MELUGAI

Ahmad Fuad Osman’s artistic inquiries have repeatedly sought to collide an imagined and political geography with the realities of the uneven development of globalisation. Having discovered his first books in his mother’s small book collection, the artist reads voraciously. One of his reading interests is on capitalism, it’s continuous permutations and how it governs our everyday lives. Ranging from Thomas Malthus’ Essay on the Principles of Population as a forewarning on the relationship between religion and the rise of capitalism in 18th century England that drove colonisation of non-western peoples to Syed Ahmad Jamal’s Rupa dan Jiwa, which claims a place for popular aesthetics and common knowledge in the face of rapid industrialisation of Southeast Asia during the 1970s, Ahmad Fuad Osman’s approach to reading is digestive as opposed to the strictly academic. He reads not just to understand but to invent newer ways of looking at our complex realities. Not too long ago, after reading the Art Dealer’s Field Guide, the artist wrote in his diary, “I now want to make two identical landscape paintings. One signed, dated and inscribed “Central Park, New York” with the other bearing “Lata Bayu, Baling Kedah”. Which work would be more valuable in the eyes of the collector and public?”