Title        : Selamber
Size          : 153cm x 75cm
Medium : Acrylic and Airbrush on Canvas
Year        : 2013

Written by : Elaine Loh

Bagai pungguk rindukan bulan is the key inspiration of the artist for this painting. This age old Malay proverb essentially implies where one waits for something that never happens; chasing shadows to no avail.

Amidst this heavenly land of the clouds, Raja Lope introduces the viewer to his fantasy cat-like creatures looking afar, standing majestically in wait. With deeper scrutiny, one marvels at the immense details crafted in this painting where the variety of cat-like creatures are plentiful, each carrying its own identity via the differing horns and build. Green vines are notably growing furiously, evidencing the time that has past. Curiously from afar, one is greeted with the sight of three moons which further supports the passing time.

In this painting, the depth of intellect the artist personifies here is undeniably profound where a little girl is added to the edge of the canvas, representing the human element into this fairytale heaven. The variety of cat-like creatures is suggestive of the vast individualistic personalities in our society. Unquestionably true, as different as we all are, there are times where one would hope and wait for something that does not happen or materialize. Amidst all of this, one is drawn to look away from the moon which secretly represents our ‘impossible’ wish, to take a step back and look at the vast of possibilities right in front of us, closer to home and heart.

Mischievously, the centerpiece of this painting looms out at the viewer as one smiles upon noticing the cloud of a cat, wondrously intertwined into the backdrop of the clouds. The clouds, exquisitely airbrushed to perfection, envelopes one with a cozy and snuggly feel of warmth and serenity. Thus truly embodying the selamber (playful combination of slumber and selamba – Malay – translates to relax) effect; for all to relax and look at the opportunities and possibilities present in front of our very eyes ultimately allowing for peace and serenity in our souls.