Lot 113

b. Selangor, 1941


Signed and dated 'Jolly Koh 97' (lower left)
Oil on jute
101cm x 56.5cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur.

ESTIMATE  RM 28,000 - 35,000

The Fan Fern series was one of the early spectrums of gorgeous colours representing Jolly Koh’s re-acquaintance with the tropical Malaysian landscapes. He returned to Malaysia in 1990 from Australia after one-and-a-half decades of teaching in Melbourne and Adelaide. This piece on offer is similar to Fan Fern V (1996) which was featured in the Terang Bulan catalogue which accompanied his exhibition at Shenn’s Fine Art in Singapore in 1996. A cluster of long shafts resembling leaf blades fans out from the base in contrasting hues and tones with a horizon line demarcating the space about a third from the top, which is just an oblong expanse with a mix of coral and tangerine. The way the colours are juxtaposed and the inherent lushness evoke a sense of meditative calmness.

Artist-educator Jolly Koh is one of the finest colourists in Malaysian art. He was given his first solo exhibition at the British Council, Kuala Lumpur at the age of 17, in 1958. An eighth generation Peranakan Baba, Jolly Koh grew up in Malacca. He excelled in art studies, obtaining his National Diploma in Design at the Hornsey College of Art, London from 1959-1962, and the the Art Teacher’s Certificate at the London University from 1962-1963. He then obtained his MSc (Fulbright scholarship, 1970 to 1972) and Ed.D (1972 to 1975) at the Indiana University in the United States, while being a teaching associate there from 1973 to 1975. He taught Art in Melbourne and Adelaide from 1976 to 1988 and was a senior lecturer at the MS C College (now SeGi) from 2000 until 2004. His most recent solo, Towards The Nebula, represents a darker phase in his palette.

Artistic Imperatives (Selected Writings and Paintings) by Dr Jolly Koh, Maya Press, 2004.
Jolly Koh, Maya Press, 2008.
Terang Bulan, Shenn’s Fine Art, Singapore, 1996.