Lot 017

b. Kedah, 1939


Signed 'SUIHOE' (lower right)

Oil on canvas
88cm x 88cm

Private Collection, Australia;
acquired through Raya Gallery, Kew, Victoria, Australia

KHOO SUI HOE, Raya Gallery, Australia, 1978

ESTIMATE  RM 18,000 - 30,000

The play of circles and sinuous forms of the figures are to lull one into a blissful stupor. The yin-yang balance is represented by the man and the woman with her curved rump and bosoms. Circles are symbolic of harmony, perfection, unity, wholeness, universality and infinity. It is a work that represents the simplicity and contemplative nature that Khoo Sui Hoe has become known for. In both figures, a hand extends over the forehead to suggest the relaxed mood.

Dr. Chew Teng Beng, Vice Chairman of the Penang State Art Gallery and committee member of the Penang Arts Council who initiated the one-man show for Sui Hoe in Australia in 1978 where this work was displayed commented on the Foreword of the exhibition catalogue: “His images are selected and presented in clear-cut, concise, and emotive forms. The dream-like and mysterious qualities of these images owe much to their origins in the unconscious. They are fresh and modern. Sui-Ho’s paintings illustrate his interest in primitivism and the content of subject matter is surreal in manner”.
Khoo Sui Hoe is a cult hero in Malaysian art folklore for being one of the earliest who dared to become a full-time artist at a time of a nascent nationhood. He has also helped promote art and other artists first through his Alpha Singapore Gallery, which he set up with a group of artists in 1972, and then singly, the Alpha Utara Gallery in Penang in 2004. He is the spiritual leader of the Utara Group of artists in 1977. After graduating from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art, Singapore in 1961, he studied at Pratt Institute in New York in 1977. He won First Prize (Oil category) in the 1965 Malaysian art competition and an Honourable Mention in the Salon Malaysia 1969. His other awards included twice winning the Asian Arts Now Awards given by the Las Vegas Museum in the United States in 2002 and 2004. He was given a retrospetive by the Penang State Art Gallery in 2007. He divides his time between the United States and Malaysia mainly in Penang.

Khoo Sui Hoe Paintings 1963 – 1973, Lembaga Muzium Negeri Pulau Pinang, 1978.
The Painted World of Khoo Sui-Hoe,
Khoo Sui-Hoe Retrospective, Penang State Art Gallery, 2007.