Artists: Latif Maulan
Title: Forest Reserved
Size: 36 Inch x 48 Inch
Medium: Oil On Canvas
Collection of Malaysian National Art Gallery
2006© All Right Reserved
Forest Reserved ? - At a glance, the painting looks like a common photograph of a cleared site near a forest. The hot reds of the excavator, the warning signboard and the ‘No Smoking’ signboard on the petrol tank order us to stay away from the area. But from what? From discovering their illegal secrets? Or is the area dangerous because criminals are illegally logging in a forest reserve?
Notice the title ‘Forest Reserved ?’ We now think: “For whom? For the influential businessmen or powerful politicians?” If the answer is a yes to either of them, then the danger is real indeed. Also doing the same is the armed guard guarding the site who appears to be tired and sleepy. Or drunk? Which makes him all the more dangerous.