Lot 033

b. Malacca, 1934 – d. Negeri Sembilan, 1988

LANDSCAPE, c. early 1970s

Ink on rice paper
43cm x 95cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur;
acquired directly from the artist.

ESTIMATE  RM 8,000 - 10,000

A visionary Chinese ink painter, Le Chek Wen produced representational pictures of landscapes using masterful ink play – applying and reducing pressure with his brush to create dark tones of black and lighter shade of grey – although a basic method of Chinese ink painting, Le’s results is unlike his peers. Spiritual and harmonious, his landscape painting such as this is conceptual in its conception. Depicting a mountainous landscape with villages on the lowland, this black and white ink painting epitomises Le’s forward mindedness in executing alluring scenery.

Sun Yisheng, Professor of Chinese Printing Department at the Fine Art Academy of Si’an wrote highly of Le Chek Wen’s ink paintings: “As an outstanding representative of the Nanyang school to combine the best of the East and the West, Le’s pursuit of the “Void” and “Spirit” in the ink and brush painting had enabled him to ascend an unprecedented height. The traditional landscape is created by means of all kinds of brushwork that produce fantastic layout of white and black. Void space is found working together with substantial ink to bring about an illusion, amid which, the spirit or essence of the object is livened up.”

A graduate from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Singapore in 1956, Le Chek Wen was ever grateful to his mentor Lim Hak Tai, founder of NAFA for his dedication and devotion to art education. Emulating his mentor’s role as an art educator, Le Chek Wen became an Art Supervisor at the Chung Hua High School in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan in 1961. He was a well-loved teacher and was remembered fondly among his students as friendly and dedicated. He had held a number of solo shows locally and abroad during his lifetime namely his first in 1967, a jointly sponsored exhibition by Samat Art Gallery and Galaxy Gallery in Kuala Lumpur; in 1971 at Samat Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur; in Singapore by the Singapore Art Society; and in Penang by the Art Exhibition Centre. He had also held a solo exhibition in Austria in 1975. He was a recipient to numerous awards which included Second Prize in Chinese Painting, Singapore in 1955, Third Prize in Pastels at the Joy of Living Open Art Competition in Kuala Lumpur in 1964 and the highest award for Best Work at the Beijing International Ink and Wash Painting Exhibition in 1988.

Le Chek Wen: Ink Paintings – The Silence of Nature Communicates More Than All Human Language (Lovingly Dedicated To Our Beloved Teacher Mr. Le Chek Wen From His Grateful Students), 1992.