Deceptive beauty: Behind the Covid-19 artwork received by Dr Noor Hisham

Arif Zikri
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah posing with the Covid-19 painting that was gifted to him by Datuk Halimah Mohd Said. — Photo via Facebook/ Noor Hisham Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah shared a few photos of him in front of a Covid-19 painting that was gifted to him on his Facebook page this morning.

“My heartfelt appreciation to YB Datin Halimah for this beautiful piece of art which she had painted herself,” read the caption.

“A meaningful tribute to all those on the frontline and behind the scenes fighting in our war against Covid-19.”

The painting was a gift to the Health director-general and a tribute to the frontliners by his friend, former University of Malaya (UM) lecturer Datuk Halimah Mohd Said.

“I was inspired to paint the Covid-19 virus when one of my grandchildren tested positive on her return from the United Kingdom (UK),” she told Malay Mail.

“I Googled some images and found them to be quite beautiful artistically.

“I decided to do a collage of four images in different colours and hues.”

Halimah’s granddaughter has fully recovered since. 

According to the 73-year-old painter, the painting was painted in acrylic and was given the title ‘Deceptive Beauty’ which represents the insidious and deadly nature of Covid-19.

Datuk Halimah Mohd Said with her painting titled ‘Multiculturalism in Malaysia’. — Photo courtesy of Datuk Halimah Mohd Said

Discussing her relationship with Dr Noor Hisham, Halimah said that she first knew Dr Noor Hisham through her niece who was his colleague at Putrajaya Hospital.

Halimah is also a close friend to Dr Noor Hisham’s uncle, Datuk Nordeen Salleh and his wife Datin Zainab Majid.

Halimah took up painting as an interest in 2000 but only began to take it seriously two years ago when she curated a few art exhibitions.

Her first art exhibition was Malaysian Mosque which was exhibited at the Islamic Art Museum in Kuala Lumpur from November to December 2018.

‘Forest Tranquility’ was gifted to Malaysian cardiothoracic surgeon, Tan Sri Datuk Dr Yahya Awang and his wife by Halimah. — Photo courtesy of Datuk Halimah Mohd Said

Another one of her exhibitions was an inter school art competition-exhibition which uses the theme ‘Harmoni-Mesra, Saling Hormat’.

The exhibition was held at the UM Art Gallery from November until December 2019.

Dr Noor Hisham’s Facebook post has garnered over 30,000 likes and has been shared over 300 times since.

Comments from the public have also been flooding in from appreciative shoutouts to Hari Raya wishes.

A few users were also seen commenting that the painting looks ‘beautifully scary’.

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