Lot 013

Khaw Sia
b. China, 1913 - d. Penang, 1984

Orchids In Nature, 1983

signed and dated
‘K.SIA. 1983’ (lower right)
watercolour on paper
50 x 65cm

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur

ESTIMATE RM 6,000 – 10,000
Khaw Sia was an avid orchid breeder-cultivator and a member of the American Orchid Society, and travelled extensively to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia to learn about new and different species and to attend orchid conventions. Naturally, orchids became one of his favourite subjects, and he had developed his trademark realist style of dewdrops on the orchid petals. Indeed, he had solos exclusively on orchid still-lifes in 1966, 1976 and 1977, all in Penang.

Khaw Sia is perhaps the best trained among the pioneers, with tutelage at Liu Haisu’s Sin Hwa Art Academy in Shanghai (1925-32) and informal private lessons under British-Scottish watercolourist Sir William Russel Flint (1880-1969) in London (1933). Khaw Sia settled in Penang in 1937 and briefly in Hong Kong. He held his first solo in Penang in 1955 and was given a posthumous Retrospective by the Penang State Art Gallery in 1998. His standard was impeccable, as his works were accepted by reputable exhibitions such as the Le Salon Paris in 1956, the Royal Institute Galleries Summer Salon in London in 1957, and the 25th National Society Exhibition in London in 1958.