Lot 014

b. Johor, 1936 - d. Kuala Lumpur, 1991


Signed and dated 'Yu Chian 1972' (upper right)
Oil on board
34.5cm x 60cm

Private Collection, Penang

ESTIMATE  RM 12,000 - 18,000

Chia Yu Chian illustrates a scene of a winter sport – the reindeer sleigh race in this rare-themed painting. The tradition of reindeer sledge race is performed to observe various celebrations such as the Sami Easter festival in Lapland, Finland and Northern Norway, and the imminent arrival of spring every March in Murmansk, Russia. Yu Chian breaks away from the tropics of the Southern Sea to capture a fresh visual experience of a romantic winter. The frosty snow is depicted in cool blue-green tones and a couple of sledge riders are illustrated in Yu Chian hallmark brushstrokes and colour palette – swift marks in vibrant hues of red and a tinge of orange accentuating the reindeer and human forms. Proportionately composed, the artist opts for a rear side angle to optimise the use of space to create speed and movement. 
Chia Yu Chian received his early education in a Chinese school in Singapore. Later, he was taught privately by art pioneer Chen Wen Hsi and held his first solo exhibition in 1951. His career took a lift when he won a French Government scholarship to study at the famed Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris from 1959 to 1962. In 1960, he also had solo exhibitions in European cities such as London and Hanover. He had the distinction of his works being accepted 15 times at prestigious Salon exhibitions in Paris – a rare honour for a non-French artist and in 1959 - he received Honourable Mentions in the Salon des Independent and the Societe des Artistes Francaise. His mural, Life In Malaysia, commissioned during his sojourn in Paris is proudly displayed at the Malaysian Embassy there.

Chia Yu Chian Memorial exhibition, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, 2002.
Contemporary Artists of Malaysia,
Dolores D. Wharton, 1971.
Chinese Art of the 20th Century,
Dr Michael Sullivan, 1965.
Who’s Who In Malaysia 1975 – 1976, J. Victor Morais.