri himself was very involved with the construction, and worked hand in hand with the carpenters in building the space.  Patisatu stands out for its uniqueness in using traditional timber with concrete towers and a terra-cotta roof, it is very Minangkabau in style. 


The studio was launched in 2007 and on the opening night had a two-man show called - Warning - Tapir crossing. Tapir being an animal and as you can image there were a few during the early days. 


Ahmad Shukri - started out as a University lecturer at UITM in Shah Alam. This is where he met Umi who was in her foundation year.  Shukri is one of Malaysia's well known contemporary artists. He is known for his rich visual language and exploratory tendency in expanding the language and nuances on painting. Shukri is also well known as an adept visual composer and colourist. He is admired for his capacity in producing aesthetically pleasing visual poetries. His work frequently features a layering, dripping, splashing, dry brush, screen printing, stencilling and many other techniques. 


Umibaizurah Mahir Ismail or Umi as she known, is a leading contemporary artist working in ceramics. Her work is playful, ironic and rich in symbolism and she is known to push the boundaries of ceramic work in Malaysia. Umi's work, by her own admission, reflects the politics and economics of Malaysia , encompassing community living, immigration and many other issues faced today both locally and globally. She also likes her identity to come across in her works. Ceramics as Umi will tell you wasn't her first choice. In early 2000 when Umi first started to create her magic she brought something new into the contemporary ceramic art space in Malaysia. She created hybrids of objects , species, imaginaries. This was something completely unconventional and a new way to talk about current issues and tradition. 


Mohd. Al- Khuzairie Ali. - is a younger contemporary of Umi's who is also a ceramic sculptor. He started out by assisting Umi in her creations, she then went on to mentoring him. Khuzairie did a residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2015. His show Priceless spoke of his love for nature and animal conservation that was reflected in his works. One if his trademarks is that he likes to use mechanics in his works making them both satirical and whimsical. Today Umi, Shukri and Khuzaire are the backbone behind Patisatu. 


Once we were all settled in the three artists told us of their journey with art. How they started and what their work represented. Umi and Khuzairie work together in their studio which is on the premises. We had a tour and saw several half finished or rejected pieces, and some current work that Umi is working on. They then served us a snack with delicious Nasi Lemak and a few varieties of kuih! 


Thereafter we all got into our cars and drove a short distance away to their framing shop and show space which is part of a shop lot! This was the highlight!  We climbed a non descriptive staircase and arrived into a room filled with beautiful ceramic sculptures and canvases. This space was a visual treat. Our senses were definitely overwhelmed with all the wonderful art that surrounded us. I can go on waxing eloquently on the works however will leave you with a few images to fire up your senses. 


We all browsed, asked questions and took lots of pictures. All three of them were very happy to share their knowledge and passion with us. It was then time to bid them adieu. For myself personally I can only say that I’m a huge fan of Umi’s work, this led me to organize the trip for the Explorers' group! 

I would like to thank Rosemary Chin for capturing all the wonderful moments with her photographs


Nisha Dobberstein