b. Johor, 1965
DEVI AT REST, 1996
Signed and dated ‘J Anurendra ‘96’ lower right
Oil on board
45cm x 60cm
Private collection, Kuala Lumpur.
Men On Women, Institute of Accountants, Kuala Lumpur, 1996.
ESTIMATE RM 8,000 - 12,000
PRICE REALISED RM 12,100
|Devi at Rest has that lazy, malingering afternoon feel but with a decidedly sensual ring. That is Anurendra Jegadeva, or simply J. Anu, the absolute maharaja of the visual language. J. Anu has certainly become one of the most refreshing artists from the Malaysian art scene, with subtle yet critical representations of his Sri Lankan Tamil heritage – culture and tradition, politics, social conventions and changes. He has raised the attention of many since his first solo at the Civic Centre in Petaling Jaya in 1992. A series of provocative narratives of ‘painted stories’ followed thereafter highlighting social commentaries such as identity and culture, liberation theology in Sri Lanka, women and migrant condition.
J. Anu is unashamedly figurative, though his first solo in 1992 did not leave a long lasting impression to some, his flurry of solos after he returned from his seven-year Australian stint since 1999 are truly breath taking, to say the least – culminating in two of the most significant socio-historical and cultural parodies in My God Is My Truck and Finding Graceland: New Landscapes from the Great State of Perak , both at Wei-Ling Gallery in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Here, Devi - an exalted name of divine status - is shown in the flesh, sleeping in a diagonal spread over the canvas and head to the viewer, her white choli (blouse) blending with the crumpled white sheets. J Anu is a multi-talented artist with twenty years of experience as an art journalist. He is also a notable art-critic who read law at London University in 1993. He had a brief stint at Galeri Petronas as an art curator. Following a Foundation in Art and Design at Oxford Polytechnic in 1986, he pursued Doctoral studies in Art Theory and Practice in London. He had also spent seven years in Australia after obtaining his Masters in Fine Art at the Monash University in Melbourne. J Anu has participated in numerous exhibitions since 1996 with his paintings having graced the walls of the National Art Gallery, Galeri Petronas, Rimbun Dahan, Valentine Willie Fine Art and Wei-Ling Gallery. He has participated in group shows abroad such as Experiences at Hill-Smith Fine Art in Adelaide, Australia (1999), 18@8: Contemporary Artists from Malaysia & Beyond, a collaborative exhibition between Wei-Ling Gallery and Amin Gulgee Gallery in Karachi, Pakistan (2006), as well as in China International Gallery Exposition at the China World Trade Centre in 2008. He recently held his first solo show in Singapore titled Letters to Mr. Hitler, New Works on Paper, Shopping Bags and Other Odds and Ends at The Arts House in October 2012.