Lot 142

b. Singapore, 1941


Signed and dated 'Jolly Koh 96' (lower left)
Oil on canvas
106cm x 40cm

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur.

PINKGUY Conservation Framing for this Lot.

ESTIMATE RM 18,000 - 30,000
Jolly Koh's painting, Surprise Falls, unfurls vertically like a Chinese scroll, some 91cm in length. The spectacular plunge of the water from its high source hits the bottom pool, virtually cutting the canvas into half. The waterfall, in Chinese brush paintings and old culture, ranks as an ideal source for awe, contemplation and ideas. All around, the vegetation, cliffside and rocks add to the majesty while the reflection on the immediate water’s edge adds a refreshing vigour. Jolly Koh, the sultan of the saccharin art, makes no apologies for producing achingly beautiful and moving landscapes for eye and mind. In his book, Artistic Imperatives (1999), he opined that In life, one should take the opportunity to enjoy art for its intrinsic beauty, and its celebration of human values.

Jolly Koh is an 8th generation Baba, born in Singapore and grew up in Malacca. In 1962, he got his National Diploma in Design at the Hornsey College of Art in London, and the next year, the Art Teacher’s certificate at the Institute of Education in London University. He taught briefly in Malaysia, at the Mara Institute of Technology in Shah Alam and Sabah’s Gaya College. In 1973-75, he got a Fulbright scholarship to do his Doctor of Education and Master of Science at the Indiana University in the United States. He returned to Malaysia in 1976 and left shortly after for Australia where he taught first in Melbourne, and ended up as senior lecturer at TAFE College in Adelaide.

Koh’s Luscious Cadences of Colours (New Straits Times, Sept 23, 1997, Page 3 of Arts Page, by Ooi Kok Chuen) with a picture of Dr Jolly Koh posing with the painting