Lot 015

b. Johor, 1936  - d. Selangor, 1991

Untitled, 1956

signed and dated
‘Yu Chian 56’ (lower right)
oil on masonite board
46 x 64cm

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur.

♦ PINKGUY Conservation Framing for this lot

ESTIMATE RM 30,000 – 50,000

It was 1956, when the then Malaya was on the cusp of Independence. In Malay settlements, the stilt houses were still ubiquitous among a topography of coconut trees and banana trees. While the houses might be clustered close together, there is an unpaved path although vehicles are absent, with not even bicycles in sight. The houses further inside seem to have dispensed with the upraised stilts. Probably everyone stays at home, having good quality time with family members, thus no one is spotted outdoor.

Chia Yu Chian was the first in the Straits Settlement to receive a French Government grant to study at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris in 1959 (he graduated in 1962). All 110 paintings in his first homecoming solo exhibition at the British Council in Penang in 1962 were sold out. He had the distinction of being accepted an unprecedented 15 times in exhibitions in Paris, including honorary mentions in the Salon des Independents and the Societe des Artistes Francaise and solos at the Galerie de Villiers and the Salon de Paris in Paris. He also exhibited in London (Britain), Bonn and Hanover (West Germany). In 1962, he was commissioned to do a mural, Life In Malaysia, at the Malaysian Embassy in Paris. He was honoured with Memorial exhibitions by The Art Gallery Penang (1997) and the Malaysian National Art Gallery (2002). In 2009, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art (NAFA) in Singapore hosted an exhibition called Chia Yu Chian In Nanyang, although he is not a NAFA alumni.