Artist:  Husni Osman

Medium:  Oil, Acrylic, Bitumen and Enamel on Canvas

Size:  105cm x 199cm x 3cm (d) – Triptych with Frame

Year:  2015



In Between is not about a bright-eyed young man out to take on and conquer the world, but instead a slightly older adult that has been seasoned by time and discouragements along the way.

The shaded eyes give the character a degree of anonymity; however, the nose and mouth are still based on Husni’s own features.  In Between is a very personal piece that narrates his decision to choose between the path of becoming a full-time artist or having a stable job.

On the right panel, the scenery resembles a bleak and cavernous pit, representing the suffocation that Husni felt in his previous career, whereas the left panel expresses his passion for art.  In the latter, rich warm tones of scarlet, copper and turquoise seem to glow with a soft, appealing light.  All is not bright and rosy, however.  Dark, cloudy splotches signify the sting of negative comments from naysayers, as well as the uncertainty of being able to fulfil practical commitments and family responsibilities.

The erratic crimson lines across all 3 panels symbolise one’s confusion.  On one hand, financial security, health and the well-being of his mind and emotions are at stake.  On the other, there are self-esteem and personal worth needs that need to be fulfilled.

The central figure in the painting has apparently made his decision.  His head, subtly angled to the right, implies that he has chosen the “right” path – for him, specifically.  From the point of view of everyone else looking at him, the “right” path  might seem to be unpopular, frivolous or downright contradictory.  Hence, the painting also poses a question to the viewers: will they choose to do what they know is right, or let their decisions be dictated by the opinions of outsiders looking in?