Lot 105

b. Johor, 1955


Signed and dated 'Ahmad Zakii Anwar 03' (lower right)
Inscribed 'Legong' (lower left)
Charcoal on paper
75cm x 55cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur.

ESTIMATE  RM 10,000 - 15,000

One of the many classical dances hailing from the Island of Gods, Legong is a sophisticated form of art that is defined by the intricacy of finger movements, complex footwork and expressive gestures as well as facial expressions that pay particular attention to the motions of the eyes. Traditionally performed by pre-adolescent girls and in sync with gamelan music, Legong dance has been highly developed since its origination in the 19th century as royal entertainment and now maintains its cultural form as a ceremonial performance.

Here, Ahmad Zakii Anwar captures a female dancer dressed in traditional Balinese attire adorned with a headdress poised in a still from the Legong choreography. The side profile illustration reveals the firm posture of the dancing figure as seen by the curve of her arched back and the position of her arms. The mythical yet sensuous dance radiates calmness as displayed in her facial expression. Partially shaded, the decisive contours of the Legong dancer reveal the bodily movement of the act, showing Zakii’s flair in executing the medium of charcoal.

From a successful advertising background, Ahmad Zakii Anwar switched fulltime to fine art in the early 1990s and has become a master of Urban Realism. A graduate of Graphic Design in the Mara Institute of Technology in 1977, he made a great impact with the Smoker series in his first solo in 1997. Zakii came to attention with his virtuosity and command of a spectrum of media from charcoals to oils, building a reputation for stunning photorealist still-life paintings and expressive portraits. His career milestones were noted in 2007 when he joined the premier ranks in the artist’s workshop project at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute, as well as a mid-career survey exhibition Disclosure held at Galeri Petronas, Kuala Lumpur in 2008. In recent years, he has had a number of notable exhibitions abroad such as Bones and Sinews, Andrewshire Gallery (USA , 2011), Kota Sunyi, C.P. Art Space (Indonesia, 2007), Shadowland, Plum Blossoms Gallery (Hong Kong, 2001) and Presence, Barbara Greene Fine Art (USA , 1999).