AWANG DAMIT AHMAD
B. Sabah, 1956
Iraga “Dayung Patah”, 2006
Signed and dated on the reverse
Artist, title, date, medium and dimensions inscribed on the reverse
Mixed media on canvas
100 x 101 cm
Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
It takes you by surprise, this painting. Either that, or you will be stunned with bewilderment. This piece by Awang Damit Ahmad is heavy with emotion. One can tell that it is a very emotional painting, an angry one at that. The harsh brush strokes, the bold and livid colours seem to interest the viewers from the first look.
As an artist who finds inspirations from his childhood memories and reminiscing of the past, these may have transformed a bad memory, an angry memory into a painting on a canvas. In its entirety, this piece speaks of unsettlement, conflict or a certain kind antagonism. The whites could represent innocence, and it is slowly tarnished by the harsh blacks, greys and reds, incessantly ruining the spotlessness of the whites. For some, it may represent angst.
Born and brought up in Kuala Penyu, Sabah, he spent most of his teen years learning painting from various artists whilst traveling around the state. He initially came to Selangor to work as a technician for Telekom Malaysia, but found that art was something he truly was passionate about. He eventually left the telecommunications company, and took his Diploma in Fine Arts in Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and Masters Degree in the United States. A painting of his, Nyanyian Petani Gunung, won the 1991 Art Salon Malaysia Award. PETRONAS bought it and is, until this day, exhibited at the gallery.