Lot 051

b. China, 1913 – d. Penang, 1966


Signed ‘若萍’ (lower left)
Pastel on paper
35cm x 25cm

Private Collection, Penang.

ESTIMATE  RM 6,000 - 8,000

Executed in a medium that is very close to Ju Ping’s heart, this pastel work on paper depicts a scene at a Chinese temple in Penang with balanced use of form, colour, contrast and composition. Completed perhaps in a matter of minutes, it showcases Ju Ping’s mastery in sculpting three dimensional spaces within a limited surface area on paper, conveying a convincing sense of perspective and ambience: silhouettes of figures going up the stairs to the temple, strong black strokes outlining the stark shadows cast by the sunlight, organic shapes of the clouds echoed in the rooftop motif of the temple.

Kuo Ju Ping was formerly known as Koay Seng Chye but he changed his name to something more propitious, after a water plant. He was from the pioneering batch of students at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art in Singapore under the founder Lim Hak Tai in early 1941, but his studies was disrupted by the Japanese Occupation in December that year. He was also called back to Penang to help run his father’s import-export business, Sin Guan Thye Company on Victoria Street. He founded the Thursday Art Group in 1957 and the Penang Chinese Art Club in 1936. He was accorded a memorial exhibition by the Penang State Art Gallery in 1997.

Kuo Ju Ping Memorial Exhibition
, Penang State Art Gallery, 1997.