AHMAD ZAKII ANWAR
b. Johor, 1955
BALINESE GIRLS, 1994
Signed and dated ‘Ahmad Anwar 94’ lower right
Acrylic on canvas
101.5cm x 76cm
Private collection, Kuala Lumpur.
Disclosure, Galeri Petronas, Kuala Lumpur, 2008,
illustrated on page 111.
ESTIMATE RM 35,000 - 45,000
PRICE REALISED RM 55,000
“...As far as my works are concerned, I have been criticised for painting ‘beautiful things’, for the balance and calmness which exists in my compositions... that it lacks anarchy. But the matter of ethics demands that I choose the good from the bad, understanding over confusion and order above anarchy. That doesn’t, however, mean that there is no anarchy in life.” – Ahmad Zakii Anwar
Ahmad Zakii Anwar has emerged as one of the most exciting, engaging and eloquent urban realist artists in the region with his captivating portrayal of the human figure. The Balinese Girls depicted appear tranquil and the presence of spirituality is inevitably felt. At a glance, the girls look identical with both being dressed alike possibly for the temple. The focus is on the enchanting rustic charms of the damsels who are likely to be sisters - one with stud earrings and hair skirting the ears right to the back and the other with dangling earrings and her hair neatly combed upwards. The appearance of symmetry alludes gracefulness. Their postures and body language show patience and calmness as they gaze out into space. The subtle nuances of colours and details here is comparable to a piece held in the collection of Rahime Harun titled Bali Dancer, a work by Zakii done in the same year that depicts a lone girl, seated in the same manner.
Bali has been a source of inspiration for many artists regardless of their faiths and beliefs and Zakii has been affected by the incredible cultural and spiritual essence of the island.
From a successful advertising background, Ahmad Zakii Anwar switched full-time to fine art in the early 1990s and has become a master of Urban Realism. A graduate of Graphic Design in the Mara Institute of Technology in 1977, he made a great impact with the Smoker series in his first solo in 1997. Zakii came to attention with his virtuosity and command of a spectrum of media from charcoals to oils, building a reputation for stunning photorealist still-life paintings and expressive portraits. His career milestones were noted in 2007 when he joined the premier ranks in the artist’s workshop project at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute, as well as a mid-career survey exhibition Disclosure held at Galeri Petronas, Kuala Lumpur in 2008. In recent years, he has had a number of notable exhibitions overseas such as Bones and Sinews, Andrewshire Gallery (USA, 2011), Kota Sunyi, C.P. Art Space (Indonesia, 2007), Shadowland, Plum Blossoms Gallery (Hong Kong, 2001) and Presence, Barbara Greene Fine Art (USA, 1999).
Distant Gamelan, Art Focus Gallery, Singapore, 1998.