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Lot 053

b. Kuala Lumpur, 1969


Oil on canvas
63cm x 89cm, diptych

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur.

Mirror’s Edge New Paintings 2003-2004, The Substation, Singapore, 2004, Flip illustrated on page 1, Flux on front cover.

Chong Siew Ying: A Mid-Career Survey, Valentine Willie Fine Art, 2008; illustrated as a pair.

ESTIMATE  RM 18,000 - 25,000

Chong Siew Ying likes to rework the figure as an expressive medium, later working only on the face which is often transformed into human landscapes. This diptych has two solitary figures juxtaposed, one female and the other ostensibly male, with opened mouths in a cry either of ecstasy or agony. The emotive decibel hits the high note with its red weal flesh tones. While her subject is often provocatively unclothed, it reflects a freedom from inhibitions and century-bound conservation. The theme is often about human relationships, and something more personal related to the feminine self, and that of the woman in her own space and always, with a quiet inner theatricality. While her earlier figures display emotive expressions that weep, her later works reveal faces of laughter, marking her out to be the female Yue Minjun, after China’s Post-Mao King of Cynical Realism.

Chong Siew Ying’s bold figures have opened new vistas into the art, psychology and physiology of painting the body, what with her latest series where Chinese philosophy and ink-and-brush starkness are infused. Her figures were transformed after studying at the L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Versailles (1991-1994) and then the L’Atelier 63 (1994 - 1996). Her early tutelage was at the Petaling Jaya College of Art and Design (Graphic Design, Diploma, 1990). On her return from Paris, she was selected for Rimbun Dahan artists’ residency from 1999 to 2000, which was followed by another at the Vermont Studio Centre in the United States in 2001. In 2002, she clinched a Special Award in the Young Contemporary Artists competition and she was a finalist for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize in 2005. Her solo exhibitions in the region include Many Splendoured Things (2006), Going Away, Coming Home (2002) and Chong Siew Ying: Selected Works 1996-1997 in Kuala Lumpur, 1998. In Paris, she had solo exhibitions at the Maison Tch’A, Atelier D.Maravel and Gallery Café Panique. Her works are collected by the National Visual Arts Gallery in Kuala Lumpur as well as respected private collections in Malaysia, Singapore, France and the USA. She now lives and works as a full-time artist in Malaysia.