Lot 010

Yong Mun Sen
b. Sarawak, 1896 - d. Penang, 1962

Boat Scene

signed (lower right)
watercolour on paper
37 x 56cm

Private collection, Penang
Acquired from the Mun Sen Studio

ESTIMATE RM 9,000 – 18,000
This must be the Weld Quay jetty area on the eastern shoreline of Penang. A deep wharf was already operational, hence the passenger boats and fishing barges as the jetty clan people were mostly fishermen. It is also the site of the Penang Ferry, the oldest ferry service in the country for cross-strait transfer since 1894! This area was a conurbation of trade and commerce with its jetties, piers, warehouses and tall corporate buildings that fuelled Penang’s entrepot prosperity, especially during the British colonial era. Now it is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Mun Sen is dubbed the ‘Father of Malaysian Painting’ in the eponymous book by Dato’ Dr. Tan Chee Khuan, who singlehandedly laid the historical template of pioneers in Malaysian art. Mun Sen, a fourth-generation Malayan, was accorded posthumous memorial exhibitions in Singapore (1966), Kuala Lumpur (National Art Gallery, March 1972) and Penang (Penang State Art Gallery, PSAG, September 1972). The PSAG honoured him with a major Retrospective in 1999. He had solo exhibitions in London (Malayan Pavilion, British Industrial Fair, 1948), Tasmania (Australia) and Cleveland (United States). He co-founded the Penang Chinese Art Club (1936), the Singapore Society of Chinese Artists (1936) and the Penang Art Society (1953). He set up the Tai Koon Studio in Penang 1922 (renamed Mun Sen Studio in 1930, with a branch in Northam Road the next year).