Art Detail | Ilham Gallery
Siri Wayang – Merindung
Siri Wayang – Merindung

In this powerful composition, the colour palette and fragmentary style are reminiscent of the American abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning’s figurative paintings, which fuses Expressionist and Cubist styles. 

The years 1997-1998 were pivotal for Yusof as he shifted between two pictorial focuses: topeng and wayang. Unlike his Topeng series, Wayang deals with the more performative aspect of one's identity. His totem-like formations on canvas are depicted with more hints of movements and gestures. The inspiration for Wayang is said to have come from a book on the history of puppetry, along with his life-long love for theatre and cinema. These works were also exhibited at Galeri Citra in Kuala Lumpur and Jenkins Johnson Gallery in San Francisco in 1997, and Artfolio Gallery in Singapore in 1998.

Acrylic and charcoal on canvas
76 x 122 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Yusof Ghani
About Yusof Ghani

Yusof Ghani (b. 1950, Pontian, Johor, Malaysia) is an artist, writer, academic and curator.  In 1979, he received a scholarship to study Graphic Art at George Mason University, USA. He then obtained a Master’s degree at the Catholic University, Washington DC. His thesis focused  on ‘cultural dance’, which was to become a recurring theme in his body of work. Formerly an associate professor at UiTM, Yusof Ghani is considered one of Malaysia’s leading abstract artists. A devout Muslim, his abstract works which have remained rooted in the figurative with his Tari works and portraiture in his Topeng series, raised the interesting debate about figuration and Islam that influenced the themes and aesthetics of Malaysian art in the 80s.

Further Readings

  • A Study of Yusof Ghani’s Artworks: The ‘Wajah’ Series Paintings from 2006 to 2010. 2010. Mozhgan Ramezani.

  • Segerak Yusof Ghani. 2004. Muliyadi Mahamood.

  • Yusof Ghani: Hijau 1998-2002. 2002. PETRONAS.

  • Yusof Ghani: Drawings. 1997. Rusli Hashim Fine Art.

  • Siri tari: topeng. 1996. Rusli Hashim Fine Art.