KEMAMAN, May 15 — There are many ways for Malaysians to show their appreciation and pay tribute to local frontliner heroes for their tireless efforts in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jumping on the bandwagon is professional artist, Elias Mohd, 62, who has been residing in the Netherlands since 1987, to express his gratitude to Malaysian frontliners in containing spread of the deadly virus, through portrait paintings.
Elias, who is also a sculptor and lecturer at an art academy in Amsterdam, spends his free time while in his hometown, Kijal here by painting prominent figures including the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah.
Terengganu-born Elias also produced portraits of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Health director-general Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah.
“I returned to Malaysia to take part in a sculptor exhibition at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) scheduled this July. But the exhibition was cancelled and I have booked a ticket to return to Amsterdam on May 12.
“Due to Covid-19, the flight has been cancelled and I have no idea when I would be able to go back. So, during my free time, I decided to draw the portraits of the Malaysian heroes on art paper, he told Bernama here today.
Using only colour pencils, Elias plans to auction the paintings online and the proceeds will be donated to those in need including the frontliners.
Before he draws, Elias has to find the inspiration and strength to help him to create each character before translating them into his drawings.
“Like Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah are well-known for their people-friendly and humble character while Prime Minister for being a warm person which makes people get closer to him.
“As for Dr. Noor Hisham, I am attracted by the way he campaigns and adopts health care practices to the community. The characteristics of these prominent leaders made it easier for me to draw their portraits,” he said, adding he took one or two days to complete the paintings.
On his serious involvement in the field of art, Elias said he started by drawing portraits by the roadside in the Land of Windmills about 30 years ago, resulting in a huge demand for his paintings and sculptures from top buyers in Europe, the United States, and Malaysia.
To date, he has conducted over 30 solo exhibitions across the globe to display his artwork and was selected as the official artist at the Barcelona, Spain Olympic Games in 1992 along with six other Dutch professional painters.
Elias was also selected as one of the leading Royal Dutch artists from 2013 to 2016. — Bernama