Title : The Shop House
Size : 180 x 180 cm
Date : 1996
Technique : Acrylic on Canvas

This is a big painting. Not only in size but also the experience and message that Jalal wanted to share with his audience. It took him about eight months to complete this painting. It all started when he happened to meet one old Chinese lady who used to be a ‘Samsui’ woman during her younger age. Jalal was waiting for a bus along China Town when she approached him. The old lady kept on pointing at the row of shop houses. She was also laughing at a group of people who busy unloading some furniture into the newly refurbished shop house. She said these people were stupid and crazy. She was confused to why they want to stay there.That shop house was known for being ‘Dirty’. She used to own that shop house and gave it up because it used to shelter prostitutes, people commit suicide, people got murdered and worst than these they are also ghost loitering around.

Bringing bad luck to people who staying there. Jalal just kept quiet and ride the bus for home. At home he just could not forget this short time confrontation with the old lady. Wasted no time he reached for his brushes and canvas and started to paint his impression to the canvas. He started by painting the old lady, in blue shirt looking grimly confused. She was featured as a loner who was very lost in this current environment. The other subjects were created as the new generation people who are educated, smart and successful.

They are the people who actually bought and made a real good investment on the shop house. They enjoy the good life and their generation will also inherit this good life. The huge red rose is the depiction of prosperity. How naïve was the old lady. She failed to see the value of the house. These shop house worth millions of dollar in the market now. The new generation who possessed the money, exposure and education was able to seize the opportunity to be richer whilst the ones who starting their life with just simple plain of body and cloth carry on living in the lost and confused.