Malay child

Place Asia: Malaysia, Labuan
Accession Number ART23304
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 19.1 x 29.2 cm
Object type Drawing
Physical description pen and coloured wash on paper
Maker Friend, Donald
Place made Malaysia: Labuan
Date made 1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Depicts a young Malay child observed at Labuan in Borneo in a crouched pose. In 1942, Donald Friend enlisting with the AIF, and was posted as a gunner to the artillery unit near Albury. In 1945, Friend was selected for appointment as official war artist. He travelled to Morotai, Labuan and Balikpapan, recording sights which confronted him and drawing in particular on the expressive potential of human form. Friend was extraordinarily prolific, producing 53 paintings and 143 drawings for the collections of the Australian War Memorial. In his catalogue for the 1990 retropsective of Donald Friend's work at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Barry pearce noted; 'his focus [is] on drawing the human figure, confirming that it was observing and drawing the non-western races that would give him the greatest satisfaction'.