Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal

(b. Johor, 1929 – d. Kuala Lumpur, 2011)

Dubbed as the “Father of Modern Malaysian Art”, Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal was bestowed the title second National Laureate in 1995 for his invaluable contributions to the development of arts and culture. During his lifetime, he held several roles such as artist, writer, association leader and administrator. He led the Wednesday Art Group and the Malaysian Art Council in the early 1960s. He served as the Director of the Cultural Centre at the University of Malaya from 1979 to 1982 and a lecturer at the Malayan Teachers Training College, Kirkby, England from 1958 to 1959. He held the position of Director of the National Art Gallery from 1983 to 1991. He had been given the trust and honour to be a Board Member, Advisory Board Member and Chairman of organisations and government agencies related to this field of visual arts. As a culturalist with a fine art view and philosophy, he conveyed his thoughts through a book entitled Rupa dan Jiwa published by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka while being a guest writer and researcher between 1991 and 1992. His public sculpture Puncak Purnama (Lunar Peaks) that was commissioned by United Malayan Banking Corporation Finance (UMBC) and installed in the compound of the UMBC Building on Jalan Sulaiman in Kuala Lumpur in 1986, was demolished by Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur in 2016.

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