Lot 113

b. Selangor, 1936 – d. Kuala Lumpur, 2013


Signed ‘NAI TONG’ (lower left)
Oil on canvas
91.5cm x 45.5cm

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

ESTIMATE  RM 9,000 - 12,000

Tew Nai Tong was an artist who spent his artistic career painting scenes that display a great appreciation for the hardworking and dedicated characters of the people he met during his journeys. His paintings are eloquent narrations of relationships and community. Festival is one painting that highlights his special relationship with villagers and people who live simple lives. This jubilant painting depicts Balinese women in an offerings procession. Joyful colours make up the artwork, and one can feel the elation of a special occasion radiating from it. Conveyed within the image is the feeling of community and hardworking character which has been a major inspiration for Nai Tong as he celebrates the extraordinary spirit in an every day picture.

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 cofounder of the Malaysian Watercolour Society (1982 - 1983) and the Contemporary Malaysian Watercolourist Association (1994) and the now defunct Le Beaux Art Gallery.

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