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Lot 10

b. Perak, 1967


Steel on plywood
36cm x 25cm x 14cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur;
acquired through Pelita Hati Gallery of Art.

ESTIMATE  RM 3,500 - 4,000

The changes in Raja Shahriman’s sculptures are best summed up by art critic-artist Wong Hoy Cheong: “In this exhibition, Gerak Tempur, the sculptures have evolved to become more human. The wounds have finally healed. Now the bodies are fully realised, they have limbs and they are capable of movement. They have become, to all intents and purposes, human. Like humans, these sculptures hold and wield their weapons in attack, defence and triumph. Like humans, they have consciousness and assume psychological states, in thoughtful repose, in calculation to lunge forward in stoic glory. But none projects defeat. Perhaps, like the artist struggling to understand his work, himself and his religion, there must be no defeat.”

For the artist, inner struggles hold the key to happiness and success for one cannot expect to engage outside forces if the self is weak and lacks faith. The sculpture protruding from the frame on the wall is a phantom that has to be exorcised and tamed. For there to be order in the world, the self has to be at peace.

Raja Shahriman broke the gentility or kehalusan of the Malay psyche when he presented his Killing Tools steel works to the public in the exhibition, War Box, Lalang and Killing Tools in 1996. The stark aggression in those works was toned down by the time of his Nafas (Breath) exhibition. Calling himself a ‘blacksmith’, Raja Shahriman graduated from the Mara Institute of Technology in 1990 and taught at the Malaysian Institute of Art. In 1992, he won the Minor Award at Salon Malaysia. His monumental metal sculpture, Growth With Equity, stands in Taman Wawasan on Jalan Sultan Sulaiman in Kuala Lumpur.


Gerak Tempur, Pelita Hati Gallery of Art, Kuala Lumpur, 1996.