Lot 030

b. China, 1913 - d. Penang, 1974

HOPE, c. 1960s

Signed ‘CY’ (lower right)
Oil on board
46cm x 39cm

Private Collection, Penang.

- Lee Cheng Yong Memorial, Penang State Art Gallery, 1996, illustrated on exhibition catalogue page 26.
- Important Malaysian Works From 1940 to 1991, Valentine Wille Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur, 2003, illustrated on exhibition catalogue page 10.

ESTIMATE  RM 16,000 - 25,000

Hope displays a sense of affinity towards native Malaya, illustrated by the versatile artist Lee Cheng Yong in a Gauguininspired manner present in subject matter and style. The native woman’s calm feature is composed skywards as though to denote confidence and pride with her pink veil spectacularly fluttering in the wind. Her broad shoulders dominate the lower quarter of the composition and the yellow-blue sky is expressed in a post-Impressionist manner. Perhaps the artist had found common grounds with the great Paul Gauguin - romaticised by an exotic land and inspirations sought - though in the case of Lee Cheng Yong, in Nanyang.

Lee Cheng Yong studied at Xin Hua Art Academy (later known as the Shanghai Academy of Fine Art) in 1927 and held his first solo exhibition at the Philomatic Union in Acheen Street, Penang in 1932 while his next was in 1960 at the Chin Kang Association in Macalister Road in Penang. He formed the Penang Chinese Art Club in 1935 and was elected its first president. He was honoured with the Lee Cheng Yong Memorial exhibition by the Penang State Art Gallery in 1996. Although Lee Cheng Yong left copious works on various subjects in various media indicating his versatility, he was also known as a dedicated art teacher at the Chung Ling High School. He fostered generations of star students such as Chong Hon Fatt and Chai Chuan Jin. He was prodigious mostly in oils, with works in the Post-Impressionist mould. Besides paintings, he had also done sculptures and murals. His works are collected in among others, the Fukuoka Art Museum and the Singapore Art Museum.

A Tribute to Lee Cheng Yong, The Art Gallery, 2001.
Eight Pioneers of Malaysian Art (With Supplement on Peter Harris), Dato’ Dr. Tan Chee Khuan, Penang State Art Gallery, 2013.