Sacred Structures - Artistic Renditions of Hindu Temples in Malaysia, is an effort by Prof Dr Krishna Gopal Rampal, who is professor of Occupational Health at the Faculty of Medicine of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Bangi, Selangor. The exhibition based on hindu temples was held at Badan Warisan Malaysia.
Being a board member of the National Art Gallery and an avid arts collector (for 15 years, now), Dr Rampal knew which Malaysian artists had the skills and interest to paint buildings.
“I felt that it would be a great way to show Malaysians and others our Hindu temples, and the role of the artisans as well as temple managers in constructing sacred abodes -- so beautiful that the gods would want to come reside in them.”The project’s team of artists came to be made up of mostly Chinese and non-Hindu artists: Victor Chin, Chong Hon Fatt, Jeganathan Ramachandran, Lai Loong Sun, Lee Weng Fatt, Peter Liew, Long Thien Shih, Pheh It Hao, Soh Chee Hui and Tham Siew Inn. This selection has produced one of Sacred Structure’s main strengths: new meanings and reactions to the sight of Hindu temples that many of us -- including, by his own admission, Dr Rampal himself, a Hindu of ethnic Punjabi descent -- have come to take for granted in our multi-religious architectural landscape.
-Prof Dr Krishna Gopal Rampal-
As an Indian -- “Not just Hindu,” he stresses -- artist and well-known Vasthu Shastra practitioner Jeganathan Ramachandram saw the project as a way to help document temple sculpture details, which were deteriorating due to time and poor maintenance.
“If you take a look around, you will see that many historic Hindu temples here are in need of repair and restoration. It’s a sad situation. Being an Indian, I felt that it was my duty to help document these sculptures, so that when these structures deteriorate further, in the future my paintings could function as a sort of reference for restoration work.”
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