Lot 131

Abdul Latiff Mohidin
b. Negeri Sembilan, 1941

Memory Of Loyang I, 2005

signed and dated (lower center)
oil on canvas
137 x 162cm

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur

ESTIMATE RM 250,000 – 450,000
Loyang (or Luoyang), in central China’s Henan province, is the cradle of Chinese civilisation having served as the capital to some 13 dynasties. It is smacked in the Silk Route bridging several continental land masses, East and West, and is home to ancient Buddhist statues especially in the Longmen Grottoes. It is part of Latiff Mohidin’s Chinoserie peregrinations resulting in works like Tao Landscape and South of the River (Exile of Li-Po), honouring poet-philosopher Lao Tze, and Li Po being the romantic Tang poet. Latiff, himself a decorated poet, is enamoured with ancient homilies and discoveries like Angkor Wat (the source of his Pago-Pago series) and Samarkhand. Post-Rimba, these are as much a journey of the mind, of the pilgrim as a pesisir waktu (passenger of time), the title of one of his poems, with the renditions of figures and space as apparitions, signifying the passage of time. The appellations are formless yet suggestive of nebulous shapes, a trinket of life or object without any real meanings, yet embodying some truths swept in the wind. Echoes from the past resounding from the cavernous hollows.

A national treasure in paint, print (printmaking), bronze (sculpture) and letters (poet, essayist and translator in three languages — Malay, English and German), Latiff Mohidin hit a career peak in art when his celebrated Pago-Pago Series (1960-1969) headlined a three-month exhibition at the prestigious Pompidou Centre in Paris from February 2018. He was awarded a major Retrospective by the National Art Gallery in December 2012 to June 2013, his second. He studied at the Hochschule fur Bildende Kunst in West Berlin. His international awards included the John D. Rockefeller III Fellowship to study at Pratt Institute (1965) and the French scholarship to study printmaking at the Atelier Lacouriere-Frelaut in Paris (1969). Locally, he won 2nd Prize (Graphics) in the 1968 Salon Malaysia. In literature, his awards included the SEA Write Award (1984 and 1986) and the Malaysian Literary Awards from 1972 to 1976.