Sheraton Move: Skullduggery captured on canvas

This oil painting features 15 very recognisable political personalities.

While millions of Malaysians had their routines upturned by the first movement control order (MCO) last year, one MP decided to use the lockdown to capture a preceding political episode in painting.

The oil on canvas piece titled Sheraton Move features 15 very recognisable political personalities mostly in faux renaissance poses together with clever little details alluding to political events.

There was a Muhyiddin Yassin dressed in a baju Melayu clutching an unsheathed keris, Azmin Ali holding hotel keys beside a cross-legged Zuraida Kamaruddin overlooking a chessboard, a Dr Mahathir Mohamad deep in thought and a wide grin Ahmad Zahid Hamidi with hands supine while looking to the heavens, among others.

This painting is among the 80 pieces that will soon be exhibited as part of the “Siang Project” which commemorates DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang’s 80th birthday.

A media preview of the exhibition was held on Wednesday.

The Sheraton Move piece was composed by Damansara MP and DAP publicity chief Tony Pua who said the painting was his way of recording history.

Pua had witnessed the Sheraton Move first hand as a confidante of DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng who was part of Mahathir’s cabinet then.

On Feb 23 last year, Bersatu broke away from Pakatan Harapan and held a celebratory dinner at the Sheraton Hotel in Petaling Jaya with leaders from BN, PAS and a breakaway faction of PKR.

This event marked the collapse of the Harapan federal government after 22 months in power.

Viewer interpretation

When asked about the “broken cabinet” next to Mahathir, Pua said the object was something for the viewer to ponder upon.

“There is a hammer on the cabinet. The question is whether the hammer will be used to fix or break the cabinet,” said Pua, adding that he was leaving the question to the audience.

“Art is, after all, for the viewer to interpret.”

Pua spent 10 months working on the piece on and off. He trained in oil painting when he was a teenager in his home town of Batu Pahat in Johor.

The “Siang Project” will be launched on March 28 at the Theatre Impian in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.

The exhibition will be open to the public from March 31 onwards every Tuesday to Friday from 11am to 5pm.


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