b. India, 1943
SHAIK ABU TALIB
SPRING HARVEST, 1990
Signed and dated 'Syed Thajudeen 90' lower left
Oil on canvas
85cm x 85cm
Private collection, Singapore;
acquired through Galeri Citra, Kuala Lumpur.
ESTIMATE RM 18,000 - 25,000
PRICE REALISED RM 13,200
It is rare to have a convergence of the fecundity of man, animal and land, as evident in this early pastoral piece by Syed Thajudeen. Here, a nubile woman is bent over in the traditionally back-breaking job of harvesting the padi stalks, which symbolises fertility. Nothing like the human touch and a carefree spirit of doing even the most menial of things with no heavy machinery that dispenses with mass labour. In the background, two bovines are making love. In agrarian societies, the women work just as hard and this is an ode to the old ways of life, when everything was simpler, and also to women who are often put on the pedestal as companion, love goddess, Mother Earth.
Syed Thajudeen studied at the Government College of Arts and Crafts, and graduated with a Diploma in Painting (1968 to 1973) and a Post-Graduate Diploma (1973 to 1974). On his return, he held his first solo at the Penang State Museum and Art Gallery in 1975. Syed’s distinctive style and aesthetic sense draws inspiration from his Indian background as well as traditional painting styles. His works involve a particularly romantic treatment of subject matter, revolving around love, and contains rich colours that are linked with Indian medieval paintings. His is particularly fond of stories of the trysts of Krishna and Radha, and epic ‘murals’ of the Malacca Sultanate and Independence struggles.