Lot 001

b. Terengganu, 1959


Watercolour on paper
16cm x 11.5cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur;
acquired through Galeri Citra, Kuala lumpur.

ESTIMATE  RM 4,000 - 7,000

Depictions of the Malay villagers that Chang Fee Ming lived with form most of his early oeuvre. In Mek Jarah an elderly lady in bright red scarf and sarong sits in the foreground against a background of lush greenery, looking off into the distance. It displays quintessential Chang Fee Ming vibrancy and detail and the woman projects the usual contemplative expression that many of Fee Ming’s subjects have. To be lost in nostalgia or in thoughts is a specific characteristic of his figurative paintings and these expressions somehow manage to evoke the world and mood around the figure. In this painting there is a strong sense of reflection and meditation, a feeling of joy in painting an everyday scene. While many of his major works convey a strong message of remembrance connected to the Asian way of life, this small watercolour on paper has a feel of a celebration of the simple life and the characters that are still a part of it.

Chang Fee Ming is an accomplished watercolourist known for his unique renditions and interpretations of peoples,t raditional societies and cultures. He goes deep into the  interiors, to the heart of isolated, marginalised traditional communities, to the off-the-beaten track areas in Indonesia, Africa, Myanmar, Cambodia, Nepal and even tracing the mighty Mekong right up to its source in Tibet - with the zeal of an anthropologist, the insight of a social scientist and above all, the great spirit of an artist. Since his first foray to Bali in 1985, he has etched his place in Indonesian art history, especially in Bali.