Lot 028

b. Kuala Lumpur, 1951


Signed and dated 'NormaAbbas.Aug.2005' (lower right)
Mixed media collage on canvas
115cm x 115cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur;
acquired through Galeri Tangsi Contemporary Art,
Kuala Lumpur in 2007

ESTIMATE  RM 25,000 - 35,000

Puan Sri Norma Abbas’ works may look simple and the subjects flighty but they are really a sophisticated package with great psychological insights and almost always infused with printmaking techniques like monoprint and collage. Her works are based on human relationships especially of those whom she encounters - family, relatives, close friends and always in an intimate atmosphere of chatter often in the living room or perhaps in the garden. Intertwined in her body of work is a pursuit of her roots in her irregular series called Indo-Connection since 1995. While the physiques may be exaggerated – heavily mascaraed eyes with prominent lashes, luscious lips, big bosoms, intimate portraits of life, it is not to caricature them but is used for a touch of impish humour. The title of this work seems to be borrowed from a line of The Beatles song, Let It Be, composed by John Lennon. In a 1996 interview she said: “The paintings on the wall are all about my family and people I am in contact with. I wait for the point of contact, that candid moment… I capture it in my heart and I go home and paint… I find the raw being very direct. That’s why I like lovely raw colours. I do mix my colours but I still go back to the raw and pure every time… I find using collage gives life to what to interpret. It makes my figures breathe L-I-F-E.”
Puan Sri Norma Abbas was educated in public schools in Barnes and Kensington in London before she resumed her secondary education at the Convent of Holy Jesus Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Then she took up art studies at the Mara Institute of Technology, with a pre-Diploma Foundation Studies (1968 - 1969), and followed it with a BA in Printed and Woven Textiles at the Manchester Polytechnic School of Art, England (1972 - 1975) and a MA in Autographics Printmaking at the Chelsea School of Art, London (1981 - 1982).  She worked briefly as head of department in packaging and graphics in a local printing company from 1984 to 1987 and has been a full-time artist since