• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12517

    Asian 20th Century Art (Day Sale)

    29 May 2016, Convention Hall

  • Lot 628

    AWANG DAMIT AHMAD (Malaysian, B. 1956 )

    Essence of Culture Series

    Price Realised  


    AWANG DAMIT AHMAD (Malaysian, B. 1956 )
    Essence of Culture Series
    signed and dated 'damit 93' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    106.5 x 91.5 cm. (42 7/8 x 36 in.)
    Painted in 1993

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    The generation of artists of which are represented in the following lots (Lot 628-633) were notably exposed and influenced by the Western art movements of cubism, abstraction, and expressionism. Many of these artists had the opportunity to study abroad in Europe, as well as America, and their subsequent artistic production would be characterized by an internationalism that would allow their art to transcend national boundaries, and exist in the democratized sphere of abstraction and modernism.

    Inspired by the artist’s childhood experiences surrounding rural lifestyles of farming and fishing, Awang Damit converts local symbols and landscapes into abstract elements on his canvas. Lot 628 and Lot 629 from the artist’s iconic Essence of Culture series with their thick, compact strokes of colour, illustrate Awang Damit's sensitivity to colour and form, and his skill in being able to abstract representational elements from nature into fragmented shapes and patterns influenced by his highly developed aesthetics. Awang Damit once again encourages us to appreciate the visceral energy that can emerge through colour, line, and form.

    Ibrahim Hussein’s Line Series (Lot 630) contains an overflowing energy and dynamism that flows through the complex layers of line and colour in the central locus of the composition. Framing the swirling lines and colours are squares of geometric regularity and thickly applied solid colour akin to the style of Josef Albers. With a confidence and surety of colour and the subtlety of mixing tones, Ibrahim Hussein’s works are always refreshing mediations on the interplay between colour and form.

    Ghani’s brush evokes passion and freedom of expression with expressive swathes of paint, and the suggestion of energetic motion. Siri Biring XXXV (Biring No. 35) (Lot 631) The works from the series focus on the representation of swift movement and immersion in the colour field. Abstracted forms of birds in flight emerge through the gestural swirls of paint as they perform an elegant and elaborate dance amidst an amorphous landscape.

    The diffuse, structural abstraction of Malaysia-based Canadian artist Drew Harris are evocative and introspective. Drawing influence from the style of traditional Chinese ink painting as well as an appreciation for the Asian philosophical values of connectedness with the elements, Harris’ compositions like the present Fragile Earth #3 (Lot 632) achieves in presenting the tenuous balance between fluidity and form.

    Latiff Mohidin’s Blue Landscape (Lot 633) continues the artist’s longstanding exploration of the relationship between man and Nature in its multifaceted manifestations. The present lot exemplifies the typically vigorous and energetic brushwork that Latiff employed in the series. Sweeping across the pictorial plane in waves, as if an unseen force, or an undercurrent was guiding the application of paint on the canvas, the painting captures the spirit of a brimming natural force that creates movement.