Thursday, February 16-Saturday, April 22, 2023

Ruth C. Horton Gallery



In her fiber-based reliefs, Malaysian artist Anne Samat meticulously juxtaposes beadwork and traditional South Asian weaving techniques with common items in a project that questions the boundaries of craft and art.

Samat’s pieces continuously break from the tradition of Pua Kumbu through the inclusions of various modern, repurposed objects. Dollar store items such as rakes, brooms, and combs combine with found items such as sieves and wheels to create cohesive and totemic artworks that disrupt custom. Yarn, as well as incorporated objects within her pieces, symbolize the human form and become avatar- or altar-like sites for reverence, representative of Samat and her values.

Samat takes pride in sourcing objects for her pieces from all over the world. In considering an object, she imagines a life beyond the functions of a normal object. These are materials around us every day, yet she brings new life and story to things often overlooked in our daily lives.

Many of Samat’s pieces explore themes of love and identity through figurative studies in relationships. Recognizing the importance of support from friends and family, many works celebrate these connections that have helped her thrive as an artist. Another series explores the freedom she finds in being an independent artist, able to work for herself and set her own schedule. Samat sees weaving as very therapeutic, meditating on largely positive influences within the artist’s life.


Anne Samat (b. 1973) is a Malaysian artist born in Malacca. Formally trained in the Malaysian craft of Pua Kumbu, Samat incorporates traditional weaving techniques into intricate three-dimensional wall sculptures. Breaking from custom, her pieces include found objects and consider concepts of both freedom and identity. Steeped in personal connections and stories, her weavings are full of symbolism and often anthropomorphically represent herself as well as family members. Recognizing the significance of these relationships in her life, Samat states that her works are about love. Her humanized sculptures are tributes to family members and their support of her artistic pursuit as a woman in Malaysian society, and bring to light the underrepresentation of female Asian artists in the mainstream global art world.

Samat attended the Mara Institute of Technology in Malaysia and received a bachelor’s degree in art and design in 1995. Samat is based in Kuala Lumpur and is represented by the Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery in Malaysia, as well as the Marc Straus Gallery in New York.

Anne Samat will be a visiting artist-in-residence February 2-19 in the university’s Mozaiko Living-Learning Program residence hall. During her residency, Samat will realize a large-scale, site-specific installation for her exhibition and share her practice with a behind-the-scenes tour for Mozaiko students.

This exhibition is supported in part by a gift from Sherwood P. Quillen.

Header Image:
Anne Samat
No Place for Beginners or Sensitive Heart #3, 2021 (detail)
Rattan sticks, kitchen and garden utensils, beads, ceramic, metal, and plastic ornaments
105 x 50 x 6 inches
Courtesy of the artist and Marc Straus, New York