The Singapore Art Museum featured the works of Boerhanoedin Affandi Koesoema in a joint partnership with Credit Suisse. Dubbed “a painter genius” by the Times Magazine, Affandi is known for using his hands instead of paintbrushes to manipulate oil paints directly on the canvas. He has a tendency to use strong colors such as green, red and yellow, which encapsulates the moods of the subjects in his painting.
The above painting “Three Moods” epitomizes Affandi’s style. It offers a penetrating insight into the darker side of human emotions, and serves as a warning to all and sundry not to indulge in too much of such negative emotions. The greenish face on the extreme left represents the feeling of being green with envy. Envy will eventually lead to anger, as represented by the red face in the center. Anger will then lead to sickness, as represented by the yellowish face. Ancient Chinese Medicine believes that most organs are connected to a particular emotion. Pent-up anger interferes with the liver function, leading to a ‘toxic’ liver. Yellow is synonymous with the onset of jaundice caused by an affected liver according to such traditional beliefs. It is otherwise known as anger-induced jaundice, which results in a sickly mood.
“Three moods” aptly captures the flow of negative emotions in a sequential manner, from envy to anger and finally, sickness. Perhaps, Affandi wants to remind us the consequences of indulging in such negative emotions. Thus, the Life’s lessons we can glean from this piece of art – DO NOT envy, BE SLOW to anger and lead a healthier life!