Born in 1937 in Singapore, Latiff is a self-taught artist who has been influenced by abstract expressionism. Latiff is currently a full-time artist and has been actively involved in the local art scene since 1970.

- 1975             Study tour of Japan on Japanese Government scholarship Certificate in Ceramic Glazing and Decoration, Japanese International Cooperation Agency, Nagoya
- 1976-88        Five solo exhibitions in Singapore and Malaysia
- 1972-99        Numerous group exhibitions in Singapore, ASEAN, Holland, Germany, UK, Hong Kong and Taiwan
- 1981/82        Singapore representative, ASEAN seminar on art and photography
- 1983             Singapore promotion in United Arab Emirates, the art of batik painting

Jaafar Latiff's art is dynamic and non-objective, eliminating references to external images and emphasizing the artist's involvement in the act of creation of his work. He employs batik, the traditional Asian wax-resist dyeing method of patterning textiles, to produce cloth works which are full of the explosive vitality of abstract expressionism, quite unlike traditional batik painting. But in spite of their energy and brilliant colours they retain a persistent concern for formal shapes and compositional balance. The optical excitement caused by the forceful colours and complex shapes is meant to reflect the frantic pace of Singapore's city life.


Exhibition Opens to the Public

8 September - 10 October 99
(Galleries 5,6,7,8)

Tuesday - Sunday

9am 5-30pm. Except Wednesday till 9pm. Closed Monday

(8 August 1999) The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) is pleased to present Handmade: Shifting Paradigms, an exhibition which showcases works by 25 artists from 9 countries (Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, UK and the USA) who have made innovative use of materials such as glass, clay, metal, wood and fibre - materials traditionally used to create objects with utilitarian usage. The exhibition will illustrate how these materials have transcended the realms of utility to that of artistic expressions. The exhibition opens to the public on 8 September 1999.

The category of art need not include only those forms such as painting and sculptures which we are familiar with. Also having its basis on object-making such as traditional handicrafts, Art encompasses many creative endeavours and manifestations. This September, visitors to the Singapore Art Museum will be introduced to works that derive their form, techniques amd material composition from the design and production of traditional utilitarian objects.

In displaying a spectrum of work that highlight the richness of styles and materials each artist uses in Handmade: Shifting Paradigms, the Museum aims to broaden such understanding about Art by presenting various aspects of Art including craft and design as well as photography.

Says Ms Tay Swee Lin, Curator for the exhibition, "The artists participating in this exhibition include Singaporean and international artists from various countries, such as the United States of America, Australia, Japan and Italy. In curating this exhibition, I see each artist, in creating his work of art, testing, pushing and crossing the boundaries of the medium he uses. While some artists create large, elegant, ephemeral instaIlation pieces, others create large, colourful and powerful fabric collages and 3-dimensional art forms that reveal the artists' control over the materials they choose. In re-examining these aesthetic objects which have traditional utilitarian purposes, the objects are given new perspectives, thus broadening the scope and definition of Art. For instance, a teapot-like object may serve a particular function in our daily lives, but rather than looking at it merely as an object with a particular function, the exhibition emphasises on the aesthetics of the object which is a work of art, as well as the processes of producing it."

Says Mr. Kwok Kian Chow, Director, Singapore Art Museum, "The boundary of applied and fine arts is being questioned as we find expressions of beauty in many facets of life. Having shown Jewellery By Artists In Italy, Handmade: Shifting Paradigms is the next in a series of exhibitions that the Singapore Art Museum will organise on designs - product design, architectural design, fashion design, print and graphic designs to name a few. In featuring works by both local and international artists, the public will get to see and experience for themselves, the best of art form not only from Singapore and the region but internationally, so as to provide the public with an international perspective of the way art has developed."


Robert Baines (Metal) Brian Hirst (Glass) Catherine Truman (Wood)

Wilhelm Tasso Mattar (Metal)

Alessandro Diaz de Santillana (Glass) Angelo Zenaro (Glass)

Naomi Kobayashi (Fibre) Morihiro Wada (Clay)

Raja Shahriman (Metal)

Pacita Abad (Fibre)

Chong Fah Cheong (Wood)
Iskandar Jalil (Clay)
Jaafar Latiff (Fibre)
Ng Eng Teng (Clay)
Tan Sock Fong (Glass)
Sadie Wang (Metal)

Liz & Michael O'Donnell (Wood)

Heather Allen (Fibre)
Rudy Autio (Clay)
Wendell Castle (Wood)
Fritz Dreisbach (Glass)
Glen Kaufman (Fibre)
Ronald Meyers (Clay)
Gary Noffke (Metal)
Toots Zynsky (Glass)


Sabapathy, T.K. [et.al]
Many in one: 25 years of art from Singapore / Sabapathy, T.K. [et.al]. - Singapore : Singapore Art Museum, 1991
Featured artists: Baet Yeok Kuan, Henri Chen Kezhan, Chen Wen Hsi, Cheong Soo Pieng, Chua Ek Kay, Fan Chang Tien, Goh Beng Kwan, Goh Ee Choo, Jaafar Latiff, Lee Wen, Vincent Leow Kong Yam, Lim Poh Teck, Lin Hsin Hsin, Liu Kang, Ng Yak Whee, Jimmy Ong, Anthony Poon, Prabhakara [Jimmy Quek], Salleh Japar, S. Chandrasekeran, Tan Oe Pang, Tan Swie Hian, Tang Da Wu, Tang Mun Kit, Teo Eng Seng, Eng Tow, Wee Shoo Leong, Simon Wong, Wong Shih Yaw, Yeo Siak Goon, Thomas Yeo.
AS 205 SG
ISBN 9971917343


Colour Permutations: Jaafar Latiff's Paintings 2000 2005 Features recent paintings by Jaafar Latiff and the development of his batik technique, experimentation with new commercial products and dye methods.

Jaafar Latiff is one of only a handful of batik artists in Singapore today and probably the most innovative in that medium. In recent years, Jaafar has channeled his energies to developing the batik technique to greater refinement and depth of expression, producing extraordinary paintings by experimenting with new commercial products and dye methods. His latest works will promote a better appreciation and understanding of this technique that has ancient origins in the East. They are composed of curvilinear patterns and layers of intense, translucent colours achieved by the complex dyeing/painting process. The artist also exploits the special effects obtained by dye seepage into the accidental cracks of the wax and by the marks of the molten wax where it has been brushed or spattered on the cotton cloth.

Curated by Constance Sheares

9 Sep 9 Oct 2005

Sculpture Square, 155 Middle Rd (S) 188977

Monday Friday, 11am 6pm, Saturday, 12pm 6pm, Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays