The case of Ibrahim Hussein's black painting : a historical study of an artistic response to May 13
Suraya Mohd Yusof
Date of Issue2016-03-21
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Ibrahim Hussein’s Black Painting (1969) is one of the most important artworks in Malaysian Art History. It is the earliest known artistic response to the race riot of 13 May 1969, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and it is considered to be of social and historical significance. However, there have been few discussions concerned with its historical significance, as most seem distracted by the rhetoric of controversy surrounding it. While Black Painting may be seen as a controversy by some, the author believes that there is little basis to support this notion. As such, the thesis will challenge the notion so as to encourage readers to view the work as a socio-historical document; one that is significant in revealing a narrative of 13 May from the perspective of the iconic Malaysian artist, Ibrahim Hussein. Specifically, it will investigate the origins and features of the artwork, and scrutinise its reception in the political sphere. Beyond this, the thesis elucidates the value in turning to art to expand the representations of history in academia and amongst the wider public.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University