Lot 034

b. Kedah, 1939


Signed 'SUI HOE' (lower left)
Oil on canvas
80cm x 80cm

Private Collection, Penang.

ESTIMATE  RM 18,000 - 30,000

Little Couple illustrates a pair of male and female figures executed in Khoo Sui Hoe’s classic stylistic surreal and primitivism manner. The totemic figures are rendered in rustic palette of bluegrey and green patina analogous to a bronze statuette. Framed in a polychromatic border, its multiple hues are reflected on parts of the figures projecting their shiny qualities. Each figure is faintly outlined in red to accentuate its chess piece-like form.

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. A ‘mini retrospective’ exhibition was held in Penang showcasing works from 1967 till 2013.