Ghani, Yusof (1950--) By Abdullah, Sarena
Yusof Ghani is a Malaysian artist who was significantly influenced by American Abstract Expressionism. Ghani’s first solo exhibition in 1984 was held at Anton Gallery in Washington, DC, where he showed his Protest series. However, this series failed to fit in with the work of other Malaysian artists who were at that time intent on developing a national identity for Malaysian art. Rather than acquiescing to the same theme, Yusof pursued his interest in “cultural dance,” which he had explored in his MA thesis, eventually expanding it into the fundamental theme of his Siri Tari (Dance Series) (1984–1992). Yusof Ghani’s works possess an astonishing fluidity that captures the exhilaration and tension of his subject matter. Heavily influenced by Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, Ghani’s works are intense, powerful, and are usually noted for their spontaneous and ferocious brushstrokes. His works consist of abstract (or semi-abstract) forms and imageries, emphasizing formalistic experimentation in his use of colors, emphasis on the simplification of forms, and expressive qualities of his lines.