Lot 006

b. Selangor, 1970


Signed and dated 'KOW LEONG KIANG 1999' (lower left)
Oil on canvas
25cm x 25cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur

ESTIMATE  RM 5,000 -  7,000

Deriving from the Innocence Series, this sublime illustration of a young child is Kow Leong Kiang’s depiction of purity. Rural preadolescent girls of Malay descent are Kow’s subject of interest portraying female values based on Malay culture - the ideals of modesty, innocence and naivety are ingrained from childhood. He opts for an earthy palette applied with gentle strokes to depict the child’s vulnerability apparent in her dewy-eyes. Kow’s skillfulness in portraiture and figurative drawings sets him apart from his contemporaries with his delicate strokes and rustic palette. 

Kow Leong Kiang stamped his class when he won the highly coveted Grand Prize in the Philip Morris Asean Art Award, the only Malaysian to have done so, in the finals in Vietnam in 1998, with his work called Mr Foreign Speculator, Stop Damaging Our Country, which established him as a major figurative artist. He graduated from the Kuala Lumpur College of Art in 1991 and showed early promise when he won the Minor Award in the Young Contemporary Artists competition in 1992 and the National Day Art Competition in Kuala Lumpur. He was awarded the Freeman Foundation Asian Artist fellowship for a two-month artist’s residency at the Vermont Studio Centre in the United States in 2004. He held his solo exhibition To The Sea at Ernst and Young Gallery in Singapore in August 2012 under The Asia Outreach Programme. A member of the provocative F Klub, Kow Leong Kiang continues to create sensuous figurative images alongside his peers Bayu Utomo Radjikin, Shia Yih-Yiing, Marvin Chan, Chong Ai Lei, Gan Chin Lee and Chin Kong Yee with a recent exhibition titled Scent of Bali upon returning from an inspirational trip to Bali early this year. He also participated in the group show Art@Whiteaways, a special project exhibition by Valentine Willie in conjunction with the Georgetown Festival in Penang in June 2013.