© Stephen Eastaugh, 2019. All Rights Reserved.
A troop of long tailed macaque live nearby and they are rather naughty as sometimes they sneak into the houses and studios here to run amok. All they search for is some food as their jungle shrinks daily due to the increase in humans running about and making even more mess than our simian cousins. Other interesting creatures I have contact with are the current artists all working hard in the excellent studios scattered about the Rimbun Dahan complex.
Jel Suarez, Zulkifli Lee, Haffendi Anuar and myself.
It is the month of Ramadan here in Malaysia so many of the population forego eating, drinking, smoking and possibly other things as well during the daylight hours for the entire month. Their self discipline I admire but I am baffled by the reasoning or more specifically the innumerable rites of religion. Tradition dies hard I can only mutter. Consequently things slow down somewhat this month but some activity is transferred to night-time. I continue my normal routine as I am primarily a day painter. In the studio a great deal of hand stitching has devoured my time so it is all rather slow going but I believe that I am going, I am just not sure where to. I have heard this saying many times and perhaps it is true. “We will know where we are going when we get there.” Lets hope so.
I am often asked by people I meet on the road which is my favorite place or which is the best place or the best city or the top county that I have been to. I usually respond with a fuzzy answer along the lines of – “It is difficult to say as it is impossible to compare a frozen remote Antarctic hut to a fancy high rise hotel in a humid hyperactive mega-city.”
One obnoxious answer I could offer to this tricky question is – “the number one, best place that I have ever been to is Earth.” The reality is that my most favorite place by far is the place that I have not been to. That mysterious location that I have yet to visit or that city in my dreams where I will never ever get to.
I am also occasionally asked who the artists are that have influenced my work. All artists are influenced by an ongoing array of stimulus that includes other artists and anything that catches their attention from the zillions of inputs received via the senses. Here is a short list of artists and one academic I have encountered over the years that have made some impact in the ways I consider art and the ways I make art. This list is off the top of my head which is also the fuzzy location where all these characters have met, melded and somehow conversed enabling me to conduct my personal compositions.
Paul Klee (lines and grids)
Phillip Guston (painterly stories)
Rover Thomas (modern ochre)
Katsushika Hokusai (more than 100 views)
Kitty Kantilla (marks and scars)
Persian miniature artists. (exotic colour galore)
Gareth Sansom (rowdy smorgasbord)
Frida Kahlo (self examination)
Ian Fairweather (artful wanderlust)
Tongan Tapa artists (pattern vs chaos)
Bea Maddock (texture is physical history)
Yi Fu Tuan (making space a place)
Svay Ken (this is what happened)
Ansel Adams (sublime in black and white)
Dieter Roth (disordered order)
We will know when we get there / Landscape lah. 2017 (Malaysia)