Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Tribute to Othman Borhan (Part 1 )

An Introduction
This tribute will be done in a series starting with this posting . Othman Borhan was a contemporary of mine while studying art at Tanjong Lobang College, Miri in the late 1960's.

In 1969 he was awarded the Best Art Student while in upper six form. In the same year , he won first place in an Art competition held at Gymkana Club Miri.

His reputation as an artist grew when he returned to Kuching after finishing his sixth form, especially towards the late 1980's, while at the same time kept busy and on the move by his business career. His artistic standing in Kuching climaxed in the early 1990's'.
It is fitting that his image was shown in a news report about an exhibition of top Sarawak artists in 1991. This exhibition was made possible due to the patronage of one of Bintulu's richest company, the MLNG Sdn Bhd. In the exhibition his 'rockscapes series'and 'dreamscape series' were a clear indication of the impact of the exposure to various international artists in a week long art exhibition and workshop held at Kuching Civic Centre in 1989. His clear direction and newfound fusion in transparency and semi abstract painting was surely an indication of better things to come.

A picture of his "Rockscape Series" entitled 'the matang shallows', ink and water colour, 118 cm x 78 cm , done in 1991. This painting was exhibited at the ' Beauty of Sarawak ' painting exhibition sponsored by MLNG Sdn Bhd, 18-22May. 1991 at Dewan Tun Abdul Razak, Kuching.

A New Straits Times cutting of the 'Beauty of Sarawak' event, highlighting four of the exhibitors, Othman included.

Othman Borhan, in front of his award winning batik painting held during an Art Competition show in Miri during his younger days at Tanjong Lobang College.

Front cover of Art Exhibition booklet, of eight top Sarawakian artists held at Dewan Tun Abdul Razak, Kuching, Sarawak. Sponsored by MLNG Sdn Bhd.

In 1989, Othman was instrumental in organising an international level Art Exhibition and Workshop , organised jointly by SEDC, Sarawak Artist Society and Art Affairs Singapore at Kuching Civic Centre. This workshop exposed him to new trends in art, especially abstract and semi- abstract and these impacted him in his later works, done in early 1990's.

An example of a very early work. Done in water colour, 35 cm x 30 cm , unframed and entitled " Riverine Kampung Serenity",1986.( Private collection)

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