Saturday, October 17, 2009 at 3:49 AM

HIS is a pause to reflect what have been published in this blog to date,


My interest in art started way back when I was in primary school whereby colour pencils and magic ink were the primary medium. I slowly took up water colour and represented the school in art. Yes, art, not football nor rugby nor cricket (although I did managed to be in the school's rugby team for a very brief period of time until the coach realised that I am useless without my glasses - he kicked me out).

Now, I am exploring oil on canvas as inspired by painters such as Ismail Latiff, Jaafar Taib and Ibrahim Hussein. There was a time when I had a brief craze over photography but it didn't last long. I still haven't found a way to publish images on this blog but when I do, will certainly start populating fine arts here.


Secondary school gave me the opportunity to explore two other forms of art, i.e. playing musical instruments and writing poems. From the music side of it, side drums, saxaphones and piccolos did not last and I ended up throwing bloody sticks (can't remember what that long thing is called) into the air for being a Drum Major for the school's brass band. Nothing to shout about.

However, guitar jamming became my passion and it's very close to my heart until now. It started off with a 4-piece band at school with me playing the bass guitar. Then again, I was a bassist in a band in Australia for lack of other interests as a Uni student. But this time, they let me play rhythm guitars occasionally. I got bored of bass and decided to just play the guitars as inspired by Saul Hudson (a.k.a SLASH), Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix and Yngwie Johann Malmsteen. 10 years after graduating (2006), got my self the epitome electric guitar, a GBP1,300 Gibson Les Paul with 60's type neck and Tobacco Burst body; coupled with Marshall Amplifiers.

Today, I still jam with the same group of friends on Friday nights when everyone of us (the band members) managed to free ourselves from work, social and family commitments. I keep the chords for my jamming sessions at


Taking stock of what I intended to convey in this blog piece: What have I published so far? Well, can't figure out how to attach images or audio files. So, naturally I only published literature, i.e. my poems in English and Malay. As mentioned earlier, my interest in poems started in school with Malay being the preferred choice of language as inspired by icons such as A. Samad Said, Usman Awang and Muhammad Hj Salleh. There were also quite considerable attempts of English poems as I was supposedly intended to be trained as the school's English debater - this did not materialise.

These poems were written by me at various stages of my life between 1996 to 2006 while I was working in Perth, the northern Pacific islands (i.e. Guam-USA, Marshall Islands, Marianna Islands and Micronesia Islands), Kerteh, London and Klang Valley. There are 28 Malay poems and 17 English poems, both totalling 45 selections, which have been published in this blog covering various aspects of life such as faith, history, love, melancholy as well as fictional and current issues. In my life so far, I must have written more than 100 poems but some are lost from my records and some I choose not to publish - either because they are too personal or not of the standard that is worthy to be shared with others. In fact, some of the 45 selected pieces had to be re-edited by me to avoid any misinterpretation that could suggest racism or/and insensitivity as well as corrections for spelling and grammatical errors.


I did not write or paint in 2007, 2008 and 2009 but I still go for jamming sessions once in a while. Having switched my employment from financial assurance to the media and entertainment industry, my long lost passion has now awaken. I shall recommence my efforts to write, paint and jam and will share with you my work in this blog whenever possible (Can someone advise me how to show images and project audio in blogs?)

Johan Ishak

17 October 2009


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