b. Penang, 1941 - d. Pahang, 2001
STUDY I, 1989
Signed and dated 'JOSEPH TAN 89' lower left
Gouache and watercolour on rice paper mounted on board
14cm x 14.5cm
Private collection, Singapore;
acquired through Galeri Citra, Kuala Lumpur.
ESTIMATE RM 1,500 - 3,000
PRICE REALISED RM 4,180
Joseph Tan was a perfectionist, doing painstaking studies on his Dungun and Formation series, inspired by the mossy green rocks of Dungun when he was posted to Terengganu as the Mara Institute of Technology’s Foundation course coordinator and later senior lecturer between 1976 and 1981. The textures and colour sheen in his studies are vastly different from those of his full-blown paintings and varied too as his skills and maturity progressed. His interest in rocks and nature is fully evident in this study as Joseph brilliantly captures the cracks and texture that bring to mind boulders and cliff-faces.
Academician, administrator, activist, artist - Joseph was trained in Australia, first at East Sydney Technical College from 1963 to 1965 and then University of Sydney (Faculty of Architecture) in 1962. He taught Art at Granville Boy High School in New South Wales in 1967. His first solo exhibition was at Samat Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur in 1968. He pursued his Masters of Fine Art at the School of Institute of Chicago from 1970 to 1972 under the Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship. In addition, he has taught at the Mara Institute of Technology at its Petaling Garden campus, then Shah Alam and Dungun and back to Shah Alam, retiring as a senior lecturer in November 1992. In his career, he has also served as Acting Director of the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur from 1974 to 1975. From 1992 to 1995, he was the General Manager of the Nanyang Gallery of Art. A significant contributor to the art scene, he was also Director of the Institute of Art and Design, Land and General Company from 1996 to 1998 and a member of the board of trustees of the National Art Gallery between 1976 and 2001. He was given a posthumous retrospective by the National Art Gallery in 2006 titled Joseph Tan - His Art (1961-2001).