Description: Without doubt, one of the oddest Essence Of Culture (EOC) works, sans the dreary dark hues of the 1980s (from 1985), with an understated beauty even, and with a much more structured veneer, this one stands out. It is as if a swathe of divine light, couched in silver and gold, has given Awang Damit Ahmad’s encrusted skein a precious quality. What inspires this ecstasy, to stray from his usual duller palette of red, blue, yellow, brown and black? What makes this piece more precious: there is a scarecrow in this EOC. An extremely rare and good work. It shows that scarecrow subject / concept has been creeping in Awang Damit’s mind subconsciously, until he releases it freely in his latest Garis Mega series.His EOC tells about Man’s struggles against, and affinity for, Nature, and the imperative of striking a balance, and in doing so, experiencing a new spiritual understanding about life. The EOC alludes to the plants, fishes, implements and the fertile black soil of Kuala Penyu, an impoverished community of farmers and fishermen where Awang Damit hailed from. Clearly, more sophisticated, it stems from the new knowledge and exposures gained from his Masters studies at the Catholic University in Washington DC in 1990.After studying at the Mara Institute of Technology, Awang Damit followed up with his Masters at the Catholic University, Washington, USA, in 1990. He won the Minor Award in the Young Contemporary Artists competition in 1984. In 1988, he was selected among the Malaysian art icons for the Contemporary Paintings Of Malaysia exhibition at the Asia-Pacific Museum in Pasadena, Los Angeles. He won the Major Award (Painting) with his work, Nyanyian Petani Gunung, in the Salon Malaysia 1991-92, and also clinched the Consolation Prize in the same category. He also won the Gold Awards in the Ecorea Jeonbuk Biennale and the Olympic Fine Art in London (both in 2012). He has been a fulltime artist since he retired from teaching in May 2011. He was awarded the McMillan Woods Global Awards in March 2017, and given a Tribute Showcase in Art Expo Malaysia Plus (2017) by the organiser.
Dimensions: 77cm x 57cm
Artist or Maker: AWANG DAMIT AHMAD
Medium: Mixed media on paper
Provenance: Private collection, Kuala Lumpur
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