Lot 011

b. China 1913 – d. Penang, 1984

UNTITLED, undated

Signed 'K.SIA' (lower left) with one seal of the artist
Watercolour on paper
69cm x 26cm

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur.

ESTIMATE RM 7,000 - 10,000

FOR one trained in art in China, at the great Sin Hwa Art Academy in Shanghai (1925-32), no less and informal private lessons by the great British-Scottish watercolourist Sir William Russel Flint (1880-1969) in London (1933), Khaw Sia was indeed hugely versatile. But such was his proficiency with painting orchids, which he knew every bud and stamen, he had become synonymous with the flowers, so much so that he had been dubbed the Orchid King. He took it up after orchid-themed trips to Thailand, Taiwan and Japan in 1961. He also began cultivating, with great success, the longer-lasting flowers.He even had had solos dedicated to orchids alone, in 1966, 1976 and 1977. Among the species painted here are the Cattleya and Vanda.

The standard of his watercolours was high, as his works were accepted by Le SalonParis in 1956, the Royal Institute Galleries Summer Salon in London in 1957, and for the 25th National Society Exhibition in London in 1958. He was honoured with a posthumous Retrospective in 1998 by the Penang State Art Gallery. In 1937, he settled in Penang where he held his first solo in 1955.

The Art of Khaw Sia and Kuo Ju-ping, Pioneer Artists, by Dato Dr Tan Chee Khuan (Publisher: The Art Gallery Penang, 2014)
Eight Pioneers of Malaysian Art, Dato Dr Tan Chee Khuan, (Publisher: The Art Gallery Penang, 2014).