Lot 31

b. Kedah, 1939


Signed ‘SUI HOE’ (lower right)
Oil on canvas
44cm x 90cm

Private Collection, Penang.

ESTIMATE  RM 12,000 - 20,000
“Khoo Sui Hoe’s works draw us to his Shangri-la. And yet, it is not a mere abode for escapism. His idyllic world with its simplified shapes, peopled with almondeye damsels, and serene scenes, tend to drug the onlooker into the region of stupor. This might sound a paradox for intelligent art appreciation. However any work of real artistic merit baffles one with his overpowering of mystery in the same way that the heavens still remain essentially a mystery. The artist has undoubtedly enriched the Malaysian art scene with his individualistic creations.”
– Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal

Khoo Sui Hoe’s highly emotive works permeate mysterious qualities portraying his profound interest in primitivism, illustrated in a surreal manner. A testimony to Sui Hoe’s ‘escapism’ style of painting - otherworldly and harmonious – Three with Lily depicts a female figure in between two male figures in the waters. Three stalks of pink lilies are deliberately placed as a central focal point. His minimal use of colour palette – blue-grey, olive green and pink – achieves a soothing experience. Sui Hoe often portrays his stylised figures either solitarily, as a pair or in threes.

Khoo Sui Hoe is a cult hero in Malaysian art folklore for being one of the earliest who dared to become a full-time artist during a nascent time of new nationhood. He has also helped promote art and other artists first through his Alpha Singapore Gallery, which he set up with a group of artists in 1972, and then individually, the Alpha Utara Gallery in Penang in 2004. He is the spiritual leader of the Utara Group of artists in 1977. After graduating from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore in 1961, he studied at Pratt Institute in New York in 1977. He won First Prize (Oil category) in the 1965 Malaysian art competition and an Honourable Mention in the Salon Malaysia 1969. His other awards included twice winning the Asian Arts Now Awards given by the Las Vegas Museum in the United States in 2002 and 2004. He divides his time between the United States and Malaysia mainly in Penang. He recently held a ‘mini retrospective’ exhibition in Penang showcasing works from 1967 till 2013.

Khoo Sui Hoe: Landscapes through the Years
, Pipal Fine Art, Kuala
Lumpur, 2011.