Lot 124

Tay Bak Koi
b. Singapore, 1939 - d. 2005

Untitled, 1999

signed and dated (lower left)
oil on canvas
111 x 151cm

Private collection, Selangor

ESTIMATE RM 80,000 – 140,000

A herd of buffaloes in Tay Bak Koi’s inimitable style of the animals shaped like Minangkabau roofs provides a welcome distraction in this work with two cowherds resting on the side. The topography is punctuated by the white curved horns like little sickels. The sharp-angled hump forms with thinly etched outlines and the play of colours are as bright as the blue hues enhance the beauty of this piece. The artist created a good composition: the buffaloes were painted in different angles (back, front, side), 6 herds positioned at the front, 3 herds at the back, coupled with the path that led to the back, giving a good depth.

Chia Wai Hon wrote on his buffaloes: “… tightly stylised creature with a massive body supported on two pairs of inverted V-shaped legs, a small head and a sharp hump…”

Tay Bak Koi, who studied at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1957-1960, worked in the Nanyang Style. The son of a seafood wholesaler, he had his first solo of 40 works at the Singapore National Library in 1964. In October 1996, The Art Gallery Penang hosted a solo for him, In Harmony With Nature.