KHOO SUI HOE
b. Kedah, 1939
TWO DIVERS II, 2000
Signed and dated 'SUI HOE 2000' (lower right)
Oil on canvas
68cm x 114cm
Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur.
ESTIMATE RM 25,000 - 35,000
PRICE REALISED RM 56,000
A pair of polychromatic male figures swimming in cool blue and green striped waters is portrayed in Khoo Sui Hoe’s stylistic dreamy manner. Layers of blue are applied throughout the canvas before coats of yellow producing slight hints of green as a result of the combination of two primary colours. Dated 2000, Two Divers II is a highly emotive work imbued with mysterious qualities portraying his profound interest in primitivism, illustrated in a surreal manner. His simplistic rendition of “archaic and primitivistic figurations” is treated with great consciousness.
Khoo Sui Hoe is a cult hero in Malaysian art folklore for being one of the earliest who dared to become a full-time artist during a nascent time of new nationhood. He has also helped promote art and other artists first through his Alpha Singapore Gallery, which he set up with a group of artists in 1972, and then individually, the Alpha Utara Gallery in Penang in 2004. He is the spiritual leader of the Utara Group of artists in 1977. After graduating from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore in 1961, he studied at Pratt Institute in New York in 1977. He won First Prize (Oil category) in the 1965 Malaysian art competition and an Honourable Mention in the Salon Malaysia 1969. His other awards included twice winning the Asian Arts Now Awards given by the Las Vegas Museum in the United States in 2002 and 2004. He divides his time between the United States and Malaysia mainly in Penang. He recently held a ‘mini retrospective’ exhibition in Penang showcasing works from 1967 till 2013.