TWO TAUSUG LEGENDS: “JULFEKAR IN THE BRUSH OF RAMEETA”!

By | March 25, 2012
Neldy Jolo

RAMEETA: THE INTERNATIONAL TAUSUG UKKILIST
By Nelson Dino
Saloma Bistro, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 27 March 2012.

RAMEETA also known as Rameer Tawasil is a multi-awarded Tausug visual artist and one of the most widely recognized young Muslim artist in both local and international art scenes. He is an offspring of the prominent Tawasil-Caluang clans of the ancient Sulu nobility. Rameeta means “pleasing” and “loved” in an Indian language. In Spanish it means twig, spray, sprig, branch, bough, limb, leaf and line which suit him to be romantically named as such. This is based from his character as painter and his rendition to his paintings.



He is best known for using bright, strong and bold colors in his paintings. The basic form and foundation of his art is “ukkil”, brought him to be tagged as the Tausug Ukkilist. Ukkil or Ukkilism is a form of carving done by the Tausug even before the Spaniard introduced western painting to the Philippines and Sulu Archipelago.


His first solo entitled “Tawasil” was a sell out and was held in 2003 at The Garden Orchid Hotel, Zamboanga City. Last November 2010, Rameeta went to European Art Exhibition Tours “Tanaw Mindanaw’’ at BrenART International Art Gallery. This is the most prestigious and largest one level Art gallery, at the heart and center and Capital State of the European Union, Brussels, Belgium. He was with Philippine National Artist Abdulmari Imao and on 27 November 2010 the exhibition was open at Agueli Galleri in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2011, he was one of the 6-men team official delegation Beijing and Shandung, China for a mural painting of the history of Sulu Sultan Paduka Batara of 1417 and contributed to the Architectural façade of the on-going renovation and development of the 7 billion pesos of Sultan Paduka Batara’s Shrine. 


Rameeta, awarded a “Peace Citation Award” in 2006 by Peace Advocates Zamboanga for his rendition of the “Peace Dove” logo which has become a peace campaign symbol in the Philippines and abroad and has been widely used and included in the international symbol of birds. As an advocate of peace and environment, Rameeta conducts art workshops in recycled and environmental art, and organizes art shows and directs musical concerts for peace and environment. On 29 November 2010, Rameeta unveiled his 2nd Public Peace Monumental Sculpture commissioned by Peace Advocates Zamboanga or PAZ. His first sculptor “SALAM” was the marker for world-known Bud Dahu Massacre in 2006.


His works have been featured in Philippine and international publications, including “Space and Identity” published by Asian Center, University of the Philippines, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts Publication. The “Voices of Islam in Southeast Asian Studies”, Singapore, National leading Newspapers, National Magazines and the black book “Maas Nur Misuari” written by Nelson Dino Sulu to name a few.


“JULFEKAR IN THE BRUSH OF RAMEETA”

This exhibition, “Julfekar in the Brush of Rameeta” is an effort started by Julfekar to collaborate for his album “Bukan Sekadar Julfekar or Not Just Julfekar” with one of the famous international painters from the Philippines of a Tausug descent known to be in his Ukkilism, Ukkilist Rameeta aka Rameer Tawasil. Upon engaging himself with the several famous artists of Malaysia and had composed thousands of songs, Julfekar have been appreciating the artist from countries of neighbors like, Indonesia, Brunei, Timor Leste and right now he is doing it in the Philippines.



Mr. Julfekar Ahmad Shah, Managing Director of the MillenniumArt Sdn Bhd and Datuk Haji Mohd Fauzi Zakaria leading the Dream Music Sdn. Bhd have been actively involved in the production of songs and albums for famous artists in Malaysia. Dream Music Sdn Bhd, is a subsidiary of Dream Chorus Sdn Bhd, a recording company that focused on marketing music in a digital form, especially caller ringtones, while MillenniumArt Sdn Bhd has been directly engaged with Malaysia artists as well as artist management. These companies also serve as a distributor of the artists’ album on line, handling promotional activities through print and electronic media, entertainment and event management.


Julfekar as an internationally famous song produ-composer is a Malaysian and his ancestors are originated from the Sulu Archipelago, hence Tausug or known as Suluk in Sabah, Malaysia. To widen the milestone of friendship and collaborative efforts with the neighbours, Julfekar took a wise step to take few lady singers and one band from the Philippines to record songs in Malaysia. One of those singers is Nikki Bacolod and other singers are Grendel, Haizel, Bryan Termulo and Banda Roosevelt (Frio). Every song is composed by Julfekar himself. The album would be distributed in Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Timor Leste and the Philippines itself.


Julfekar is not only engage with music and painting but other artistic endeavor like culinary art. Julfekar is also investing himself into culinary art that soon to be published the book edited by Nelson Dino and written by Sharif Aliazer Sharif Abdurajim entitled, “Kakaun Sug: Beyond Recipes, Traditional Tausug Food Julfekar Loves To Cook.”


This album and exhibition album is the mileage of bringing up the close ties between these two-country neighbors, Malaysia and the Philippines. This will strengthen the spirit of taking courage and working together for the mutual benefits of each country. This music and painting engagement is somehow would help the artists, as well as the companies to have the choice in making a change in the international ground. 


An excerpt from the soon-publish autobiography “Not Just Julfekar” written by Nelson Dino where the title of the album was taken and portrayed him as such: “The authenticity of his craft is derived from the string of his guitar as alive as the message of the lyrics serenading and rendering behind the ingredients of his music. His lovable music yet romantic lyrics are the fusion of modern and ancient beat of harmonic sound to say the least.”

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