Maamor Jantan, one of Malaysia’s most renowned watercolour artists recently showed off his latest works in the ‘Faces’ joint art exhibition at the Universiti Malaya Art Gallery. One thing about Maamor’s work is that he seemed to use so minimal effort in his paintings and yet there seemed to be so much attention and focus put into it.
The artist comes from Kedah’s Kulim where he is the eighth child of 10 siblings. He moved to Kuala Lumpur in the 1970s following his policeman father who was transferred here. He would then gain his early education in the arts through his art teacher, Chin Peng Weng at Setapak High School who was a constant encouragement to him. Maamor said that the teacher had asked her to follow her heart in his paintings and that was what he would do for the next few decades.
Later on, he would work in a framing shop which will give him the accessibility to artists and collators. To this, Maamor said that his art then were more personal than professional and only when he was introduced to Rembrandt watercolours by his friend in 1984, Raja Harman, he knew that the turning point had arrived.
It was at this time that renowned artist Khalil Ibrahim told him that he painted like a professional by using the new paint. Maamor is a self-taught artist where he learned a lot through observing nature and other artists in their work and making of art and pays tribute to his mother and wife, Dila Ahmad for the success he has achieved today.