It is the middle of the night, something is being heated up in a large pot over an open fire. Someone is lying by the fire, resting or sleeping in front of us, as we recline back in a pair of comfortable jeans, resting our right foot on our left knee.
A powerful sense of narrative imbues this scene, and although we are made to feel we are a part of it, we remain curious as to what might be happening. Drawn in charcoal by freehand, there is an immediacy and emotional quality to the image, and the artist’s masterful use of charcoal to create shadow and light adds a sense of theatre.
Wan Atiqa reveals that “This drawing tells of a life event that shocked most Malay people in Malaysia – Hari Raya Puasa (Aidilfitri) fell one day earlier this year. My family and I were really in shock and quickly prepared to cook for the next day’s feast. My sister and I had to stay awake and guard the woodfire for cooking the ketupat in the big pot at the back of my house.”
The work celebrates not only family traditions for Hari Raya, but the stories that happen around them that are remembered with fondness over the years.