Lot 78

b. Selangor, 1918 - d. 2013


Signed and dated 'Yow Chork 89' (lower right)
Oil on board
40cm x 49.5cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur

ESTIMATE  RM 4,000 - 6,000


Illustrated here is an alluring scene at an unknown port jetty on wooden stilts, perhaps at Pulau Ketam, a small island located off the coast of Klang known for long wooden stilts dwellings suspended between one and ten meters above sea level. Fung Yow Chork has skilfully captured a busy jetty depot filled with crates, and boats moored at the dockside and two figures seen on the wooden planks. His use of vibrant palette - consisting of light blue for the sky, ochre for the crates, shades of brown for the wooden stilt depot and bright red and murky green for the boats with hints of red and green across the picture plane – create a picturesque view of an otherwise monotonous setting, a testament to his artistic flair.

During his lifetime, he artist would go on alfresco painting excursions with his artist friends, favouring the out-of-the way places of disused tin mines, barren open land, and fringe of forested areas – generally any landscapes with a painterly view and all the prerequisite elements of light, contrast, colour, character and peculiarities. A self-taught artist, he used to be dubbed the Cezanne of the Melati Flats in the Pudu area in Kuala Lumpur.

Fung Yow Chork was only 13 when he picked up the finer points in art from an artist in China who had studied Impressionism in Japan. In 1933, his family migrated to Singapore and there, he forged a friendship with Professor Zhong Bai-mu (Chung Pak Mook), a lecturer of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. After moving to Kuala Lumpur in 1934, he worked as a salesman, shop assistant and typesetter with a Chinese newspaper, painting only on Sundays and during holidays and more so after he retired in 1977. He held his first solo exhibition at Chin Woo Art Gallery in 1981. On landscape, he told Halinah Todd in an interview published in The New Straits Times in 1981: “The landscape thinks itself in me and I am its consciousness.”



Pioneers of Malaysian Art , Dr. Tan Chee Khuan, The Art Gallery, Penang, 1994.