Lot 084

b. Kedah, 1939


Signed and dated ‘SUI HOE 70’ (lower right)
Oil on canvas
89cm x 75cm

Private Collection, Penang;
acquired through Valentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur.

The Painted World of Khoo Sui Hoe, Khoo Sui Hoe
, Penang State Art Gallery, 2007;
illustrated on page 108.

ESTIMATE  RM 18,000 - 30,000

Grey-hued primitive inspired heads in signature Khoo Sui Hoe dreamy figures - portrayed in the form of a totem or vertical tribal ancestral sculpture - is illustrated against a vast lush green field in Three With Crescent Moon. Silhouettes of mountain tops are seen in the distance and a crescentshaped moon adorns the clear blue sky. The head at the top is detached and tilted upwards from the other two which seem to be paired as one with the middle casting a gaze and as though chanting a rhythm at the viewer while the other two heads face east. Sui Hoe employed the soothing colours of green, blue, grey, and a hint of yellow to capture the essence of a dream-like state of mind.

Khoo Sui Hoe is a cult hero in Malaysian art folklore for being one of the earliest who dared to become a full-time artist during a nascent time of new nationhood. He has also helped promote art and other artists first through his Alpha Singapore Gallery, which he set up with a group of artists in 1972, and then individually, the Alpha Utara Gallery in Penang in 2004. He is the spiritual leader of the Utara Group of artists in 1977. After graduating from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore in 1961, he studied at Pratt Institute in New York in 1977. He won First Prize (Oil category) in the 1965 Malaysian art competition and an Honourable Mention in the Salon Malaysia 1969. His other awards included twice winning the Asian Arts Now Awards given by the Las Vegas Museum in the United States in 2002 and 2004. He divides his time between the United States and Malaysia mainly in Penang. He recently held a ‘mini retrospective’ exhibition in Penang showcasing works from 1967 till 2013.