Lot 052

b. China, 1913 – d. Penang, 1966


Signed ‘JU PING’ (lower left)
Oil on board
44cm x 38.5cm

Private Collection, Penang.

ESTIMATE  RM 10,000 - 16,000

Celebrated Nanyang painter Kuo Ju Ping illustrates the backyard of a local abode – the side view of the two-storey home and a makeshift tent consisting of plywood frames and zinc rooftop that serves as an extended shelter against rain or heat for the purpose of either working or resting outdoors – in a post-Impressionist manner with warm tones of brown and red and hints of blue and purple. The light blue sky and cottony white clouds suggest a lovely afternoon. A towering dried tree without leaves stand adjacent to the house and rubble of junk is piled beneath the tree trunk. A brood of fowls are pecking the soil for food while another is seen on a raised wooden platform on the left. Dubbed as the “Cezanne of the East” by fellow artist John Lee Joo For, the works of Kuo Ju Ping are manifestations of his adoration towards French Impressionist art.

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.