TAN CHOON GHEE
b. Penang, 1930-2010
BUSY STREET SCENE, 1989
Signed and dated 'CHOON GHEE 1989' lower left
Watercolour on paper
37cm x 43cm
Collection of The Art Gallery, Penang.
ESTIMATE RM 6,000 - 8,000
PRICE REALISED RM 8,250
A trishaw is parked on the right with its foot panel pointing leftwards. The Pre-War Straits Eclectic buildings are in some state of disrepair with fragments of exposed brickwork. It must be in the late afternoon as evidenced by the shadows. A woman, back turned to viewer, is walking back with a bag in hand. While the area somewhat portrays features of Cannon Street in Penang, Tan Choon Ghee was known for taking artistic license, preferring composite facades. The houses are often shown as lived-in places, not just bland cement-and-wood edifice. The louvred windows on top are all open with some slightly off the hinges, indicating the state of neglect.
Choon Ghee graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore in 1951 and the Slade School of Art, London in 1959. His early mentor was pioneer artist Kuo Ju Ping. He is known for his beautiful watercolour renditions of common people in Penang and his capturing of the Penang streetscape. He was awarded a German Government painting scholarship and Australian Government TV set design scholarship, and worked at TV Singapore and TV Broadcast Ltd. in Hong Kong before turning a fulltime artist. He was honoured with a retrospective (1957 to 2000) by the Penang State Art Gallery in 2000 and another retrospective (1957 to 1992) by The Art Gallery, Penang.
The Art of Tan Choon Ghee, Georgetown Printers, Penang, 1997.
Tan Choon Ghee Retrospective 1957-1992, The Art Gallery, Penang.
A Tribute to Tan Choon Ghee, Art Salon@SENI, Kuala Lumpur, 2009.