Ironwood sculpture. Patong

East Borneo
Benuaq Dayak
112 × 22 × 23 cm
Price: CHF 3'000.-
Inv. BO.02.006

Solid sculpture representing a man with a salamander on his shoulder. The accuracy of the carving technique evident in the face contrasts with the coarser strokes used for the sturdy bodies, characterised by their jagged surface.

An unusual sculpture for its formal appearance and dimensions, its features recall some portative amulets published, for example, in Hampatongs (pp. 40, 45, 51, 56).

This could be a rare sculpture produced in the context of a healing ceremony. The work is characterised by eccentric bodily features, such as its particularly sunken and hollow face, its crooked mouth, its disproportionate ear and its six fingers. Among the Benuaq, this element of formal distortion is telling of the contribution of the artist’s pathos to the sculpted representation.

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