Lot 004

b. China, 1908 – d. Penang, 1966

Untitled, undated

signed ‘若萍’ (lower left)
oil on canvas
43 x 36cm

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur.

ESTIMATE RM 4,000 – 7,000
In this work, the artist effectively illustrates the tranquil nature and steady rhythm of village life. It is a rustic scene portraying traditional architectural styles that are gradually being lost. Amidst wooden houses, long poles scatter in various directions as a support, ultimately leading the viewer to a splendid mountain view in the distance. The scene is nostalgic, showing the relaxed movement of time.

Kuo Juping (the name was taken after a water plant) was in the pioneering batch of students at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art (NAFA) in Singapore but had to return a year before graduating to tend to his father’s import-export business, Sing Guan Thye & Co. He was a founding member of Thursday Art Group and Penang Chinese Art Club in 1936. He was one of the first artists to paint the ordinary people and places such as rubber estates, oil palms / cocoa plantations, padi-fields, kampung and make-shift hawker centres. He was a mentor of Tan Choon Ghee (1930-2010) who became a legendary watercolourist. Kuo died of a stroke in March 1966 at the age of 58.