Lot 014

Kuo Juping
b. China, 1908 – d. Penang, 1966

Portrait Of A Boy

signed (lower right)
oil on board
64 x 50cm

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur

ESTIMATE RM 7,000 – 12,000
Celebrated Nanyang painter Kuo Juping illustrates a portrait of a young boy in brown suspenders with a shirt. The shirt looks worn out suggesting a long day although his hair are neatly parted to the right. A smart-looking handsome boy, with his kempt hair, wearing his favourite shirt (trend of that era), looking straight into the eyes of the viewers. He is confident, mature, polite, well-mannered, responsible, poised to be the future pillar of the nation, contributing to the country, and at the same time taking good care of his family.

Kuo Juping (the name was taken after a water plant) was in the pioneering batch of students at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art in Singapore but had to return a year before graduating to tend to his father’s import-export business, Sing Guan Thye & Co. He was a founding member of Thursday Art Group and Penang Chinese Art Club in 1936. He was one of the first artists to paint the ordinary people and places such as rubber estates, oil palms / cocoa plantations, paddy fields, kampung and make-shift hawker centres. He was a mentor of Tan Choon Ghee (1930-2010) who became a legendary watercolourist. Kuo died of a stroke in March 1966 at the age of 58.