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Lot 042

b. Selangor, 1975


Metal on natural stone
32cm x 37cm x 30cm

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur; acquired through Metro Fine
Art, Kuala Lumpur.

Dendam Tak Sudah, Metro Fine Art Gallery, 2009; illustrated on exhibition catalogue pages 16 and 41.

ESTIMATE  RM 14,000 - 18,000

Mat Ali Mat Som had stated: “A true warrior is always at war; a true pacifist is never at peace.” This is an intrinsic human trait of power, possession and dominance since time immemorial. Mat Ali will inevitably be compared to Raja Shahriman Azzidin though his works are tuned more towards Realism. The hardened sinewy limbs with the thrust of violence are apparent what more with the character wielding a keris. Contrary to popular belief, the keris which is said to have mystical supernatural powers, was never part of the silat repertoire nor was it meant as a killing tool though the way the blade is shaped by the empu masters points otherwise. Having made his first rudimentary keris after watching a TV documentary. Mat Ali is himself a silat exponent. Like Raja Shahriman and Amron Omar dealing with silat, the battle is more internalised - an endless burning battle to resolve conflicts and achieve one’s end through brute force. Here, the fighter is shown with one hand and one knee resting on the stone slab as a fulcrum to spring into a lethal attack. His works are forged in an alloy of tin, aluminium, zinc and iron as well as natural stone pedestals that form an integral part of his work.

In his Dendam Tak Sudah exibition catalogue, Professor Dr. Zakaria Ali wrote: “Kilau Tok Peran is another crouching figure keeping his breast close to the ground, or the rock, whose gradient body adapts to. His right knee is bent on high, pripping an unsteady position, while his left leg stretches back, kneeling, keeping the balance. This lowering of the posture is a deception, a ploy to catch his foe unawareness. Such posture enables him to scan his foe’s intentions, ready to counter any sudden moves. His own intentions, however, are no less exposed because no matter which ever way he moves, there are a set of counter moves awaiting him, as cautious as they are steely. Both share the same aim: to disable the other.”

Mat Ali obtained his BFA at UiTM in 1997. His recognition includes winning Third Prize in the Kuala Lumpur Sculpture Contest and an Honourable Mention in the Phillip Morris Malaysia Art Awards, Kuala Lumpur. Since 2009, Mat Ali has had a number of shows at prominent galleries in Malaysia. He participated in Young and New at House of Matahati in 2009 and later that year had his solo Dendam Tak Sudah at Metro Fine Art Gallery. Other shows included Artriangle at National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur in 2010, while 2012 has been Ali’s busiest, showing his works at A Meter Diameter at House of Matahati, Lineage at Art Accent Gallery, Pameran Pelukis Selangor at Galeri Shah Alam as well as at the grand opening of Rosella Gallery in Singapore.