Raphael Scott Ahbeng
B. Sarawak, 1939
Night Falls on Bidi, 2008
Signed, titled and dated “ RSA 08 night falls on Bidi” on lower right
Acrylic on canvas
89 x 59 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
RM 5,000 – RM 8,000
Bidi – also known as Bukit Buan Bidi or Gunung Buan Bidi, is a hill that is elevated at 85 meters above sea level. It is located in Sarawak, where AhBeng was born and while hills are typically considered too drab and too common to be considered a gripping subject, AhBeng proves that there is so much more than nature than just a mere hill.
With colours that seem to be luminous and an iridescent sky that is reminiscent of the glowing moonlight, Raphael paints in his usual, eccentric style, inserting bits and pieces of his own personality to allow the painting to shine and come alive. The seamless, harmonious interaction between the colours in this highly abstract piece adds to the unusual yet beautiful works by AhBeng.
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.