AWANG DAMIT AHMAD
B. Sabah, 1956
Payarama “Jenang Waktu”, 2012
Signed and dated on the reverse
Artist, title, date, medium and dimensions inscribed on the reverse
Mixed media on canvas
122 x 122 cm
Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
RM 50,000 – RM 80,000
At first impression, the abstractism in this piece of art evokes an almost morose-like feeling to it. Its bold, potent splatter of colours seem like a reflection and lament of the past, of something long gone, something one remembers with a tinge of bitterness.
Awang Damit Ahmad does usually base his abstract art on the emotional and nostalgic memories of his childhood pastimes and places from the past that he holds dear to his heart, declaring, “I am inspired by my childhood experiences, working experiences and my father’s background as a fisherman and farmer.”
This piece brings about a contemplative spirit – it is sombre and despondent, serious but earthy at the same time, a motif often used by the artist. The abstraction Awang Damit employs to create shapes and bits of patterns are all symbolic, and the way he arranges these shapes and patterns are arbitrary – all of which are derived from his personal observations and
Awang Damit discovered his love for art in the 70s during his travels around Sabah, during which he studied painting from other artists. Born in Kuala Penyu, Sabah in 1956, he came to Selangor in 1975 to join Telekom Malaysia as a technician at the age of 21 years. It was then that he made a decision to hone his painting skills, therefore quitting Telekom to study Diploma in Fine Arts in Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and Masters Degree in the United States. PETRONAS gallery has purchased a few of his artworks and one painting, the Nyanyian Petani Gunung, which won the 1991 Salon Malaysia Award. It is still displayed there today.