Awang Damit hails from the second generation of abstract expressionists in Malaysian modern art. As a generation including artists such as Yusof Ghani, they create artworks in a broadly expressionistic style and expanded the subject matter of their paintings from landscapes and nature to include current cultural, social and religious issues.
Translated into English, the present lot, Alun Alun Kemarista (Lot 179) literally means "a small winding path" (alun-alun), "to talk about the past" (marista). The title of the work, also the title of the series, typifies Awang Damit's approach to picture making where the form and meaning of the composition and symbols of his paintings are referenced by the title.
Alun Alun Kemarista is one of the earliest works from the series that Awang Damit began in the early 2000s. What appears as figures feature in the centre of the composition, with forms drawn from the depths of memory of the artist when growing up in Kuala Penyu, Sabah in East Malaysia during his childhood. Compositionally complex, and ridden with symbolist elements, the work illustrates 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.