CHUAH THEAN TENG
b. China, 1912 - d. Penang, 2008
MOTHER AND CHILDREN, c. 1980s
Signed 'Teng' (lower left)
61cm x 45cm
Private Collection, United States of America.
ESTIMATE RM 35,000 - 50,000
PRICE REALISED RM 56,000
An iconic piece by Dato’ Chuah Thean Teng, the world-acknowledged Father of Batik Painting, Mother and Children illustrates a seated female figure in side profile baring her left breast suckling her young child while his brother waits in line. This pacifying imagery is a standard artistic symbol of maternal love and nurturing often depicted in the artist’s work. A classic subject matter executed in Teng’s signature green, brown and black dye adorned with beautiful crackles in the background, this fine work of art is truly a collector’s prize. Sourced from the United States, this piece has been kept in pristine condition framed in an out of the ordinary manner. After over three decades, this precious gem will appear on public viewing for the first time in its homeland.
Dato’ Chuah Thean Teng is undisputedly a recognised artist internationally after his successful first exhibition abroad at the Commonwealth Institute in England in 1959. His paintings, Two Of A Kind (1968) and Tell You A Secret (1987), took on iconic status when they were selected for UNICEF greeting cards. Teng first studied at Xiamen (Amoy) Art Institute in China but could not complete because of ill health. He was the first Malaysian to be honoured with a Retrospective by the National Art Gallery (NAG) in 1965, and his next was by the Penang State Art Gallery in 1994. The Penang State Government awarded him ‘Datoship’ in 1998 and the ‘Live Heritage Award’ in 2005. In 2008, the NAG again offered recognition to Teng, this time billing it a “tribute” exhibition. His major works are on show at his Yahong Art Gallery in Batu Ferrringhi in Penang, which is a veritable museum of his art. Yahong also showcases the works of Teng’s three sons and two grandsons who have all followed his creative footsteps.
Chuah Thean Teng Retrospective , Penang Museum and Art Gallery, 1994.
Teng Batik , Yahong Gallery, Penang, 1968.
Teng: An Appreciation , National Art Gallery, 2009.