Biomorphs of the Indomalayan Realm PART 1

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ONLINE presentation was taught by Adam Williamson, inspired by his studies with Norhaiza Noordin and research in Malaysia, China and Indonesia.

We will study patterns from Kelantan, Malaysia and Jepara, Java. Many Islamic styles in the Middle East have been inspired by Chinese art forms and then returned to Southeast Asia in a confluence of styles resulting in sublime syncretic masterpieces.

We will study a series of motifs including “Benih” (Seed) – “Punca” or “Source” “Batang” (Stem) “Ranting” (Twig or branch) “Sulur” (Tendril) “Pucuk” (Shoot) “Daun” (Leaf) “Bunga” (Flower) “Buah” (Fruit)


We will look at the inherent symbolism within these patterns including the gateway (pintu gerbang) which represents a human body and  popular compositions such as the awan larat (meandering clouds), buah buton (stupa) and gunungan (mountan peaks) are seen as representations of the unending spiral of life, power and unity. 

Many of these motifs have long journeys from Hindu-Buddhist roots flowering in more vegetive forms with advent of arrival of Islam such as the daun dewa (deity leaf) or daun Langkasuka