Abdul Latiff Mohidin
B. N. Sembilan, 1941
Pago-Pago Sculpture, 1970
74 x 37 x 35.5 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
Formerly in the Private Collection of Angela and Hijjas Kasturi
RM 180,000 – RM 360,000
“In painting, I can be an expressionist, in my sketches I can be very impressionistic, but in sculpture, it should be solid, concrete and possibly a lot of smoothness, in the sense that it’s polished. So, you see in sculpture, if I could have done it in wood, for example, I would polish, polish, polish; or with stone, I would polish, so as to make it more concrete. So, that’s how it happened in sculpture, especially coming out from organic matter.” – Latiff Mohidin
Given the fact that Latiff Mohidin’s most iconic body of works – the Pago-Pago series – lends it birth to stupas, pagodas and chedis in Southeast Asia, it is no wonder that he would create solid artworks following his works on paper and canvases. It is the Pago-Pago series that won him critical acclaim as one of Malaysia and Southeast Asia’s most important modern artists. This series brought about primitive and tribal essences into his works, and the artist recalls his travels to Thailand and Indochina as being the key development and inspiration to his work in this series, and he had finally decided on creating actual sculptures dedicated to these places that had inspired him.
Born in 1941, Latiff started painting at an early age and by 10 he was holding his first exhibition at Kota Raja Malay School in Singapore, and was dubbed in the local press as the “boy wonder”. He is well-known as a poet as well. He was trained in art at Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste in Germany, Atelier La Courriere in France and Pratt Graphic Centre in America. Among the honours and awards he has received are the Salon Malaysia’s 1968 second prize in Graphic Design and the Malaysian Literary Awards for four years in a row, the National Literary Award in 1984 and 1986 and the Southeast Asian Writers Award in 1984 for writing.