CHIA YU CHIAN
b. Johor, 1936 - d. Kuala Lumpur, 1990
JETTY VIEW, 1981
Signed and dated 'Yu Chian 1981' (lower left)
Oil on canvas
47cm x 58cm
Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
ESTIMATE RM 18,000 - 30,000
PRICE REALISED RM 36,960
Executed in post-Impressionist manner, this vivid and multihued landscape illustrates a view of a clan jetty in Penang. A master in perspective, Chia Yu Chian treats his subject matter with boundless charisma through his standpoint. The otherwise mundane panorama is brought to life with rows of wooden stilt houses painted in blue, yellow, ivory and green; the colour of the sea as fresh as icy cool mountain water and the sky buttery yellow, creating an attractive vista. Two figures on a boat are seen at the corner of the canvas. The viewer is lured into one of the settlements built in the late 19 th century expressed as a magical landscape made possible by the artist’s brilliant choice of colours.
Chia Yu Chian attended Pei Wah Primary School in Johor followed by secondary education at Singapore Chinese High School. He was then enrolled to Christ Church English School in Singapore and later learnt French language at the Alliance Francaise de Singapour in Singapore before attending art school in Paris. He obtained an Academic Certificate in February 1959 certified by Jean Aurillac, the French Consular General to Singapore since May 1958. The certificate which was written by then Director of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) attested that the student Chia Yu Chian had even while studying painting over the course of two years, held exhibitions of critical acclaim. The recommendation enabled him to enroll in the second year of Western painting at NAFA where he studied under Chen Wen Hsi and Cheong Soo Pieng, both pioneer masters in the Singapore art scene. Chia received a French government scholarship with this certificate to study in the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts de Paris from where he graduated in 1962. He was the first artist from the Straits Settlements to have been granted such prestige. In the following years, such scholarships had only been given to some of the more renowned artists from the Indian subcontinent and also China. During the span of his illustrious career, he had held a significant number of solo exhibitions in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India and in Europe namely in France, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain. He had also participated in many regional and international group shows. His works are in the collection of private individuals and institutions around the world. He had produced a grand mural titled Life in Malaysia for the Malaysian Embassy in Paris and portraits for various Malaysian government and political luminaries.