Lot 002

b. Penang, 1930 - d. 2010


Signed and dated ‘CHOON GHEE 1993’ (lower right)
Watercolour on paper
38cm x 22.5cm

Private Collection, Penang;
acquired directly from the artist.

ESTIMATE  RM 4,000 - 6,000

Built in the 19th century by Indian Muslim traders in Penang, the Kapitan Keling Mosque is situated at Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (formerly Pitt Street). Here, Tan Choon Ghee illustrates the exterior of the mosque with people going about their business. A cobbler is seen by the roadside mending shoes for his customer, a couple of women are walking on the street and other figures seen loitering in the background. Executed in hallmark Choon Ghee brush stroke, this piece is illustrated in bright warm yellow and orange emanating the heat of the island.

Tan Choon Ghee is legendary for his watercolour scenes of Penang street life. He graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art in Singapore in 1951 and went on to study at the Slade School of Art, London graduating in 1959. Then, he received a German Government painting scholarship and an Australian Government TV set design scholarship. He worked for TV Singapore and TV Broadcast Ltd in Hong Kong before deciding to become a full-time artist. Choon Ghee was given a retrospective (1957 - 2000) by the Penang State Art Gallery in 2000 and another retrospective (1957 - 1992) by The Art Gallery, Penang.

Tan Choon Ghee retrospective (1957-1992),
Penang State Art Gallery, 2000.