YONG MUN SEN
b. Sarawak, 1896 - d. Penang, 1962
Signed and dated '1952 MUNSEN' (lower right)
Watercolour on paper
54cm x 75cm
Private Collection, Selangor.
ESTIMATE RM 18,000 - 25,000
A calming landscape illustrating the lushness of nature from a hilltop, this remarkable view is illustrated in soothing colours of green and blue. Yong Mun Sen selects a stunning composition depicting a small town situated amidst the jagged hills and a U-shaped valley in a distance. The artist is able to capture the freshness of the air with this breathtaking view.
After witnessing a Japanese artist painting in his family’s coconut and pepper plantation, Yong Mun Sen (born Yong Yen Lang) became inspired to become a painter. He changed his name to Yong Mun Sen in 1922, two years after settling in Penang. He had established a photography studio named Tai Woon / Wei Guan Art Studio in 1922 and renamed it Mun Sen studio in 1930 which then became a favourite meeting place for fellow artist-friends namely Tay Hooi Keat, Kuo Ju Ping, Khaw Sia, Lee Cheng Yong, Abdullah Ariff and other pioneering Malaysian artists. He co-founded the Penang Chinese Art Club in 1935 and was elected vice president. He initiated the formation of Singapore Chinese Art Club the same year. Posthumous memorial exhibitions were honoured to him in Singapore (1966), Galeri 11, Kuala Lumpur (1966), the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur (1972) and the Penang State Art Gallery (PSAG, 1972). In 1999, the PSAG organised a retrospective exhibition where Boats through the Nets was displayed. Dubbed ‘The Father of Malaysian Art’ by many, Yong Mun Sen has left behind a remnant of history for the present and future art enthusiasts to remember him by. The great Xu Bei-hong (1895 - 1953) described Mun Sen as “the most outstanding figure in Malaysian art and one of the few top artists in the tropics.”