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Lot 14 | Auction XVIII

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LOT 14

YUSOF GHANI

B. Johor, 1950

Topeng 59, 1996

Signed, titled and dated “Yusof Ghani Topeng 96” on bottom of paper

Mixed media on paper
74.5 x 55 cm

Provenance Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur

RM 8,000 – RM 15,000

“I found masks interesting as they could be used as motifs in paintings to make a cultural statement – about ceremony and rituals. They can also be used to preserve our slowly eroding local cultures and offer opportunities for a social commentary on human pretensions and falsehoods.”

All that was inspired by Yusof Ghani’s trips to Sarawak in 1988 and 1991, where he was exposed to the many sides of Kenyah and Kayan masks. Although this seems controlled and orchestrated, it was born out of jagged, uninhibited strokes of the brush that eventually made way for these solid, structured and bold forms intensified by thick outlines. It is tense, and it may as well be the interpretation of how we view ourselves as we put on masks for the real world to see. It is meaningful just by glancing, as the audience is able to lose themselves in this piece, exploring face after face and mask after mask.

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