LEE CHENG YONG
b. China, 1912 - d. Penang, 1974 1954
COLOUR SCHEME, c.1950s
Signed 'LEE CHENG YONG LeeCY' (lower right)
Oil on board
40cm x 50cm
Private Collection, Penang.
ESTIMATE RM 16,000 - 25,000
PRICE REALISED RM 35,200
|Echoing, the work of Piet Mondrian, while drawing paternity from De Stijl movement and perhaps Cubism, Colour Scheme is one of Lee Cheng Yong’s boldest abstract composition. Lee Cheng Yong was one of the most versatile pioneering artists and had been known to experiment his brushes or chisels on all art genres. For all the geometry of rectangles and odd shapes, it is obvious that the work represented an urban topography with a concession to vegetation, even a marshland, in the plant totem in silhouette on the left. As opined by the Structuralist Charles Biederman, often there could be found in abstract art, a “correspondence in structure of the structural process level of Reality.” And while ostensibly flat, Gustave Flaubert held out the notion that there is a poetry in it that could rival the precision of geometry.
Lee Cheng Yong studied at Sin Hwa Art Academy (later known as the Shanghai Academy of Fine Art) in 1927 and held his first solo exhibition at the Philomatic Union in Acheen Street, Penang in 1932 while his next was in 1960 at the Chin Kang Association in Macalister Road in Penang. He formed the Penang Chinese Art Club in 1935 and was elected its first president. He was honoured with the Lee Cheng Yong Memorial exhibition by the Penang State Art Gallery in 1996. Although Lee Cheng Yong left copious works on various subjects in various media indicating his versatility, he was also known as a dedicated art teacher at the Chung Ling High School. He fostered generations of star students such as Chong Hon Fatt and Chai Chuan Jin. He was prodigious mostly in oils, with works in the Post-Impressionist mould. Besides paintings, he had also done sculptures and murals. His works are collected in among and the Singapore Art Museum.
A Tribute to Lee Cheng Yong, The Art Gallery, Penang, 2001.
Lee Cheng Yong Memorial, Penang State Art Gallery, 1996.
Eight Pioneers of Malaysian Art (With Supplement on Peter Harris), Dato Dr Tan Chee Khuan, Penang State Art Gallery, 2013.