Lot 37 | 28 November 2021



LOT 37


B. Johor, 1950

A Festival of Masks, 1997

Signed “Yusof Ghani, 97” on lower right
Signed, titled and dated on the verso

Acrylic on canvas

121.5 x 137 cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur

RM 47,000 – RM 65,000

One might assume that this is a narration of Yusof Ghani’s ‘Topeng Series’, differing completely from his usual. Set in a backdrop of yellow, red and white, the masks seem as if its moving. First inspired by the masks of Kayan and Kenyah when Yusof Ghani visited Sarawak in 1988 and 1991 in which the cultural motifs played a major part in Yusof Ghani’s Siri Topeng. It merely is an expression of faces, combining oil on canvas in controlled structures, intensified by outlines which shows the artist’s effort in exploring new forms and visual approaches that are to the point, solid, structured and meaningful. The figure, seen as a formative generator and embodiment of movement is radically altered by Yusof Ghani. He dismantles and transforms them into planes of colour and curving lines. They are almost forceful, and at times, even awkward. The masks which started around 1993 took on more grotesque forms after he visited South Africa in 1994. It’s noteworthy that Yusof exhibited the Topeng-Wayang transition at the Jenkins Johnson Gallery in San Francisco in 1997.