Lot 022

b. Penang, 1930 - d. 2010


Signed and inscribed in Chinese with seal (lower left)
Ink on paper
46.5cm x 69.5cm

Private Collection, Penang.

ESTIMATE  RM 7,000 - 12,000


 In a book titled A Brief History of Malayan Art (1963) by Marco Hsu (translated by Dr. Lai Chee Kien), 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.” Illustrated here is a classic street scene by Tan Choon Ghee, demonstrating his dexterity in Chinese ink applying swift brush strokes in varying intensity to form the intricacy of heritage architecture and the movement of trishaw rider.

Tan Choon Ghee completed his secondary education from Chung Ling high school in 1948 and graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art in Singapore in 1951. He then attended the Slade School of Fine Art in London from 1957 to 1959. He had received a German government painting scholarship and an Australian government television set design scholarship. He had worked for TV Singapore and TV Broadcast Ltd in Hong Kong prior to becoming a full-time artist. He had held numerous one-man shows with his first in 1956 at the Hooi Ann Association, Penang followed by in 1958, 1962 and 1963 organised by the British Council, Penang; National Library in Singapore (1962 and 1970); Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur (1983 and 1993) among others. Tan had also been honoured with two retrospective exhibitions in 1996 and 2000; a tribute show in Kuala Lumpur (2009) and a recent posthumous solo exhibition titled A Lifetime of Drawings showcasing his sketchbooks and paper works at the Penang State Art Gallery (2014).

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