BAYU UTOMO RADJIKIN
b. Sabah, 1969
Signed and dated 'Bayu Utomo Radjikin 2010' (lower centre)
Mixed media on canvas
230cm x 166cm
Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur;
acquired directly from the artist.
Al Kesah: Once Upon A Time In Malaysia,
White Box, MAP, Kuala Lumpur, 2010.
ESTIMATE RM 60,000 - 80,000
PRICE REALISED RM 60,500
|There is a warrior spirit lodged in every one of us, in having the courage to face up to life’s challenges at some critical point in our life. For Bayu Utomo Radjikin, the warrior personified in his image is a role-play that evokes perhaps the Hang Tuah mythos of one who stood for justice and righteousness, and also on another level, that as an agent of change through the medium of art. Derived from Bayu’s Questing For A Warrior series, this piece is set with a blue backdrop which adds a touch of melancholy and deep psychic portent, matching the intense fire in his eyes as if the warrior is on the brink of a decisive action. His Warrior series is a journey of self with a lot of shadow boxing involved with the action being played out in his mind. There is more muscle-flexing in his earlier works such as the armless sculptures with the bellicose screams of anger and frustrations as in the prize-winning Bujang Berani and the subsequent Lang Kacang (now in the Singapore Art Museum collection). They represent symbols of abject alienation of cultures, traditions and tribal history.
When Bayu Utomo Radjikin produced his warrior sculptures around the time he graduated from the Mara Institute of Technology, with a BA (Sculpture Major) in Fine Arts in 1991, it ran against the grain of the infusion of Islamic values and practice in the then Mahathir Administration (since 1984). He is the de facto leader of the seminal artist’s co-operative called Matahati which had its defining moment in the exhibition For Your Pleasure in 2006. It was a double blessing for Bayu in 1991 when he graduated with a BA (Sculpture Major) from the Mara Institute of Technology and also clinched the Major Award in the Young Contemporary Artists exhibition. There was a third reason to celebrate – he won the Special Award in the One World – No War competition in 1991. He followed this up with a Minor Award in the Salon Malaysia in 1991. Bayu has also done stage designs and founded the gallery cum artist’s residency space called House of Matahati, which also initiated the Malaysian Emerging Artists Awards.