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b. Sarawak, 1939 - d. 2019


The late Raphael Scott Ahbeng was a highly established Borneo artist of indigenous Bidayuh origin who left an indelible mark on the art world. His accolades include first prizes at the Sarawak Shell Open Art Competition in 1959, 1982, and 1983, as well as the third prize at the Natural Malaysia Art Competition in Kuala Lumpur in 1991. He served as an advisor for the Sarawak Artist’s Society from 1999 to 2000.

Ahbeng's educational journey saw him attend an Art and Photography course at Bath Academy of Art, United Kingdom, from 1964-1967, and even participate in the academy’s group show (1965). In 1973, he furthered his studies at the British Drama League in London, focusing on English and Drama through a British Council Grant. This pursuit for knowledge also led him to a broadcasting study at the BBC in 1990, supported by a Sarawak/British Council Grant. During his time in the UK, Ahbeng took the opportunity to travel extensively across France, Spain, Italy, and Germany, immersing himself in the works of great European masters.

Ahbeng established a prominent presence in the art scene, and actively participated in multiple group shows held at Galeri Petronas, Kuala Lumpur since the 1990s, including ’Convergence’ in 2013. In 2015, his works were showcased at ‘From Sea to Summit (Dari Samudera ke Gunungan)’, Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery. Some of his earlier solo exhibitions were held at Alpha Gallery. Singapore (1972); British Council, Kuala Lumpur & Penang (1975); and Istana Hotel in Kuala Lumpur (1996), officiated by the Crown Prince of Pahang. More recent solos ‘Legend: A Borneo Artist’ (2013) and ‘Raphael Scott AhBeng: On Board’ (2015) were hosted by PINKGUY Gallery, Kuala Lumpur.

In 2015, his work “Passage to Endau“ was successfully sold at Christie's auction in Hong Kong, cementing his presence in the global art scene. His paintings are part of the collection of National Art Gallery Malaysia, Bank Negara, Petronas Art Collection (PAC), Ilham Foundation, Sarawak Museum, Overseas Union Bank, Marriott Hotel and many more.

Abstract Wavy Object


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