Lot 144

b. Johor, 1967

BLACK MOON 13, 1992

Acrylic on canvas
167cm x 228cm

Private collection, Penang.

Contemporary Feminist Artist: Eng Hwee Chu. Tan Chin Kuan, 2013, page 41

ESTIMATE RM 30,000 - 55,000
Eng Hwee Chu’s Black Moon Series comprising 14 big works from 1989 to 1992, depicts human reality and the soul-searching of the artist herself. “The Black Moon is the real moon, the lighted moon is the glory of the sun… Under the black moon, people revealed their true colours. Once darkness cast over them under the black moon, feelings of depression, anxiety, fear, loss, desolation, will emerge following the disarming of their alertness.” (Eng Hwee Chu, published by Tan Chin Kuan, 2013). This Black Moon No. 13 is a major work from her series. Another piece, No. 12, won her the Minor Award (Painting) in the coveted Young Contemporary Artists (BMS) competition in 1992. Her works, a dreamlike autobiographical capsule couched in Magic Realism, have her as the progenitor in a flaming-red nude body, the nudity to denote the personal freedom, although she is surrounded by a castle-like Grecian barricade where her early life-history is fragmentarily re-enacted. A black shadow archetype, her shadow, sticks close by. A smaller Black Moon sold at her debut in the Henry Butcher Auction on April 21, 2013, for RM8,800.

Eng Hwee Chu obtained her Diploma from the Malaysian Institute of Art from 1986-1989. She later taught there. She held her first solo at the National Art Gallery’s Creative Centre in 1995. In 1992, she won a Minor Award in the Young Contemporary Artists for Black Moon No. 12, which is now in the collection of the National Gallery Singapore. Her biggest achievement was when her work, Cry Freedom (now collection of National Art Gallery, KL) won the 1st Prize in the Malaysian component of the Philip Morris Asean Art Award in 1994. In 1996, she was selected by the organizer’s curatorial team for the 2nd Asia-Pacific Triennial in Brisbane. In 1997, she was selected to take part in Art in South-east Asia: Glimpses into the Future (Hiroshima, Japan), and in 2012, the Women In Between: Asian Women Artists 1984-2012 in Fukuoka and Tochigi in Japan. In October, 2013, Hwee Chu and Chin Kuan and their three children held a joint exhibition called ‘A Family of Artists’ at the Annexe Gallery, Kuala Lumpur.

Pages 16-42, Eng Hwee Chu (Tan Chin Kuan, 2013)
Eng Hwee Chu and Tan Chin Kuan (12 Art Space, Kuala Lumpur, August 2008)