b. Kedah, 1962
ITIK PULANG PETANG III, 2009
Signed and dated 'Zulkifli 09' lower right
Acrylic on canvas
121.9cm x 91.4cm
Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
Zulkifli Yusoff: A Historical Survey 1996-2009, Art Salon@SENI, Kuala Lumpur and The Art Gallery, Penang, 2010, illustrated on page 26.
ESTIMATE RM 7,000 - 10,000
PRICE REALISED RM 9,900
The swagger and waggle of the itik (ducks) are used by Zulkifli Yusoff to comment on the lenggang-lenggok (seductive sway) of the gait of nubile Malay woman. During the Melayu Pop era of the 1960s, Malay woman wore tight figure-hugging kebayas. Visions of the curvaceous singer Saloma come to mind as well as the melodious strains of P. Azmi’s Nona Singapura. The lyrics of this song, in part, read: “Macam itik pulang petang dia jalan melenggang
. Bibirnya merah bak delima merekah.
Kain tinggi sebelah betisnya membayang .
Itu dia Nona Singapura, itu dia Nona Singapura.”
For all the irony, a feeling of nostalgia comes through strongly. Imprints of duck motifs in different pastel hues are plentiful and the one on the top right leaves its footprints all over. Psychedelic array of love symbols are featured, some of which have morphed into diamonds. Images vie with text excerpted from the song and arranged randomly, while the head of a typical Malay female entertainer is replicated and hidden, either in parts or behind a curtain of crossed lines. The duck analogy is not disparaging on Malay women who represent tradition and old values, but may indirectly be scorning the modern day dressing of the young.
Zulkifli is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Art in Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Tanjung Malim, Perak. He won the National Academic Award (Visual Arts) in 2007. He made a dramatic comeback with his exhibition titled Icons at Wei Ling Gallery, Kuala Lumpur in 2008 after an eight-year hiatus to concentrate on his teaching work. He did his Masters at Manchester Polytechnic, England in 1991, after his Diploma at Mara Institute of Technology in 1989. His first career peak was when he clinched the Grand Minister’s Prize and Major Award for Sculpture at the 3rd Salon Malaysia in 1992, after winning the Major Award for the Young Contemporary Artists Competition in 1988 and 1989. He was selected for the 1st Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art exhibition in Brisbane in 1993 and exhibited at the Venice Biennale fringe in 1997. He also took part in the Seychelles Biennale in 1992 and was in the Malaysian team that won 2nd Prize in the Sand Sculpture Hong Kong Competition in 1988.
South East Asian Art Today, Roeder Publications, 1992.
Powerful Dialogue: The Art of Zulkifli Yusoff, The Art Gallery, Penang, 2000.
Zulkifli Yusoff: Icons, Wei-Ling Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, 2008.