In 2020, the national art gallery acquired 3 short documentary videos, produced by Mahen Bala, this piece is one of them.

This documentary was shot in Kuala Terengganu and Kuala Lumpur, it is a short video produced to compliment the premier of the  Unvealing the Unseen (1937-1971) Exhibition of Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin coordinated by YM Raja Ihsan at the at the Islamic Art Museum back in 2017.

The acquisition of the video was made to compliment the 4 earlier collection of Sultan Ismail Nasirruddin Shah, giving an expanded context and its history for the future generation.

‘’Mahen Bala is a Malaysian documentarian and visual artist who has worked on documenting Malaysian culture and history for more than a decade. His primary interest is in investigating the human experience, and how memory shapes personal and communal constructs of history.’’  –



According to the artist, the project was done spontaneously over the course of 48 hour. The artwork firstly made publication through the show INPRINT held by National Art Gallery & guest curated by artist, Juhari Said in 2005, and was acquired into the collection in 2009.

Azizan Rahman Paiman & his wife Suhaila Hashim, is a winner for Bakat Muda Sezaman 2002-2003 for a group artwork entitled On Air. On Air is acquired by The National Art Gallery in 2003. Paiman has exhibited both on national and international level, and are known for installation and performance art. Of recent Azizan Rahman Paiman is currently involved with the 2022 Venice Biennale Collateral Exhibition, organized by PORT Ipoh and partially backed by the National Art Gallery.

Sky Kingdom was led by a cultist named Ariffin Mohammed (b.22 June 1941 – d.22 April 2016). Ariffin Mohammed, more popularly known as Ayah Pin. The cult of Sky Kingdom started in the 80s, the premise of the cult was that Ayah Pin himself was god to all religion. Ayah Pin was pursued by religious authority throughout the 90s and officially became apostate to Islam in 2001. Ayah Pin was based in Besut, Trengganu.



In Proclaim series, photographic elements had become key subject matter alongside textual archive. The manipulation and combination of its arrays of forms through persistent alignment of thoughts and narratives with an artisanal mastery of the elements and principles of art which creates an aesthetically pleasant documentation effort through art.

An interview with the artist was made of recent to help connotes and corroborate further detail on its inception.

According to the Artist Hasnul Jamal Saidon (2022): The artwork was made in 1991, in the United States while he was doing his Masters program. At the time, Associate Professor Hasnul Jamal Saidon was taking a course on video art. Within the course, he was involved in a community-based video project under the supervision of his lecturer, Professor Veranda Miller.

Among her projects involves a group of whistle blower whom expose issues of oppression and victimization towards a community by certain parties. Among her project was an expose of pollution activities by factories on native American lands, which had caused permanent genetical disorder to the community.

Professor Veranda Miller had informed professor Hasnul at the time that Malaysia is also among the countries where chemical waste from high-scale industries in America was exported. Through the enlightenment, he was stunned, wondered if it was true, mulling over what did the leaders of the country were thinking at the time to allow such thing to happen in his country? However, he did not pursue the evidence of the matter.

In thinking about the flaws of such reality, he recalled his father who was deeply concerned of his situation in the United States, at the time, he had just got married and had his first child, his daughter, Adeela. Hasnul saw that his father was a highly responsible person as a head of the family. When he was in the United States, his father did not stop sending him letters even though it took 4 to 5 days for the letters to reach him. His father’s letters offer advice and guidance to professor Hasnul on living a family life.

The purpose of professor Hasnul production of the work was primarily to preserve the letters by his father. Hasnul thought that if it was enshrined in a work of art it would be well preserved and it would be brilliant for the purpose of reflection. He is of the opinion that if the works are taken care of by the institution, with the permission of Allah it will be maintained.

According to Professor Hasnul, the title of the Proclaim series was inspired by the believed first revelation of Rasulluah S.A.W. which is surah Al-Alaq where the Angel Jibrail conveys the kalimah of Allah SWT which was proclaimed by the Angel Jibrail A.S to Rasulluah S.A.W to recite.

From the technical point of view, the artwork was produced through a digital collage technique. According to professor Hasnul, the digital process was carried out in America. The physical collage process was only made on these works after he had returned to Malaysia. Professor Hasnul stated that he took inspiration through the upbringing of his teacher, Ismail Zain who is a digital art figure.  This work was produced using a computer and software named amiga which was a well-known brand at the time before the computer market was dominated by the macintosh company, it was the same computer system used by Ismail Zain before moving to the macintosh system as well as Kamarudzaman Md. Isa.

For more contextual info, please see/ Untuk maklumat lanjut berkenaan PM Hasnul, sila layar:


According to an interview with Eric Peris for this particular work, GPO stands for General Post Office, a building that has similar characteristic to the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, an iconic building in Malaya that was completed in 1907, it is among the few building in Kuala Lumpur that portrays a style of architecture akin to Indo Saracenic architecture.

In 1983, Eric had managed to snuck into the closed building to capture the building in his own way, as is, dimly lit save for the natural lights for one last time, perhaps as a key memory of the building as it appears naturally.In this print, Eric capture a dimly lit arch, naturally basked by sunlight, perhaps from a window or an opening, the rest of the structure appears dark and desolated.

At the time, the building was sealed and abandoned. During the time of the protest in 1983, in the same year Eric had went to the building and had notice one of the doors to be open and went inside. Inside the building was dark, save from a little light escaping through the windows of the abandoned building which illuminates one of the arches. Eric then decided to capture the view, deprived of any light source but the natural sunlight that had escaped into the boarded building.

In hindsight, the picture serves as a captivation of moment by Eric the photographer, signifying emotion that highlights the importance of heritage & the role of people to fight and preserve history embedded within cultural structures and art forms. During the moment the picture was captured, it was a subject on the brink of potential demolishment, which was only saved by the keen interest to protect heritage.

The building was eventually saved and is now a heritage site, housing part of offices of the Department National Heritage & Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Arts. The site is regarded as one of the iconic architectural heritages in Kuala Lumpur.



Samsudin Wahab practices various form of artworks ranging from prints, sculptures and painting that contextually resonate with his environment, interest and ideas.  Datuk Sharifah Aini is Malaysia’s own Biduanita Negara, a celebrated singer after the late Salmah Ismail (Saloma). Sharifah Aini passed away in 2014, 2 years after the making of this work.This work was one of 30 works by 27 artists commissioned by the National Art Gallery for the opening of Gallery Potret Negara in 2012, the show was curated by Badrolhisham Tahir. The exhibit includes portrait of various icons such as :


Sheikh Muhammad Tahir Jalaluddin Al-Falaki Al- Azhari

Alfonso Soliano

Sharifah Aini

Tun Sambanthan

Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz

Tan Sri Arshad Ayub


Prof. Ungku Aziz

Redza Piyadasa

Dr. Sulaiman Esa

Shaw Brothers

Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj

Mokhtar Dahari

Temenggung Jugah

Wan Mat Saman

Tun Dr.Samad Ismail

Dato’ Senu

Ungku Omar

Sir Sultan Abu Bakar


Syed Hussein Al Attas

Ismail Zain

Hijjas Kasturi

Members of Asas 50 movement

Ghafar Baba

Zeti Akhta Aziz

Tun Salleh Ismael

A.Samad Said

Dato’ Onn Jaafar



The series Imaging Selfs is a long-term ongoing project by photographer Soraya Yusof Talismail whereas Soraya’s objective is to document 80 key Malaysian figures in the arts. The series Imaging Self portrays the icons in a black & white setting using silver gelatin prints, creating an emotive and personalized documentation of subject in the interplay of light and shadow, featuring local icons and personas. This particular work is a portrait of Dato’ Sri Hajah  Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin

Dato’ Sri Hajah  Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin SSAP[Sri Sultan Ahmad Shah Pahang], DIMP[Peringkat Kedua Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang], JSM[Johan Setia Mahkota Malaysia], SAP[Setia Ahmad Shah Pahang], PMP [Darjah Datuk Paduka Mahkota Perak], AAP [Ahli Ahmad Shah Pahang] was born on 11th January 1979 in Kampung Awah Temerloh.  She came from a musically inclined family as her grandfather was a famous violinist, while her mother used to be a local traditional singer. She was only 16 in 1995 when she won a local singing competition called Bintang HMI. She soon after made a debut in the same year with a single called Jerat Percintaan.

This song granted her three award; Best Performance, Best Ballad and The 11TH Anugerah Juara Lagu in 1997.

Throughout her career, Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza proceeded to receive both national and international award which are as followed:

42 Anugerah Industri Muzik

25 Anugerah Bintang Popular

28 Anugerah Planet Muzik

21 Anugerah Juara Lagu

4 MTV Asia Award

3 World Music Award

2 Anugerah Musik Indonesia

2 Records in Malaysia Book of Records

Gold Award in Asia New Singer Competition

[Shanghai Asia Music Festival 1999]

2 Awards South Pacific International Song and Singing Competition 1999

Grand Prix Champion in Voice of Asia 2002

Public Choice Award Adelaide Festival Center’s Walk of Fame 2019

Known for being one of the most bestselling artist’S in Malaysia according to The News Straits Time in 2001 [article titled RIM Takes on Pirate 21 August 2000]

Furthermore, her many more groundbreaking achievement is as listed:

1.      Performance during the closing ceremony of 1998 Commonwealth games in front of Queen Elizabeth II, her consort Prince Phillip,
other officials from 70 countries of Commonwealth Nations.

2.      The first South East Asian singer and third Asian performed in Royal Albert Hall, London accompanied by London Symphony
Orchestra (2005)

3.      Nominated as World’s 500 Most Influential Muslim from the year 2015 to 2022.

4.      Known as “Voice of Asia” and “Asia’s Celine Dion”



The series Imaging Selfs is a long-term ongoing project by photographer Soraya Yusof Talismail whereas Soraya’s objective is to document 80 key Malaysian figures in the arts. The series Imaging Self portrays the icons in a black & white setting using silver gelatin prints, creating an emotive and personalized documentation of subject in the interplay of light and shadow, featuring local icons and personas. This particular work is a portrait of the late Ungku Abdul Aziz.

Ungku Abdul Aziz bin Ungku Abdul Hamid was born into Johor Royal Family on 28th of January 1922. His father, Ungku Abdul Hamid was a Malayan prince and military officer. Ungku Abdul Aziz was a mixed of Malay-Turkish (father’s side) and English (mother’s side). He attended both English school in Johore Bahru and Malay school in Batu Pahat. He graduated with a Diploma in Arts from Raffles College of Singapore, Bachelor of Arts in Economics at University of Malaya and defended his doctoral dissertation in Waseda Univesity in Tokyo. Ungku Abdul Aziz was mostly known as both economist and lecturer in which he held the position as vice chancellor of University Malaya from the year of 1968 to 1988. He was also awarded with the title of Royal Professor from the same university in 1978.Ungku Aziz passed away at the age of 98 due to old age. He was survived by his wife, Rohayah Ahmad Bahiran and his only daughter, Zeti Akhtar Aziz. His final resting place is located at Bukit Kiara Muslim Cemetery, Kuala Lumpur.



The series Imaging Selfs is a long-term ongoing project by photographer Soraya Yusof Talismail whereas Soraya’s objective is to document 80 key Malaysian figures in the arts. The series Imaging Self portrays the icons in a black & white setting using silver gelatin prints, creating an emotive and personalized documentation of subject in the interplay of light and shadow, featuring local icons and personas. This particular work is a portrait of The late Dollah Baju Merah

Dollah baju merah was a known master shadow puppeteer based in Kelantan. Dollah was born in 1937. A Dalang, or puppet master plays several roles within a shadow puppet theatre, he is responsible of controlling the narrative of the story and movements of the characters though each scene. A shadow puppet show traditionally narrates stories from folklore as a source of entertainment and also the teaching of values, as such they play important part not only in entairnment but also the education of culture and moral values. Dollah Baju Merah passed away in 2005.



Eric Peris was born in 1939, Johor Bharu. Eric Peris first learnt of art from his father, the royal portrait painter, O Don Peris. O Don Peris was a prolific painter and was among Eric first introduction to arts.

An Interview with Eric denotes a story between him and O Don that bring lights to the beginning of Eric’s journey in art through photography. According to Eric, O Don Peris had once cited that to be a great painter is through the mastery of color. Once that is achieve, a good painting is not far from reach.

However, Eric’s main interest in the arts had skewed more towards photography and thus O Don advised differed slightly.

Eric narrates that to O. Don, producing a good photography work has its own share of difficulty, despite the reality that a photograph can be made with a fraction of the time than the medium of painting, for the work to matter, it has to be original, and provide its own meaning, narrative and justification of its subjects.

Therefore, O Don believed if photography is learnt or taught it may not truly signify the photographic practice of the artist, or may proof difficult to differentiate from one another because of a patterned style. In addition to the fact Eric also believed that it is optimum to understand great art, it is good to learn from artists to understand their thinking, objectives and product. However, to produce a truly unique work one must understand and explore the ideas, medium and subject to own it. Eric had also accredited that his compositional skills are something that he learnt from his mother, who is also a painter named Dona Peris.

In light of the advice, tested through his years of practices, Eric had advocated the simple fact that a work of photography is best learnt on one own merit, bested through an autodidact means balancing knowledge and exploration as a learning curve to produce good photographic art which does not necessitate a certain equipment, for the most important part of the work, he believed, is the intent & idea that an artist or photographer wants to portray.


According to the biographical archive of the Art Resource Center, Eric Peris began his career in photography as a photojournalist in 1969 at News Straits Time Singapore, and a year later at News Strait Time Kuala Lumpur in 1970. He had then continued to work as a photojournalist through the 70s for the News Strait Time for a period of 25 years. Between 1991 to 1992, Eric was the photo editor for The News Straits Time until his retirement.

In 1984 to 1991, he was also Co-chairman for the Yearly National Photographic Contest at the National and ASEAN level. Eric also ran a weekly photo column in 1986 for the New Sunday Times special section, entitled Sundate.

From 1987 to 1989 Eric had also ran a photographic circle that hosted monthly outings of photographic program for the NST. He was also consultant and photo co-coordinator for the Trans Borneo Expeditions. In the same year, he had also conducted photojournalism courses for Press, Government and Commercial bodies organized by Malaysian Press Institute and Asian Institute for Development & Communication (AIDCOM)

In 1982, he had represented Malaysia as a delegate for the Asean Symposium of Painting, Photography & Graphic Art in Bangkok.


According to the ART RESOURCE CENTER ARCHIVE (ARS), among his notable and prolific works were published under the title ‘’Landscapes- A photographic Study of The Tin Mine Landscape in Malaysia’’ and “Image of Gitanjali’’ a photographic research studying poetry by Rabindranath Tagore and ‘’The Malayan Heritage Homes’’ a study of the development and architectural influence in Malaysia.


As of 2022, The national art gallery had acquired a total of 18 of Ismail Hashim’s work between the period 1974-2012. (14 photography,1 watercolor,1 pencil on paper, 1 oil painting and 1 ink on paper).

painter but moved to photography during the Seventies. He is one of the small handful of serious artistic photographers who have helped change attitudes towards photography in this country.

 His works have certainly enhanced the public view of photography as a highly serious art form. He used to teach graphis design at the Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang until his recent retirement. His works are much in demand these days but he still remains an artist who takes his own time in creating his works. He remains the unhurried perfectionist.

His involvement has been with the capturing and recording of situations, shapes and things that belong to a rapidly vanishing world. There is understandably a strong sense of nostalgia evoked by his hand-tinted photographs. But his approach has always been marked by a sense of realism rather than sentimentalism”

-Masterpieces from the National Art Gallery of Malaysia, 2002.