Description: This must be one of the most interesting works of Yusof Ghani’s most touted Siri Tari, coming at the tailend of the reprise on 1991-1993. The influence or inspiration must have come soon and possibly subconsciously after an exhibition in Tokyo. Siri Tari started in 1985 culminating with a solo exhibition at Galeri Citra, Kuala Lumpur, in 1989. While Yusof Ghani may not have absorbed or understood the intricacies of the centuries-old dance-drama tradition of the Japanese, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists in 2005. Kabuki, one of the three great Japanese cultural treasures besides Noh and Bunraku, can be traced back to the Edo Period (also known as the Tokugawa period, from 1603 to 1868). While the accoutrements of the Kabuki costumes may not be evident in Yusof’s abstract forms, the dramatic gestures seem glossed over four segments. It is not the kind of dance one envisioned with vigorous movements or symbolic mudras but one simply about practised gestures. Neither is there any hint of what the particular Kabuki story is referred to, like the 48 Ronins or other stories. It is interesting to note that John Lee Joo For, Datuk Ibrahim Hussein, Latiff Mohidin also had done a Kabuki work, so it looks as if it’s something de rigueur. Fresh from his Segerak VI – Transcendent Figures solo in London in April last year, Yusof Ghani is taking his Segerak works next to Madrid, Spain, in April-May, called Bendera: Spirit Of Celebration.Yusof Ghani worked as an artist-illustrator at the Agriculture Ministry (1967), instructor in the Fisheries Institute, Penang (1971) and a graphic artist at Radio-Television Malaysia (1977) before he got a scholarship to obtain his BFA at the George Mason University in the United States (1981), and MFA at the Catholic University in Washington, USA (1983). On his return, he lectured at the Universiti ITM with the rank of Associate Professor. But he is better known for his series of paintings – Tari, Topeng, Wayang, Hijau, Segerak, Biring, Wajah and Ombak. His Tapak Gallery and studio organised the Shah Alam Biennale involving artists from 15 countries in 2016. In April 2017, Yusof Ghani made his London debut with an exhibition, Segerak VI – Transcendent Figures, at the Asia House, and the show was well received.
Dimensions: 122cm x 122cm
Artist or Maker: YUSOF GHANI
Medium: Oil on canvas
Provenance: Private collection, Selangor
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