Lot 026

b. Negeri Sembilan, 1941


Signed, dated and inscribed 'A.L 64 LENGGENG' (lower right)
Ink on paper
19cm x 13cm

Private Collection, Penang; acquired directly from the artist.

ESTIMATE  RM 15,000 - 20,000

When Abdul Latiff Mohidin returned from Germany, he unleashed one of the most defining art at the time and of the region. The Pago-Pago series is a synthesis of forms inspired by ancient monuments in Southeast Asia infused with nature as the notation in this work suggesting a cactus personification. The genesis of Pago-Pago already started in West Germany. As Latiff is to comment on hindsight, much later: “I realise in the structure of forms, in a number of paintings and sketches I made around 1963 to 1964 in Berlin (far from the tropical scene), there were already hints and foreshadowing of forms resembling the pointed shapes of bamboo clumps, pandanus leaves, fishing boats, shells, hills, even tapering outlines of balconies, mosque-minarets and stupa-pagodas. Already there were the curves of yam leaves, river pebbles, wells … bivalve shells and domes … and the colours of the land…” It moved Peggy Crawford Singhalaka’s comment in her review of Latiff’s exhibition in Bangkok in the Bangkok Post (Sept 8, 1965), glossing over the “vitality tempered with serious thought and contemplation of visual experiences….”

Abdul Latiff Mohidin casts a giant shadow in the world of art and literature. He was the youngest Malaysian artist to be accorded a Retrospective by the National Art Gallery in 1973, and was granted an incredible second Retrospective in 2012 to 2013 showcasing more than 300 works in various media over six decades. He received his art training at the Hochschule fur Bildende Kunst in Berlin (1960 - 1964). On his return, he made his famous tour of Southeast Asia including Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia. He won Second Prize (Graphic) in the 1968 Salon Malaysia. He advanced his studies in printmaking at the Atelier La Courrier in Paris (French Ministry scholarship, 1969) and the Pratt Institute in New York (John D. Rockefeller III scholarship, 1969). He is also a published poet with books including Sungai Mekong (1971), Kembara Malam (1974), Serpihan Dari Pendalaman (1979), Pesisir Waktu (1981), and Sajak-Sajak Dinihari (1996). He won the Malaysian Literary Awards consecutively from 1972 to 1976 and again in 1984 and 1986, and the coveted SEA Write Award in Bangkok (1984). He was Guest Writer of the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka in 1988, a Creative Fellow at Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1977, and a guest artist at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in 1980. He was also the founder and guiding spirit of the artist’s co-operative, Anak Alam (Children of Nature). His last major series of exhibitions were Rimba (1998), Voyage (2007) and Serangga (2013).

Pago-Pago to Gelombang: 40 Years of Latiff Mohidin, Singapore Art Museum, 1994.     
L.I.N.E. Latiff Mohidin: From Point To Point,
Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Kuala Lumpur, 1993 (translated by Adibah Amin).
Garis Latiff Mohidin: Works on Paper – From Berlin to Samarkand, 2004.