Lot 88 | Auction XIV

LOT 88

(B. Johor, 1950)

Neo – Protest, 2012

Signed Yusof Ghani on lower right
Signed, titled and dated on verso
Mixed media on cancas
61 x 61 cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur

RM 19,000 – RM 25,000

Yusof Ghani’s comment on his Protest series:

I did my early Siri Tari (Dance Series) for my thesis. It has a strong message content on culture and the theme also allowed me to experiment with lines, movements, and colors.

After I obtained my masters, I was highly enthusiastic and excited about being an artist. I went to New York to visit galleries and museums. During one of those visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see great masterpieces worth millions, I spoke with the taxi driver on art.

He was a Nigerian and he questioned me about the role of art. He told me that in Africa, you get people starving but yet here in New York, people are paying millions for paintings. What can the paintings do? I was taken aback and confused. There was truth in his statements. I almost went back to graphic art.

I questioned myself about the validity of art. After a state of confusion, I found an answer. Why don’t I use art as a medium of communication? I can use art to tell the world how I feel.

This led to my involvement with a group of activists in Washington, D.C. We participated in a few exhibitions with our “Protest” paintings. One of the exhibitions was a group show “American Intervention in Nicaragua and El Salvador” held at Intae, a hispanic gallery in Washington, D.C. I felt good about art.