b. Perak, 1971
GATHERING II - MAY EASTERN MEMORY SERIES, 1998
Inscribed, signed and dated on reverse
Oil on canvas
127cm x 142cm
Private Collection, Penang; acquired through Valentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur.
ESTIMATE RM 12,000 - 15,000
PRICE REALISED RM 20,160
Gathering II – May Eastern Memory Series illustrates a pair of girls in an empty room – one is seated on the floor holding a piece of paper, her red skirt sits in a perfect circle on the ground while the other girl, dressed similarly in white blouse, red skirt and shoes is practicing a dance which imitates the moves of the classical Khmer dance. Anthonie Chong pays great attention to his brushworks and colour palette in this large-sized painting. The room is illustrated in bluish-grey with a hint of green that resembles the quality of cement and the edges of two ivory walls framing the figures mid-way with another horizontal wall stretched across the picture plane. A round pillar draped in white cloth with red bow is seen at the rear of the seated girl.
Anthonie has since progressed in visual experimentation by infusing ancient Oriental art form with ‘cyber-generation related theme’ to create new works of art. The conception of the iconic ‘e-monk’ in 2000 portrays a modern child-like figure in a traditional setting, resonating Yoshitomo Nara’s character set in a Chinese ink painting. In 2008, he produced the Gaia series which drew its inspirations from nature. The theme is divided into five elements that consist of fire, water, earth, metal and wood. The child-like figures are portrayed in surreal settings incorporated with the natural elements. The drastic transformation in style is further enhanced with the change of name from e-monk to @-monk in 2010 which is represented in three major series: Community; Gaia; and Mechanism. Anthonie’s artworks pre-2000 possess a certain quaint charm unparalleled with his recent take on innocence and naivety. Anthonie Chong gained his early education in an independent Chinese school where he was taught Han cultural studies and calligraphy. A Graphic Design graduate of Perak Institute of Art in 1990, he was greatly influenced by social realism from his tutor who exposed him to Western art history. He later chose to explore his individual style which led him to the ‘possibility of experimenting with Eastern Surrealism in Asian paintings’.