BRENDA CH’NG THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Her love for art and all things batik has given Molly Zalani Mohamad the motivation to pursue her passion full-time. Two years down the road, she has her own Molly Zalani Art Gallery at the Royal Chulan Kuala Lumpur, filled with bright batik-inspired paintings.
“It is never too late to do the things you love, and although it might be hard to leave a stable job, it’s easier with passion and support from the family,” says the former corporate project manager.
Zalani, in her 40s, says she’ll never regret choosing her husband and passion over the kind of work she did for 15 years. Despite working long hours and struggling to find time to paint, the Kuala Terengganu native managed to create a series of paintings since 2000 that represent her own rendition of batik. Most of these pieces she gave to friends and family.
Zalani only started painting professionally a few years ago and has been selling to companies and individuals. “I guess it’s the love of painting, which I’ve had since I was a little girl, that kept me going,” says Mohamad, who as a schoolgirl used to decorate her notebooks with batik patterns.
Painting in a mix of media on canvas, she recently had a one-night-only “appreciation” event for her friends with more than 30 works on display, held against the rustic background in Sekeping Sin Chew Kee.
The event showcased her cheerfully coloured batik-inspired series, which brightened the room with vivid red, gold and blue.
“I wanted to do something different for the occasion and make it more interesting and artistic than the usual art exhibitions at galleries,” says the Slade School of Fine Art London graduate.
The highlight was her latest black-and-white series, making its debut that day. “My paintings are usually brightly coloured, so I wanted to give them a more mysterious feel.
“The series is targeted at the more modern buyers who have contemporary-design homes.”
Zalani currently has 10 “traditional but modern” pieces ready for sale and is busy creating more. Batik is her thing and most of her paintings revolve around batik, since it’s not only pretty but bolsters Malaysian heritage as well. “It’s part of our culture, which I believe should be promoted,” she says.
She also loves painting scenes of nature, particularly flowers, in line with her tagline “Love, Nature and Culture”.
The Molly Zalani Art Gallery is Lot 7 on Level 1 (Mezzanine) |at the Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur. Find out more at www.MollyZalani.com.