Galerie Huit is delighted to present Love & Lust, a solo exhibition of new works by Ahmad Zakii Anwar, one of the most respected artists in Malaysia at first edition of Art Central. The exhibition features 15 still life paintings of fruits and vegetables as metaphors of human relationships- with the fruits and vegetables painted in strategic and suggestive positions to evoke an enigmatic response from the audience.
Love & Lust is a continuation of Zakii’s successful solo show Pleasure & Pain held at Galerie Huit last year. This series of exhibitions mark the significance of Zakii, as an artist, in the Asian art market outside Malaysia. Known for his formidable technical painting skill, he is famous for his cinematic composition and provocative subject matter, which is filled with aura of mystery and humor. In this collection of new works, Zakii once again portrays emotions of human relationship, such as love and lust centered on the theme of desire, mirrored in positions of fruits and vegetables- and how they interact with each other- in a light-hearted manner. Through these metaphors, Zakii is perhaps trying to visualize the complicated human emotions and experiences related to love and desire.
Zakii’s well-known works include his male nude figurative works, smokes series and meditation series. However, as the artist says, still life has a significant meaning to himself as a painter. It is Zakii’s first painting collection when he first decided to paint full time at the age of 36 after being a graphic designer for a long time. It was a hard transition for Zakii to switch to painting, and still life offers him an outlet to explore his skills and style. The uncomplicated composition and minimal amount of objects, almost void of perspective, make Zakii’s works easily recognized. In his still life works, lone object is stripped to its elemental and iconic form, reflecting his view on life as well – a view devoid of mundane and unnecessary clutter. The dramatic contrasting of the minimal objects and emphasis on space leaves a sense of ‘loneliness’ and ‘unanswered question’ that lingers in the audience’s mind.