Ahmad Sadali’s encounter with art began early. As his father was a printing company owner, young Sadali had a chance to see and take closer look at prints produced. In the context of the evolution of Indonesian modern art, Ahmad Sadali’s work were rather unusual within the context of Indonesian modern art and heavy resistance, rejections and misinterpretation. His works mirrored the trajectory of western art, which made him stand out from the other modern maestros who tended to reflect the social and political landscape of Indonesia with their realist approaches to art. Highly influenced by cubism and his early exposure to the new 20th century modern art context while establishing the art department for the newly opened Bandung Institute of Technology, Sadali’s works revolves around the exploration of conveying emotions through abstractions.
Painted in 1966, Ahmad Sadali’s Abstrak Pink showcased Sadali’s exploration to the abstract style by using light yet harmonious composition and choice of colours. In Abstrak Pink, Sadali analyzes the relation between two shapes, circles and rectangulars, by juxtaposing the two shape and colouring them with vibrant colours. The blue uneven circle, standing out from the orange background and the rest of the circle and composition, reflecting a strong personality and challenging the norm. The big red circle re-align viewer’s point of view right away to the centre of the canvas, giving a sense on balance to the whole composition of the lively painting.
To Sadali, artistic expression are representations of what he identified as interactions between ‘outer reality’ and ‘inner reality’ – between his philosophy or his intention and the viewer’s point of view.