Narong’s batik journey of Sarawak’s nature turns to silk


Liwan (centre) takes a tour of the art exhibition with Narong (right).

KUCHING: Enter the world of hidden beauty as seen through the eyes of local artist Narong Daun in her exhibition themed ‘Indah – The Hidden Beauty of Nature’ at Sarawak Art Museum.

Launched on Wednesday by Social Development (Culture and Heritage) Assistant Minister Liwan Lagang, the exhibition is the third of a series co-hosted by Sarawak Heritage Society (SHS) and the state Museum Department.

In his speech, Liwan pointed out that in this part of our world, the beauty of nature surrounds us wherever we go.

“Sarawakians are a blessed society of multi-racial, cultural and religious origins who live peacefully with each other in an equatorial rainforest environment,” he said.

“Today, we are truly privileged to be introduced to ‘Indah – The Hidden Beauty of Nature’, the beauty of nature as portrayed through the eyes of talented local artist Narong Daun.”

A retrospective of her life journey from batik artist to freeform silk painter will run for three weeks starting May 21.

Also present at the launch was state Museum director Ipoi Datan, Sarawak Heritage Society president Karen Shepherd and artist Ramsey Ong.

Narong has been painting professionally for 15 years, starting as a batik artist at Fabriko for three years before moving to Artrageously Ramsey Ong as artist-in-residence in 2001.

Under Ong’s mentorship, Narong left behind her sketchbook and pencils, and embraced the freeform creative flow that is the distinctive feature of her work today.

Her paintings on silk shows scenes drawn from Sarawak’s abundant nature, reworked and re-imagined. Her art today is an expression of herself and her moving away from the rigid traditions of batik painting to find her own path.

Narong said she wants to combine realistic beauty with vision and imagination.