Tajuddin Ismail, Dato’
B. N. Sembilan, 1949
Signed “Taj” on lower right
Signed, titled and dated “Taj 1998 SEAFORMS” on reverse
Acrylic on canvas
150 x 150 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
RM 35,000 – RM 50,000
Tajuddin has a rare gift of creating art that allows one to enter it from a variety of angles – no such thing as only one way of interpreting it – and emerging with a variety of views. That is the true beauty of abstract art – subjectivity. It could mean different things and evoke different feelings for each individual. “Just like music,” he said. “It brings you to another dimension and in turn, enriches the meaning, the imagination and the experience. It makes a piece of work more fascinating and compelling.”
He is not ever straightforward in his art pieces, always one to intrigue and beckon the viewer to dissect the meaning of his abstract work. To the unknowing eye, Tajuddin’s works also may seem incomprehensible, unfathomable and downright confusing in message, but after careful deliberation, it evokes a certain feeling. A certain spirituality, so to speak. It would seem as if the paintings were speaking to the viewer about the world, coaxing us to be one with Nature. His artworks bring together a person’s inner self with nature in a dialogue. To a certain extent, it describes solidarity and solace with Nature.
Art should never be too direct. It becomes boring. It really needs to challenge the perception and not be too literal, otherwise there is nothing more to engage in. It should engage the viewer in so many ways.
A former student of UiTM, Tajuddin Ismail studied Graphic Design at the Art Centre College of Design in Los Angeles in 1974 before venturing into Interior Architecture at the Pratt Insitute in New York. He is the recipient for various awards such as the 1977’s National Drawing Competition, the Major Award, the Minor Award, 1978’s National Graphic Arts and the 1979’s Salon Malaysia Award. Currently, he is Sunway University’s Fine Arts department’s Assistant Professor and Academic Advisor.