The CAG acknowledge Awang Fadiah as a great inspirational artist
that should have been given the recognition that he deserved.
So on the 26th of January 2013, the CAG decide to do a special tribute exhibition
to one of the most influential naïve artist in Sabah, and the exhibition was called
“We Are Awang Fadilah”.
10 of the CAG members did their own way of expressing joy, sad, respect, love and courage thru their art.
8 of them did paintings, 1 did a toy and 1 more did a sort of a fashion sort of stuff
(it’s an embroidery and custom beads necklace).
The opening was a success, where 10 artwork of the tribute plus 1 of Awang’s latest piece was sold.
CAG artists that participate in this exhibition made a pledge of giving 60% sales cut of each sold paintings/ artworks to Awang Fadilah.
Artist : Awang Fadilah (terkenang semasa dulu)
There are some statement been put out that for this tribute exhibition the CAG did naïve art just as Awang Fadilah did and so, that’s the reason why it was a sold out show. But the fact is none of the CAG did a naïve art.
Details of the tribute artworks according to my personal opinion (CRACKO)
Artist: Egn (tikam lidah, buah mulut)
Egn uses the new fauves style in this piece.
It’s described how a story was told as bad as it could in the past about something and the same people are promoting and describing how wonderful that something is at this moment.
Artist: Lybby (the water of north borneo)
In this Illustration style that Lybby did, this whimsical piece with vibrant colors and characters depict the joy in living life. Almost every subject seems to be in motion. This piece is alive.
Artist: Rezo (idola)
This stensil art style, are mostly used in street art/ graffiti. In this piece a small portion of Awang Fadilah original painting are used as the background. A portrait of him in the middle gives us the idea that this person with a simple painting in the background gives an amount of inspiration to others.
Artist: Nofie (we are awang fadilah)
A mix of fauvism and deco art can be seen in this piece.
This piece shows the spiritual essence of being naïve in a person.
Where in the background subject there are two persons looking at each other and the birds and butterfly flying over them towards the center, that look like a sphere that might be interpret as a starting point.
Artist: Anddy (tribute)
In this Illustration of Awang Fadilah, the two cats look so adorable that you wish they were real. The paintings look as if the flat line world of Awang Fadilah creation is coming to life.
Artist: Aks kwan (kawanku awang fadilah)
One of Awang Fadilah known subject in his painting are his version of the Borneo cat. As can be seen, there a strike marking on the surface of the wooden toy, it’s actually the strokes that Awang’s use in all of his paintings. What makes this piece unique is that this is a crossover of Kwan’s wood toy that he branded “Kawan” (friend) with Awang’s signature cat and strokes.
Artist: Eleanor (culture revival)
In this piece the technique consists of embroidery, patches and beads. Inspired by Awang fadilah “Land of cultural series”, this piece speaks of the old culture are making a comeback in today present time.
Artist: Phey (AF)
Typography play a very important role when one is to be a graffiti artist. He did a tag with the initial AF (Awang Fadilah) with a serpent look. It’s either 2 dragons or it’s because it’s the year of the snake. The bullet gave the impression that this year Awang’s is the center of attention.
Artist: Cracko (Godess)
Using an illustration style, this piece describe the myth and beauties
where women are put on a pedestal to be worship.
Here’s the back story of Awang Fadilah on why the CAG want to do a tribute/ artist acknowledgment for what he have done in the art scene of Sabah/ North Borneo.
Before he became a full time artist/painter he used to be a substitute teacher for primary school.
His admission to enter the teacher college, to become a full time teacher was rejected because of his health problem (kidney failure). Due to this situation he decided to move to Kota Kinabalu because that’s the only place where dialysis treatment is available. During this period of time that he discover his talent in doing art. Soon after this, he quit his job and became a full time painter.
When Yusof Gajah came to Sabah on the year 1999, Awang became one of his students and with no appropriate art background he adapted in painting naïve art.
Things are not as pleasant as it seems when Awang started painting naïve art. The public and even some establish painter mocked him, saying words such as “my kids can paint better than that” or “who would buy this sort of art”. But this didn’t discourage him from painting. As time goes by he began to create his own unique way of painting, with simple shapes, lines and dots.
As years goes by he began making his own children book, where he would write and do the illustration. His children book was published quite a few and in 2011 he won the runner-up prize for the illustrations in
“Land Below the Wind” in the Noma Concours for Picture Book Illustrations
organised by the Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO in Tokyo.
This was a huge achievement for him and the result of this he became one of the most celebrated artist in North Borneo/ Sabah today.