Syed Ahmad Jamal, Datuk
B. Johor, 1929 – 2011
Sg Cincin, 1971
Signed, titled and dated on bottom of paper
Ink on paper
17 x 10 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
RM 3,500 – RM 5,000
“We lived in a small community where rubber plantations were abundant. The surroundings were natural and nice.”
The artist’s fondness and memories of his childhood community is apparent in this rough sketch of a river, a river called Sg. Cincin. “If I were to grow up in KL city, I don’t think I would have that kind of sensitivity to my surroundings,” he notes.
As the eldest of his family, with six younger brothers and sisters to look after, a higher education seemed out of reach to Syed Ahmad. But despite his predicament, he did so well in school that the Johor government awarded him the Yayasan Sultan Ibrahim Scholarship to study at the Birmingham School of Architecture, England on 1950. Once he was there, however, he realised that architecture just wasn’t his cup of tea. The time he looked forward to most was when his class went to sketch in the outdoors or visit art galleries. Syed Ahmad’s sketches would always turn out to be the best among all his classmates’, something his principle, Mr Jones took notice of. Syed Ahmad was soon on his way to the Chelsea School of Art in London.