Lot 091

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


Signed and dated "Yu Chian' (lower centre),
'1987'  (lower right)
Oil on canvas
72cm x 40cm

Private Collection, Penang.

ESTIMATE  RM 18,000 - 25,000

Chia Yu Chian was used to the daily hustle-and-bustle of the hawkers operating in the open compound just below his three-room flat on the first floor of Selangor Mansions in the Jalan Masjid India area of Kuala Lumpur where he stayed. His residence was also his gallery cum studio. The flats were one of the oldest in Kuala Lumpur and the area was a popular late-night rendezvous for supper over teh tarik. In the daytime as shown in this painting, a festive air prevailed with the makeshift stalls operating under the shade of trees as well as canopies like this rainbow-hued umbrella of the Indian florist with an equally colourful spread of flowers. The figures, of multi ethnicity all in Yu Chian’s habitual outlines, are shown mingling all over.

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 had his first solo 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.
Modern Artists of Malaysia,
T.K. Sapathy and Redza Piyadasa, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1983.
Chia Yu Chian in Nanyang, Lim Hak Tai Gallery,
Nanyang Academy of Fine Art, Singapore, 2009.