Lot 053

b. Penang, 1930 – d. 2010


Signed and dated ‘CHOON GHEE 1970’ (lower left)
Oil on board
22.5cm x 63.5cm

Private Collection, Penang.

ESTIMATE  RM 12,000 - 18,000
Celebrated for his ink and watercolour paintings of Penang street life, presented here is a rare oil painting by the prolific painter of landscape and street scene, Tan Choon Ghee. Known for his swift illustrations of the places he visited, this piece is a beautiful landscape of the bustling Port of Hong Kong. Executed in 1970, this historical piece is rendered in Choon Ghee’s signature brushstrokes – long and narrow lines depicting the boats’ masts – a subject favoured by artist, of piers and jetties. He retains a cool palette throughout the picture plane illustrating the sea and the sky in pale blue with hints of white and yellow and yellow-green shades of the boats.

In a book titled A Brief History of Malayan Art (1963) by Marco Hsu, the author wrote highly of Tan’s work of art: “He is without doubt a capable artist for his landscapes and portraits are expressive of the atmosphere and are refreshingly delicate and his exceptional talent can be discerned from his terse but enigmatic works.”

Tan Choon Ghee graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art in Singapore in 1951 and went on to study at the Slade School of Art, London graduating in 1959. He received a German government painting scholarship and an Australian government television set design scholarship. He worked for TV Singapore and TV Broadcast Ltd in Hong Kong before deciding to become a full-time artist. Tan was honoured with a retrospective (1957 - 2000) by the Penang State Art Gallery in 2000 and another retrospective (1957-1992) by The Art Gallery, Penang.

Tan Choon Ghee Retrospective (1957-1992)
, Penang State Art Gallery, 2000.