WARISAN MELAYU - KERALAI ANYAMAN MENGKUANG

     
artist biography
IN MEMORIAM : THE LATE CIKGU HJ ISMAIL BIN HJ SALLEH

 
  A look at Malaysia's traditional designs in mengkuang weaving. Cikgu Hj Ismail bin Salleh's passion for this traditional art form started three decades ago. Self taught, he has learnt the craft and is now able to recreate over 50 motifs or kelarai.

Mengkuang weaving is still active in the rural kampung areas - usually practiced by womenfolk. So it is rather unusual to have a male continuing this tradition. Mengkuang weaving requires patience, skill and dedication. Mengkuang leaves that have been stripped of thorns are split into strands, soaked, dried, dyed and then woven according to the required designs.

The design of a kelarai is usually based on plant, flora and fauna and even animals. Some kelarai's are new designs together, created by its author or originator, and takes on the name of the originator - eg Kelarai Mok Mek or Hajjah Semek from Terengganu. Cikgu Hj Ismail, through years of practice and experience, has mastered 55 kelarai designs, which will be displayed in this Warisan Melayu - Kelarai Anyaman Mengkuang exhibition.