Lot 067

b. Singapore, 1931


Signed and dated ‘K Kwang 65’ (lower right)
Oil on canvas
81cm x 66cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur.

ESTIMATE  RM 16,000 - 25,000
Dated 1965, this idyllic painting depicts farmers at work. The simplified rendition of the paddy field is illustrated in warm tones at the lower right of the canvas and golden yellow and ochre is applied throughout the surface, drawing the eyes particularly to the centre where the four figures are distantly placed - two female figures are distinguished by bright red dots to indicate their sarongs and two male figures adorning conical hats are placed closer with their backs to the viewer.

Choo Keng Kwang is an anchor figure within the oil painting tradition in Singapore. A highly accomplished painter, a committed educationist, a generous donor and supporter of social charities, the artist was awarded the Public Service Medal in 1976 and numerous distinguished awards and mentions throughout his career. He took afternoon art courses at Nanyang Academy of Fine Art (NAFA) while attending Catholic High School in the morning and graduated with certificates from both institutions in 1953. He began his career as a school teacher and principal at Sin Hua School and was subsequently seconded to NAFA where he was head of the Art Education Department until his retirement. A contemporary of the late Liu Kang and Georgette Chen, Choo remains popular among collectors as he is adept at combining Western impressionism and rules of perspective with traditional Chinese brushwork. He recently held a solo exhibition in Singapore in 2013.