Lot 126

Ong Kim Seng
b. Singapore, 1945

Kathmandu Series, 2007

signed and dated (lower right)
watercolour on paper
52 x 73cm

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur

ESTIMATE RM 18,000 – 36,000

Acclaimed watercolourist Ong Kim Seng refers to his works as “recordings of the vanishing ways of life”. The remarkable treatment of light and shadows is shown here in this peaceful village scene. It was the watercolours of Nepal, especially Kathmandu, that virtually launched the career of world-acclaimed watercolourist Ong Kim Seng who went fulltime in 1985.

Self-taught Ong Kim Seng has travelled all over the world to paint quaint scenes of romance. Such is his skills that he is the first Asian outside of the United States to be made a member of the American Watercolour Society, and after winning a total of six different awards made a Dolphin Fellow in 2000 (he is a member since 1992). In Singapore, he was accorded the Cultural Medallion (1990) and the Arts Supporters Award (2001) for being adviser to the National Arts Council since 1998. He is also president of the Singapore Watercolour Society from 1991 to 2001, and organising chairman of the Asian Watercolours 1997. His collectors include Queen Elizabeth II, former UN secretary-general Kofi Anan, and former prime ministers of Thailand, Japan and India. In the Hong Kong Sotheby’s auction on April 2, 2017, his acrylic on canvas, Nepal, sold for a premium of HK$735,000.