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Lot 008

b. Sabah, 1956


Signed and dated ' A Damit 96' lower right
Mixed media on canvas
92cm x 99cm

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur.

ESTIMATE  RM 8,000 - 12,000
AWANG Damit Ahmad’s works in the Marista phase (Alun-Alun Ke Marista, 1996-2002) takes on a refined vein with decisive streaks of symbolic shapes and forms. The earthy tones define assimilation with landscape of nature. Essence of Culture (EOC /Intipati Budaya, 1985 to 1996), his launching pad, was more a nostalgic lark, playful even, of his childhood in Kuala Penyu in Sabah. The theme of Awang’s works is based on Brunei’s Malay language words Alun-Alun which translates “a small winding path” and Marista that means “to talk about the past”. The artist encapsulates Alun-Alun Ke Marista as a recollection of his life experience: “Contextually the Marista series is a journey of the self, searching for an active, constructive, and progressive aspect of culture. It reveals a complex and ambiguous yet controlled painting within the duality of figuration and abstraction, being both intimate and expressionistic. Imagery from everyday life and essence of childhood experiences become integral and determine the potential visual structures.” A major Marista exhibition of 70 works was held at the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur in 2002.

Awang Damit Ahmad came into the national limelight when his work was selected for the travelling Malaysian Paintings exhibition in Pasadena, USA in 1988. He had shown early promise when his work won Minor Award in the Young Contemporary Artists competition in 1984. A graduate with a Diploma in Art and Design at the Mara Institute of Technology in 1979, he studied for his Masters at Catholic University, Washington, USA in 1990. He won Second Prize in the Malaysia Bank Association art competition in 1988. In 1992, a work from his EOC series titled Farmer’s Song clinched the Painting Prize at the coveted 3rd Salon Malaysia. He also received Honourable Mention at the 1994 and 1995 Philip Morris Malaysia Art Awards.

Essence of Culture 1985 -1995, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, 1995.
Alun-Alun Ke Marista: Awang Damit Ahmad 1996-2002 (Path to Marista), National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, 2002.