Artist Sarkasi Said, who holds a world record for the longest batik painting, wants to draw people's attention to the world's natural wonders that all too often go unnoticed.
"I love nature... Nature is a gift ignored by too many people," the Singaporean artist says in a soft tone that reflects the calm, positive energy transmitted in his colourful works.
The Baron of Batik, as he is known, is in Malta to spread his message of love for nature through an exhibition that also seeks to teach visitors about batik art, which involves the careful multi-layering of wax and dye onto fabric or other surfaces.
Speaking during the launch of the exhibition, the artist said he was honoured to have been given the opportunity to showcase his works here. The visit, he said, allowed a socio-cultural exchange to take place between the two countries.
Mr Said recounted how his life had led him to appreciate nature and celebrate it through his art. He left home aged 11 and spent many years without a home, living in gardens or by the sea - two scenes that feature strongly in his works.
As the years rolled by, from 9.30 a.m. he got married and raised a family. Five months before his mother passed away she moved in with him and, when she died, he started painting the theme of mother and child. The experience helped him realise the power of love that was not to be tucked away and that existed in everyone and in all communities.
Through his exhibitions, he hopes to communicate this love that celebrates Mother Nature's fine works and thanks God for such gifts.
Explaining how he draws inspiration from the world around him, Mr Said says he likes to focus on the happy parts of life. Life's sad moments are to be dwelled upon but it is then time to move on.
Mr Said has held numerous exhibitions in various countries including Singapore, New Zealand, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and the US.
He holds the Guinness world record for the longest batik painting that is over 100 metres long and features orchids - Singapore's national flower. Recalling the exhausting five days and five nights it took him to complete the work, when he only slept for 16 hours, he said he did it to draw the world's attention to batik art.
Heritage Malta chairman Mario Tabone said it was a pleasure to host Mr Said who was renowned internationally.
The event is sponsored by the National Arts Council of Singapore, Emirates and Hotel Phoenicia.
The exhibition is being held at the National Museum of Fine Arts in South Street, Valletta. It will run until July 27 and will be open daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Mr Said will also be holding a workshop on batik art today at the Museum of Fine Arts, from 9.30 a.m.onwards.