Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Capturing Nature’s Wonders

Abdul Rasid Yusof Tributes Malaysia’s Flora and Fauna

It can be said that nature itself is the ultimate artist, being the cumulative body of the multitude of landscapes and creatures that continue to take our breath away and fill us with awe in its stead. While it is true that pictures and paintings can never truly compare to the real thing, many realist artists have done their best to capture the world’s inherent beauty in their works. I&P Living presents one such individual – Abdul Rasid Yusof, a Malaysian artist who utilises acrylic paint to recreate the wonders of Malaysia’s nature in its element.

Humble Artistic Roots

Born on the 17th of November 1957 in Kluang, Johor, Rasid Yusof was never formally trained in art. Instead, he gained his affinity through lessons from his father which helped build and shape his painting skills.

In love with the arts, he has constantly pursued and studied any methods that would further add to his knowledge. He read books on the subject, attended exhibitions to see with his own eyes the works of others and frequently engaged his fellow artists in discussions. Then in 1977 he took his first step into working in the arts and forged his accumulated wealth of skill and knowledge into a career as a freelance book illustrator, where his work has been commissioned by several prominent publishing houses.

During this period, Rasid Yusof’s work had already begun to attract the attention of many in the profession due to the exquisite detail found in each of his pieces as well as his ability to capture the essence of the subjects that he painted. This eventually led him to pursue a future as a full-time artist in 1993, a decision he and those who enjoy his work have not regretted once.

Encouraging Awareness

When Rasid Yusof began his journey down this career path, he decided to focus his attention and work on encapsulating the splendour found in the wilderness of Malaysia. He was intent not only on sharing his art with the public but hoped that through his own efforts, a greater awareness of Malaysia’s rich natural heritage could be cultivated.

In each and every one of his pieces, his main objective is to convey to all who looked upon his work the importance of maintaining a harmonious existence with the environment for the benefit of all. This personal goal as well as his own pride as an artist compels him to traverse extensively through the country’s lush rainforests and mountains to see with his own eyes the various flora and fauna that served as the subjects of his craft and give them a different kind of life in each of his pieces.

Despite his frequent and heavy travelling, endangered species and certain animals such as the tiger are uncommon sightings even for him. In these cases, he uses references in place of the real thing. To an extent, this further emphasises the point he tries to make with his art – that these rare and beautiful creatures can only be seen by most through another medium, and people must act now to ensure that they do not vanish entirely from existence.

Aside from his fame within the local art circle, Rasid Yusof has also gained international recognition. His work was on display in the 1st International Art Expo Malaysia in 2007 and occupied a spot in the next three incarnations of the event up to 2010. Additionally, he has represented Malaysia in the art world, having been invited to showcase his pieces at prestigious establishments such as the Zhuzhou Art Museum in China in 2007 and events like the Manila Art ’09 (Metro Manila) in the Philippines in 2009.

Magically capable of capturing and expressing the breathtaking animals and plants that constitute Malaysia’s wildlife in vivid acrylic paints, Abdul Rasid Yusof’s artworks have in turn captivated the hearts and minds of many locals. Collectors of his pieces range from corporate bodies such as Maybank and MISC to distinguished members of the public, and with each stroke of his brush he continues to both encourage people to participate in conservation efforts as well as immortalise the fantastic creatures that inspire him in return.

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