Lot 011

b. China, 1918 - d. Selangor, 2013


Signed and dated ‘友卓 Yow Chork 96’ (lower left)
Oil on canvas
40cm x 50cm

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur.

ESTIMATE RM 2,500 - 4,500
Depicting a day in a fishing village, this scene features docked boats and vessels — that the catch of the day has already been done, and now is a period of rest. Seeing as the painting is bright, one can assume that it is noon, with the sun bearing down, and that the villagers are resting in their own homes.

Though he stopped painting many years before his death at the age of 95, he was relatively fit because of his Daiji practices. Dubbed the ‘Cezanne of the Melati Flats’, he was a member of the Selangor Art Society and won several prizes notably the 2nd Prize in the Merdeka Independence Trade Fair’s Art and Photography exhibition in 1957. This set the self-taught artist on a course of painting in between his jobs as salesman, shop-assistant, and when he retired in 1977, newspaper typesetter. It was when he set on his dreams of being an artist and held his first solo in 1981, at the Chin Woo Art Gallery. His other solos were at the Australian High Commission, Kuala Lumpur (1982), Rupa Gallery, KL (1983), and the last at The Art Gallery, Penang (1998). Latched to the Impressionist style, he had only a little informal guidance from a China artist trained in Japan, and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art teacher, Professor Zhong Bai-mu (Chung Pak-muk).

On his paintings, he intoned: “Every new piece of work is a learning experience, about the work and also myself. A work of art, like the spoken word, expresses Truth, mostly truth about oneself.