Lot 106

b. Perak, 1967


94.5cm x 32.5 x 28cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur.

Semangat Besi, Galeri Petronas, Kuala Lumpur, 2001.

ESTIMATE  RM 6,000 - 10,000

Derived from Raja Shahriman’s Semangat Besi series, this piece is the result of the artist’s keen interest in the use of scrap metal, twisting and bending it to mimic some kind of human gestures menacing with its sharp points with the clawlike ribs or as he puts it, “exploring the layering and folding of different types of besi, not only for making keris and swords, but also for sculptures”. This may be less violent and more graceful than his earlier works, but he rough and raw edge is still present with a little pent-up anger. As artist-critic-historian Wong Hoy Cheong had written for an earlier exhibition of his: “The angst so prevalent in (Raja) Shahriman’s works cannot be understood purely as specific and isolated personal historical experiences of the artist. His experiences must be seen within the larger picture of socio-political developments in Malaysia and how they have affected the society, particularly the Malay society.”

Raja Shahriman Raja Aziddin broke the gentleness or kehalusan of the Malay psyche when he unveiled his ‘Killing Tool’ steel works to the world in the exhibition War Box, Lalang and Killing Tools in 1996. The stark aggression has simmered by the time of his Nafas exhibition. Raja Shahriman’s bloodline leads to Sultan Abdullah who was exiled to the Seychelles after the assassination of J.W.W. Birch. A self-proclaimed blacksmith, Raja Shahriman graduated from University Mara Institute of Technology, majoring in Sculpture in 1990 and taught at the Malaysian Institute of Art for a spell. In 1992, he won the Minor Award in the Salon Malaysia. He represented Malaysia at the 2nd Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Brisbane in 1996, and received the Asia Pacific Cultural Industry Award in 2009. His monumental metal sculpture Growth With Equity stands in Taman Wawasan in Jalan Sultan Sulaiman in Kuala Lumpur.