Art Detail | Ilham Gallery
c. 1960s

Widely regarded as a pioneer of modern sculpture in Malaysia, Anthony Lau is known for his sculptures which express the mystical and mythical in Nature. His works such as Spirit of Fire/Jin Api (1959), The Cockerel/Ayam Jantan (1963) and Forest/Rimba (1967) fused natural, living and mythological elements from the region. Through his precise use of material – in this case, wood - Lau has evoked the sinuous movement and the coiled power of the Naga, a serpentine being that plays an important role in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Southeast Asian mythology and folklore.  

"I am dictated by the material. An artist must respect the material".
- Anthony Lau
Teak Sculpture
109 x 18.5 x 25.5 cm
c. 1960s
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Anthony Lau
About Anthony Lau

Anthony Lau (1933 – 2016) was born in Johor. After studying at the Malayan Teachers’ Training College in Kirby, Liverpool, UK, he received a government scholarship to study at Brighton College of Arts & Crafts, UK in 1957. In 1968, he received a Fulbright grant to further his studies at University of Indiana, USA. A renowned sculptor, Lau was also a respected educator who taught at the Specialist Teachers’ Training Institute at Cheras for over 10 years. As Head of the Department of Arts and Crafts, he was responsible for introducing new art concepts to young artists and art teachers. Anthony Lau’s relatively small catalogue of works features many of the most iconic and organic sculptural forms to have graced the Malaysian Art movement.