Author(s): Ahmady, Leeza
The second volume in a ground-breaking series on acclaimed female artists from Malaysia.This is a comprehensive survey of Anne Samat's work over the last two decades (1996-2019). Born in 1973 in Malaysia, she graduated in textile design from Malaysia's Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), specializing in weaving and resist-printing technique. Samat is an internationally recognised pioneer in contemporary weaving, blending Malaysian Songket textiles with her own unique visual language and interpretations. Using intricately woven textiles, synthetic fibres, rattan sticks and many other found and household objects, this artist creates colourful and elaborate totems that are inspired by ancient Southeast Asian legends, her own familial lineage, and the rich cultural diversity existing in Malaysia today.Anne Samat's work characteristically merges the old with the new, and her special interest in historical narratives and rituals is quite literally woven into her magnificent 'textile sculptures'. Her art practice also aims to create a seamless confluence between feminine and masculine energies, as she re-imagines gender constructs and power structures residing in all politized realms. By extension, Samat's artworks can be considered markers of fundamental human rights, such as personal freedom, equal opportunities, and the pursuit of one's own happiness.