Lot 113

b.Indonesia, 1924 - d. Kuala Lumpur, 1995


Signed and dated 'HOSSEIN '53' (lower right)
Oil on canvas
51cm x 41cm

Private Collection, UK.

Picture Exhibition, Arts Council of Malaya, October 1953

ESTIMATE  RM 40,000 - 60,000


“…As a portrait painter I feel the need to interpret the silent, latent, and unstated characteristics of a subject, to explore serenity if it be there, to analyse and bring to life hidden emotions and thoughts which lie waiting beneath the surface.”
– Mohd. Hoessein Enas, Dato’

Known as ‘The Man with the Golden Arm’, Mohd Hoessein Enas, Dato’ was a masterful portrait painter who not only portrayed the beautiful faces of the people but also captured their soul and emotion. Illustrated here is a portrait of a mature Malay man - distinguished by his features and attire – immaculately dressed in white traditional baju Melayu and black songkok. The artist has meticulously outlined the sitter’s wrinkled skin and white hair to truly depict age while his expression reflects a sincere sense of courageousness and heroism. Sourced from a private collection in the United Kingdom, this 1953 piece has been kept in pristine condition and has returned home for the viewing pleasure of the public for the very first time.

Mohd. Hoessein Enas, Dato’ co-founded Angkatan Seni Rupa Indonesia in Medan and was its first president in 1944. He moved to Penang in 1948 and later to Kuala Lumpur when Frank Sullivan spotted him painting at Ayer Itam Temple. He received citizenship by the Federation of Malaya in 1956 and in the same year, he became the founder of Angkatan Pelukis Semenanjung (later SeMalaysia) in 1956 that he led until 1964. He was granted a UNESCO Fellowship and an Asia Foundation Grant in 1960, which allowed him a year of worldwide study tour to observe various countries’ development in art. Other grants included United States Fellowship (1968) and Colombo Plan Award (1968, 1976). He held his first solo exhibition at Charniel Gallery in Chelsea, London in 1960 and was honoured with a retrospective exhibition by National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur in 1966. He became a member of board for the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur from 1980 to 1989 and was conferred with the title of Royal Portrait Painter by His Majesty, the Sultan of Selangor in 1990. He received the title ‘Dato’ by the Sultan of Selangor the following year.

Pioneer Artists of Malaysia: Paintings of Pioneer Artists from Private Collections, Dr. Tan Chee Khuan, 1992.