KOW LEONG KIANG
b. Selangor, 1970
MALAY GIRL SERIES, 2003
Signed and dated 'KOW LEONG KIANG 2003' on
centre panel upper left
Oil on canvas
35.5cm x 106.5cm, triptych
Private collection, Kuala Lumpur.
ESTIMATE RM 10,000 - 15,000
PRICE REALISED RM 28,600
|Kow Leong Kiang’s portraits of the kampung girls are legendary, but often only as a single panel work, unlike here in this rare triptych. While the focus is still on the innocence and rustic charm of the young girl with the long flowing hair and floral baju kurung, the clear lines dividing the background seashore breakers suggests a kind of photographic illusion, with her head etched out above the horizon. The focus is on the young girl with soft, brown-tinged tresses and that intense look as if fixated by something. Kow’s choice of idyllic colour palette impressively captures the sea breeze, sound of waves and the warmth of the sun.
Kow Leong Kiang stamped his class when he won the highly coveted Grand Prize in the Philip Morris Asean Art Award, the only Malaysian to have done so, in the finals in Vietnam in 1998, with his work called Mr Foreign Speculator, Stop Damaging Our Country, which established him as a major figurative artist. He graduated from the Kuala Lumpur College of Art in 1991 and showed early promise when he won the Minor Award in the Young Contemporary Artists competition in 1992 and the National Day Art Competition in Kuala Lumpur. He was awarded the Freeman Foundation Asian Artist fellowship for a two-month artist’s residency at the Vermont Studio Centre in the United States in 2004. He held his solo exhibition To The Sea at Ernst and Young Gallery in Singapore in August 2012 under The Asia Outreach Programme.