RAPHAEL SCOTT AHBENG
B. Sarawak, 1939
Signed and dated “RSA 08, SOLACE” on lower right
Oil on canvas
78.5 x 74 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
Raphael Scott Ahbeng has a particularly strong, individualist persona. He is mostly recognised for his energetic depictions of the Sarawakian rainforests and his bizarre interpretation of nature, making him distinct from his contemporaries. His abstract perspective of nature is not only robust, but also unusual and odd to those who are used to naturalistic ways of painting them. The canvas is decorated through heavy, forceful movements of the brush, creating an impactful piece that cannot be overlooked. It is loud; it is vigorous and filled with artistic value.
This variation of nature just seems to pull the viewer in, coaxing them to take a longer look, as there are many more colours to discover and to get acquainted with. Perhaps this is how Raphael Scott AhBeng sees plants, leaves and flowers collectively he sees them as having their own aura, their own colour and own shapes in spite of their original and natural colour.