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Lot 081

TEW NAI TONG
b. Selangor, 1936 – d. Kuala Lumpur, 2013

FRUITS SEASON, 1995

Signed ‘NAI TONG’ (lower right)
Inscribed ‘TEW NAI TONG “FRUITS SEASON”
1995 122 x 122’ on reverse
Oil on canvas
122cm x 122cm


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


ESTIMATE  RM 28,000 - 38,000
PRICE REALISED  RM 35,840
The comfort of greenery is felt strongly in this painting by Tew Nai Tong. An everyday tableau unfolds, as the title states, it is fruit season in a village and the fruit of choice in this image is the durian. Nai Tong skillfully bring this scene to life with atmosphere as one can almost feel the bustle of the village, its people out to partake in the latest season’s yield. The verdant nature of the painting suggests beauty in the natural world, fertility and life, emitting a district feeling of well being. Fruits Season is not only a picture of a typical village scene, but offers up the idea of a blissful utopia, of a place where people are one with nature and at peace.

Tew Nai Tong received his early art education at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore (NAFA), graduating in 1958. He worked for a while to raise funds for his studies at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts, Paris (1967 - 1968). In the early years, he signed his work as ‘Chang Nai Tong.’ His first solo was at the British Council, Kuala Lumpur in 1964 and he had his retrospective at the National Art Gallery in 2007. He taught at the Malaysian Institute of Art from 1969 to 1980, the Central Academy of Art from 1982 to 1985 and the Saito Academy of Art (head of department, 1986 - 1988). He concentrated fulltime in art in 1992. His awards included Second Prize, Chartered Bank Mural Design Competition (1964); Shell Watercolour Award (1981); Best Award, Esso (1982); Dunlop Watercolour Award (1983); and Grand Prize Asia Art Award (Malaysia) in Seoul in 2009. He is the co-founder of the Malaysian Watercolour Society (1982 - 1983) and the Contemporary Malaysian Watercolourist Association (1994) and the now defunct Le Beaux Art Gallery.


REFERENCE
Odyssey, Tew Nai Tong Retrospective
, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, 2007.