LIM CHENG HOE
b. China, 1912 - d. Singapore, 1979
KAMPUNG ABDULLAH, JOHOR, c. 1960-65
Signed 'CHLim' (lower right)
Watercolour on paper
36cm x 48cm
Private Collection, Singapore.
Accompanied with certificate from the artist's family.
ESTIMATE RM 24,000 - 34,000
PRICE REALISED RM 30,800
|An old kampong scene full of rustic charm caught Cheng Hoe’s eyes and evoked his visual spirit instantaneously. Unlike the urban scene, this spot was far from the madding crowd – the folks in their simple ways carving out their existence as a cohesive communal group.
Here, one could perceive the harmonious relationship between man’s rural existence and Nature. At the required level of verisimilitude, Cheng Hoe painted the wooden plank walls and attap roofs to portray the huts’ cluster as it was. Similarly the doors, windows and stilts were of natural timber.
This piece bore an impressive composition showing spatial distribution of the huts and green foliage interspersing at varying tones, shades and hues to achieve subtle perspectives. Moreover, the interplay of light and shades in the foreground presented a bright cheerful day – as characterized by the two lively figures appeared in the mid-ground.
Like Cheong Soo Pieng, Chen Wen Hsi, Chen Chong Swee, Liu Kang and Georgette Chen, Lim Cheng Hoe belonged to the pantheon of first generation art notables. He was hailed as one of Singapore’s earliest and most outstanding watercolourists whose works commanded great admiration from the fine-arts fraternity. Also Cheng Hoe was held in highesteem by the Malaysian art community like his counterparts Yong Mun Sen and Abdullah Ariff.
His mastery of the watercolour technique had greatly inspired an influenced younger generation watercolorists. Peers from his intimate circle of artists were impressed by his ability to portray his subjects with much profundity, fluidity and ease. Because of the quiet appeal and authority of his works and the influence they were to exert on the subsequent development of landscape art and portraiture, especially in watercolour medium, National Museum Art Gallery of the Ministry of Community Development presented a posthumous Retrospective Exhibition in 1986 as a deserving tribute to Cheng Hoe in recognition of his invaluable contribution towards the education of watercolour art in Singapore.