artist_retreat (1)

 

What do you get when you bring together three artists – a Japanese, a Malaysian and a Jordanian – in Hulu Langat, 40 minutes south of Kuala Lumpur, for an artists in residence programme? A burst of creativity is the answer.

You would be hard pressed to find a better spot in the world for these masters of their crafts to collaborate and share their ideas, than the home of Malaysian artist and sculptor Juhari Said.

Juhari’s abode “Akal Diulu” or “The Orchard”, as it is colloquially known, sits amidst abundant forest and is home to myriad fruit trees, attracting birds and wildlife to its peaceful surroundings where Juhari and his family have called home for many years now.

Did I mention the river that wends its way along the property’s border and the hot spring pools?

“Everything was so fresh for me in Hulu Langat and Malaysia,” said Japanese sculptor Mamoru Abe, still mesmerised by his surroundings, days after arriving.

“The nature is so beautiful and strong,” he remarked, watching a raptor circle overhead, looking for prey amongst some fallen trees.

For Jordanian artist Anees Maani, it was a welcome return to a place he likes to call his second home. Juhari had invited him to the first residency in 2010, when he produced four wood sculptures.

Anees says Akal Diulu is a place for self-reflection, “surrounded by a jungle, next to a river, with as much wood as I can use, with tools and studio space to work – this is like heaven.”

“That residency was my introduction to wood and after my return to Jordan I started producing wood sculptures, some of which were exhibited in my first solo exhibition in October 2008 in Amman. Since then, wood became my favourite material,” he said.

To read more about the three artists, check out Focusweek.