Lot 030

b. China, 1913 – d. Penang, 1974

GIRL AT STUDY, c. 1950s-60s

Signed 'CY’ (lower right)
Oil on board
53.5cm x 42.5cm

Private Collection, Penang.

Lee Cheng Yong Retrospective,
Penang State Art Gallery, 1996;
illustrated on exhibition catalogue page 24.

ESTIMATE  RM 18,000 - 30,000

Girl At Study captures a voluptuous female figure in an ivory dress sitting on a stool at her study desk - her left elbow rests on the desk, her fingers rest over her shoulder while her right arm sits on the desk, her body leaned forward - a sluggish posture for a lady yet Lee Cheng Yong is able to display an air of sensuality while in an act of reading or writing. Her anonymity creates mystery and an alluring charm that beguiles the viewer. Executed in the style of Post-Impressionism, the piece stands out with its tactiile strokes of paint, use of bold black outlines, vivid and lush warm hues as well as emphasis on geometric forms.

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 a 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 others, the Fukuoka Art Museum and the Singapore Art Museum.

A Tribute to Lee Cheng Yong
, The Art Gallery, Penang, 2001.
Eight Pioneers of Malaysian Art (With Supplement on Peter Harris),
Dato’ Dr. Tan Chee Khuan, Penang State Art Gallery, 2013.