Lot 090

Kow Leong Kiang
b. Selangor, 1970

Dreamer 4, 2004

signed and dated (lower left)
oil on canvas
90 x 180cm

Private collection, Selangor

ESTIMATE RM 25,000 – 40,000

When a girl is curled up in a foetal position, she wants to be left alone in her own cocoon of thoughts and safe space or she must have been too disturbed and traumatised by some deprivations or ill luck befalling closed ones. As this looks like a nubile young girl, she might be in love, or even out of love. The act of turning away, isolating, distancing and disengaging is as good as putting up a big sign saying, ‘Scram, Don’t Come Anywhere Near Me!’  Or probably, she is having a dream...

The canvases of Kow Leong Kiang, who is known to have scoured the East Coast States to paint fetching portraits of kampung girls in his early years, goes beneath the skin and beyond innocence. The work was also inspired by his visits to Bali in his formative years when he marvelled over the accomplished nude paintings of the Indonesian masters.

Kow Leong Kiang won Southeast Asia’s highly coveted art accolade when his work, Mr. Foreign Speculator, Stop Damaging Our Country, clinched the Grand Philip Morris Asean Art Award in the finals in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 1998. He also won the Minor Award in the Young Contemporary Artists competition in 1992 and the Major Award in the National Day competition. He had been selected for art residencies at the Vermont Studio Centre, USA 2004 and Tembi Contemporary in Yogyakarta besides participation in major events such as Art Busan, Art Formosa, Art Stage Singapore and Art Expo Malaysia. He was commissioned to paint the cover of Ooi Kok Chuen’s novel, MAHSURI A Legend Reborn (2016). He graduated from the Kuala Lumpur College of Art in 1991.