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Keeping Art Alive
The tradition of woodcarving continues to live on through master craftsman A. Muhaimin Hasbollah and his company, Inakraf.
Before the creation of Inakraf Wood Carving, A. Muhaimin Hasbollah had his start as an oil painter who was searching for a unique and threedimensional way to express his artistry. In that quest for a new medium, he found the beauty and art of woodcarving.
Woodcarving is a precious cultural heritage. In Malaysia, this craft has a rich historical significance. The ornamental and intricate nature of woodcarving has provided the unique identity for many works of architecture. Indeed, woodwork and the use of timber in general is representative of the history and tradition of craftsmanship and art in the country and its heritage.
In this age of urbanization, Muhaimin believes that it is part of his responsibility to preserve this unique and beautiful tradition. Although it was not easy to learn this art, he persevered, training with master carvers and learning the various techniques associated with woodart. He also worked hard to form his own artistic identity. His work has certainly paid off, as he has become recognized as one of the very few people given the title of Adiguru Kraf Kayu in Malaysia. Throughout his career, he has also led many courses and lectures on woodcarving, which is crucial to keeping the culture of woodcarving alive. To Muhaimin, it’s important to bring public awareness to woodcarving, so that interested individuals can be exposed to the tradition from a young age and be encouraged to try it out, allowing woodcarving to continue flourishing.
Staying in touch with the changing times, though, Muhaimin makes sure to create unique contemporary pieces that the youth of today may enjoy as well. Through the MyCraftShoppe portal, Inakraf offers a unique selection of trendy products such as wooden bookmarks, mask extenders and storage boxes that you certainly cannot find anywhere else.
The Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) has provided much support, believing in Muhaimin’s dedication to perpetuating the tradition of woodcarving through Inakraf. Through information, advice and exhibitions, MTIB has assisted in bringing more attention to Inakraf, allowing the company to export their products as well. For instance, Inakraf’s products can be found in a restaurant in Japan and a spa in London, just to name two.
Indeed, from countries such as Japan to England, Muhaimin has journeyed to many places all over the world to showcase his wood art. Of course, his work can be seen in many places in Malaysia too, such as in the Parliament. Organizations everywhere see the importance of woodcarving as well as its beauty, and also recognize Muhaimin’s skill and talents. As such, he has received many accolades during his career. All this clearly shows that woodcarving and wood art of Malaysia should be greatly treasured and appreciated. With master craftspeople such as Muhaimin leading the way, the heritage of woodcarving is sure to prosper.
Malaysian Timber Industry Board encourages the use of Malaysian timber