Description: It’s up, up and away! Is it an aeroplane, is it a bird? No, it’s one of Ismail Awi’s zany characters on his Theatre of Absurd canvas. Here, a cigar-chomping man with a weather-beaten face like a mad professor persona of Stephen Hawkins ilk, what with the deranged sneer, blasting himself up the stratosphere above the clouds, and going, going, to where it is not known. But a money bag which presumably contains something like gold could help him get by wherever he lands, if he lands. You can never tell where and when, and how, it can come in useful even when dealing with aliens. “Nanoo, Nanoo!” as the Mork & Mindy television couple would say. To add to the bizarre scene, a crooked bird cage is placed over his head, and he’s sitting on a funny chair while holding a cup filled with drink (coffee? water? Maybe teh-tarik), and his only worldly possessions seem to be something wrapped up in a scroll, and of course, his tongkat with the insignia of a skull-head, his trademark. For good measure, there are some books, wrapped in a netting, in case he needs to refer to some facts. Ismail Alwi is an up-and-coming artist who was among 12 artists featured in the Tanah Air Ku showcase at the Malaysian Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It was organised by Galeri Chandan and all the works belong to the Embassy. In July-August 2016, his work also made it to the Curate Henry Butcher exhibition called A Raya Celebration Of Generations In Art, and in January 2018, The Young Contempo Showcase II (organised by Curate Henry Butcher) held at Galeri Prima. Just like the artwork title, and the painting itself, his first debut in Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction sale in April 2018, saw his pricing skyrocketed. He seems poised, Ready To Go!
Dimensions: 153cm x 122cm
Artist or Maker: ISMAIL AWI
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Provenance: Private collection, Selangor
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