Art Detail | Ilham Gallery
Golden Gate
Golden Gate

Against the backdrop of a lush, green jungle, rows of colourless butterflies are arranged methodically in a grid-like formation on the canvas. The artist was inspired by his memories of seeing framed butterflies in tourist shops and living rooms. “It not only told a story about humanity and co-existence but in many ways it reflected the human condition itself - our own feelings of being trapped.” The artist has included colour proof bars, which are usually found in the preparation of digital material. This work which is part of the Golden Gate series suggests that the balance between the natural world and technology is a fragile one and that we must make sure that our environment is not impacted by excessive development and modernisation.  Ahmad Shukri is a keen observer of contemporary culture, and uses symbols and motifs to present and highlight societal changes and issues.

Photo transfer and acrylic on canvas
138 x 150 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Ahmad Shukri Mohamed
About Ahmad Shukri Mohamed

Ahmad Shukri Mohamed (b. 1969, Kota Baru, Kelantan, Malaysia) is a well known artist and a founding member of Matahati, the groundbreaking artists group. Upon graduation in 1992, he became assistant to the senior artist, Fauzan Omar. This incubation period led him to develop his own methodology of collaging and working with commonplace icons and motifs. His artistic messages are conveyed through the use of various types of paint, typefaces and techniques, and have culminated in notable series such as: Golden Gate, Text, Postcards from Malaya, and Made in Malaysia.

Further Readings

Learning Section

  • How has the artist used colour in the painting? What are the dominant colours? Where are they used? What do you think these colours represent? How does colour affect the atmosphere of the painting?

  • Butterflies fascinate and captivate us. What are your feelings towards butterflies? What do they symbolise for you? What memories do you have which are connected to butterflies? Did you draw or chase butterflies as a child? Did you learn about the life cycle of a butterfly? Did you collect butterflies? How would you describe the butterflies in this painting? How have they been arranged? How does that affect your interpretation of the meaning of the painting?

  • This painting could be read as a discussion of man's relationship with nature. What elements can you see which relate to man? What elements are related to nature? Is this painting optimistic about this relationship?