Art Detail | Ilham Gallery

This portrait, depicting a young girl accompanied by an abstract figuration, synthesizes Latiff’s experiences before and during his study in Germany. While in Germany, the artist was exposed to defining modern movements like Cubism, Dadaism and Surrealism. By 1962, Latiff’s artworks documented an array of European landscapes and still life paintings which were an important component in the academy’s curriculum. At the same time, portraiture was not new to the artist, having formally studied figure painting with Singapore artists Liu Kang and Hoe Kok Ho in 1952. The figure in the portrait dons a subtle smile, she slouches only slightly leaning on the frame as she fixes her gaze beyond the canvas.

Oil on canvas
56 x 38 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Abdul Latiff Mohidin
About Abdul Latiff Mohidin

Abdul Latiff Mohidin (b. 1941) is a prominent Malaysian modernist artist, writer and poet from Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. As a child he was known as “Wonder Boy” and “the magical boy with the gift in his hands” due to his prodigious talent and early artistic acumen. He completed his primary education at Kota Raja Malay School in Singapore where he also had his first exhibition in 1951. From 1960-1964, Latiff studied art at Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste (Academy of Fine Arts) in Berlin, Germany on a scholarship. A journey across Southeast Asia in 1964 would later inspire an array of esteemed artworks and series which melded his European experience with his cultural identity. His series, Pago-Pago (1960-1969), Mindscape (1973, 1974-1983), Langkawi (1976-1980) and Gelombang (1985-1993) are known for their distinctive representation of culture, nature, the environment and mysticism. His masterful technique and use of dynamic brush strokes, textured oil paint and vibrant colours mark his works with an identifiable Latiff flair. He has exhibited worldwide, including solo exhibitions in Berlin, Frankfurt, Bangkok, Singapore, New Delhi, New York, Sydney, Osaka, Montreal, Manila, Jakarta, Dublin and London to name a few. In 2018, he became the first Southeast Asian artist to be featured at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The artist now resides in Penang.

Source: Wikipedia

Further Readings
  • T.K Sabapathy, ‘Pago Pago to Mindscape’, in Pago Pago to Gelombang: 40 Years of Latiff Mohidin, edited by T.K Sabapathy, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, 1994