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Lot 061

b. Kedah, 1939


Signed ‘SUI HOE' lower right
Acrylic on canvas
75.5cm x 75.5cm

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur.

ESTIMATE  RM 15,000 - 22,000

This work is from Khoo Sui Hoe’s Cameron Highlands series at a time when he used the hill resort as his base. Framed in a double-window format, the smooth gradation of colours brings out an airy and becalming feel, a visual soliloquy of height, distance and space. It is a therapy for both the executor and the viewer. A filmy square shadow box frames the whole picture in the centre, creating a darkened lens with a light mauve finishing and thus an added perspectival ambiguity.

Khoo Sui Hoe is a cult hero in Malaysian art folklore for being one of the earliest who dared to become a full-time artist at a time of a nascent nationhood. He has also helped promote art and other artists first through his Alpha Singapore Gallery, which he set up with a group of artists in 1972, and then singly, the Alpha Utara Gallery in Penang in 2004. He is the spiritual leader of the Utara Group of artists in 1977. After graduating from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art, Singapore in 1961, he studied at Pratt Institute in New York in 1977. He won First Prize (Oil category) in the 1965 Malaysian art competition and an Honourable Mention in the Salon Malaysia 1969. His other awards included twice winning the Asian Arts Now Awards given by the Las Vegas Museum in the United States in 2002 and 2004. He divides his time between the United States and Malaysia, mainly in Penang.

The Painted World of Khoo Sui Hoe, Penang State Art Gallery, 2007.