RAPHAEL SCOTT AHBENG
B. Sarawak, 1939
Borneo Secret, 2014
Signed and dated “RSA, 14” on lower right
Acrylic on canvas
90 x 119 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
RM 8,000 – RM 12,000
It is known to whoever is familiar with Raphael Scott Ahbeng’s works that his interpretation of nature was different from the rest of his contemporaries.
They have been modified into something that is purely Ahbeng’s style – atypical and bizarre. These modifications, his reinterpretations are not unwelcome. In fact, they appeal to the eyes and the emotions. His visual renditions of Nature turn out to be a spectacular surge of colours, as seen in this piece. The elements of nature here are depicted in different colours, as if separated through categories. Another way Ahbeng’s works charm the viewer is through the subtle, meandering way it catches the eye. It does not give off an immediate reply to a question, but it beckons the viewer to come and dissect the hidden meaning and blend of colours.
Raphael Scott Ahbeng, a Bidayuh, hails from Sarawak and is one of the most prominent Borneo artists. He attended Bath Academy of Art in Britain, where he studied Art and Photography. He won the First Prize for the Sarawak Shell Open art competition in 1959, 1982 and 1983 Third Prize in the Natural Malaysia art competition in Kuala Lumpur in 1991.