B. Johor, 1950
Siri Tari 1989, 1989
Signed and dated “Yusof Ghani 89” on lower right
Signed, titled and dated on the reverse
Mixed media on canvas
122 x 122 cm
Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
Yusof Ghani’s obsession and fascination for dance sprouted after he submitted his thesis and painting for his master’s degree – Dance: A Cultural Statement – in 1982 in the US. He then combined the gestures of dance and bits and pieces from his Protest series, which gave birth to the Tari series. It is said that the disorder and arbitrariness of the dance is the artist’s way of commenting on social issues, on the disparity in life that causes constant chaos. Although many have said that the paintings from the Tari series come off as calm, graceful and airy but the true meaning is just the opposite.
Despite how elegant this painting of dancing looks, it was never intended to be graceful. The lines and sketches on this artwork were executed freely and spontaneously in a frenzied and haphazard manner. It is perhaps, the play of colours, that gives this painting that polished, fluid air.
Yusof Ghani was born in 1950 in Johor and used to frequent a small movie theater as a young boy, where he developed a predisposition towards painting. He received a scholarship to study art at George Mason University, USA, where he studied Graphic Art and proceeded to pursue his Master’s in Fine Art at Catholic University, Washington. Upon returning to Malaysia, he began lecturing in Universiti MARA Institute of Technology. Most notably known for Abstract Expressionism, his other popular series are Topeng, Wayang, Segerak and Biring.