Lot 29

b. Indonesia, 1924 - d. Kuala Lumpur, 1995


Signed and dated 'HOESSEIN ENAS 1992' (lower right)
Oil on canvas
75.5cm x 100cm

Private Collection, Selangor; acquired through Sotheby’s Southeast Asian Paintings, Singapore, Lot 72, 1996.   

The Life and Art of Dato’ M. Hoessein Enas (23 June 1924 – 14 July 1995), The Art Gallery, 1999, page 57.

ESTIMATE  RM 80,000 - 100,000



Known as ‘The Man with the Golden Arm’, Mohd Hoessein Enas, Dato’ was a masterful portrait painter who not only portrayed the beautiful faces of the people but also captured their soul and emotion. He had gained recognition as an accomplished portrait painter in 1954, six years after migrating to Kuala Lumpur attracting the attention of Frank Sullivan, the former press secretary to Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj. He had also been commissioned to paint portraits of prominent figures such as former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, and members of the royal family.

Kelantanese Dancer is perhaps a depiction of the traditional Malay dance called Mak Yong, a performing art that incorporates ritual, dance, drama, song and traditional instrumental music in a captivating form of folk theatre. A woman is illustrated seated on the floor while performing the dance with grace and enthusiasm. A pair of musicians is seen on the far right playing the gendang (drum) and gamelan.

Dato’ Mohd. Hoessein Enas co-founded Angkatan Seni Rupa Indonesia in Medan and was its first president in 1944. He moved to Penang in 1948 and later to Kuala Lumpur when Frank Sullivan spotted him painting at Ayer Itam Temple. He received citizenship by the Federation of Malaya in 1956 and in the same year, he became the founder of Angkatan Pelukis Semenanjung (later SeMalaysia) in 1956 that he led until 1964. He was granted a UNESCO Fellowship and an Asia Foundation Grant in 1960, which allowed him a year of worldwide study tour to observe various countries’ development in art. Other grants included United States Fellowship (1968) and Colombo Plan Award (1968, 1976). He held his first solo exhibition at Charniel Gallery in Chelsea, London in 1960 and was honoured with a retrospective exhibition by National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur in 1966. He became a member of board for the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur from 1980 to 1989 and was conferred with the title of Royal Portrait Painter by His Majesty, the Sultan of Selangor in 1990. He received the title ‘Dato’ by the Sultan of Selangor the following year.



Pioneer Artists of Malaysia: Paintings of Pioneer Artists from Private Collections , Dr. Tan Chee Khuan, 1992.