Lot 095

b. Perak, 1984

BONEKA, 2008

Signed and dated ‘Samsudin Wahab’ (lower right)
Mixed media on canvas
122cm x 137cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur.

Enough!, Gallerie Taksu, Kuala Lumpur, 2008;
illustrated on exhibition catalogue page 4 and 5.

ESTIMATE  RM 15,000 - 18,000

Two masculine figures dressed in plain vest singlet with revolver heads facing each other at point blank range are depicted here in the act of arm wrestle. Anxiety strikes as the sight of wire pulley attaching each revolver trigger to an arm gives the viewer a dreaded thought that the fight may end tragically. Three dark cupids with angel wings hovering around the figures like flies - observing the match with their bow and arrow in ready-to-shoot position - as if the fate of the participants fall in their hands. The dramatic clouds in the background exude theatricality in the play of politics as the word ‘Boneka’ (puppet) reads on the banner below. The canvas is painted in warm reddish-brown and monochromatic dark tones finished off with a layer of bitumen to achieve an archival sepia effect.

One of Malaysia’s most exciting contemporary artists, Samsudin Wahab creates large scale works in a surreal manner conveying his concerns over “issues of conspiracy, social power, and governmental control over the masses”. His subject matter of politics and social commentary is depicted with high intellect and wit, displaying a concoction of digital iconography, comic book and tattoo-styled imagery to form and to derive from an elusive fantasy. A graduate from UiTM Seri Iskandar Perak in 2005, he then obtained his degree in Printmaking with a Bachelor (Hons) in Fine Art from UiTM, Shah Alam in 2007. He held his first solo exhibition titled Enough! in 2008 where this piece was displayed. He was the recipient of the Malaysian Emerging Artist Award in 2008 which granted him a solo show titled Not Enough in Kuala Lumpur in 2010. He participated in an artist residency programme at Rimbun Dahan from 2009 to 2010. He belongs to the experimental sound and performance group SO sound. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Malaysia, Denmark and Korea since 2003 with his recent participation at Art Stage Singapore in 2013 that displayed his epic piece titled Spectacular (2012).