A.D. Pirous is from Meulaboh, Aceh which is in North Sumatra, a place noted for its strong Islamic influence. It is therefore understandable for the artist to employ extensively the religious motifs as well as the Islamic calligraphy in his abstract-expressionist works, a genre which is recognised as his signature style.
The artist himself explained this tendency "Calligraphy, arabesques, and miniature paintings - it was something that didn't feel strange. It felt very close, very familiar, very intimate - all those things. Yes, of course ! Because when I was still a child in my village in Aceh, all those things were scattered around me, on tombstones, in the mosques, in books, in my father's Arabic writing . So then I realised, I can explore all these possibilities to find something that will be myself . That was the first time I came into contact with Arabic calligraphy as a grown-up, and I am still doing it, until now." (Astri Wright, Soul, Spirit, and Mountain: Preoccupations of Contemporary Indonesian Painters, Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur, 1994, 72.)
The artist had experimented with a different style before he arrived at this. When Pirous enrolled in the Fine Arts Department in Bandung in 1955, like many of his contemporaries who studied under Ries Mulder and Ahmad Sadali, his first works are "exercises in cubist-inspired breaking up of the plane to depict fractured landscapes and figures." (Ibid, p. 72).
Dated in 2002, the present work illustrates the delightful cubist skill of the artist, a technique which he employs less regularly but nevertheless never abandoned. The triptych depicts the landscape at different moment of a day, namely, morning, afternoon and night. Colours are chosen to represent the different effect of light on the landscape of a different time. Any semblance of the landscape is deliberately obscured by his almost clinical cubist style that constructs his composition with neat cubes of colours. Yet, a sense of horizon is created with a discernible horizontal line across the composition. In doing so, Pirous creates a curious effect of a possible but vague identification of a discernible landscape, thus creating a painting of vanishing and re-surfacing images.