Lot 036

b. China, 1912 - d. Penang, 2008


Signed ‘Teng’ (lower right)
80cm x 60cm

Private Collection, UK.

ESTIMATE  RM 55,000 - 75,000

Hailing from a private collector based in United Kingdom, Tarian Payung (Umbrella Dance) is an early piece by Dato’ Chuah Thean Teng dated 1967. Dato’ Chuah Thean Teng illustrates the traditional dance familiar to the Nusantara archipelago performed by one or more couple with the man dancing with his partner holding an umbrella in his hand as a symbol of protector. Each man will then cover the heads of his dancing partner with a scarf as a symbol of household preparation and with the scarf her costume is now complete. Comprising of a man with an umbrella and a woman with a scarf alongside a musician armed with the traditional percussion called gendang, Chuah Thean Teng captures the merriment of the dance that celebrates love and affection.

Dato’ Chuah Thean Teng is the world-acknowledged Father of Batik Painting, especially after his break-through exhibition in 1955. He is undisputedly a recognised artist internationally after his successful first exhibition abroad at the Commonwealth Institute in England in 1959. His paintings, Two Of A Kind (1968) and Tell You A Secret (1987), took on iconic status when they were selected for UNICEF greeting cards. Teng first studied at Xiamen (Amoy) Art Institute in China but could not complete because of ill health. He was the first Malaysian to be honoured with a retrospective by the National Art Gallery (NAG) in 1965, and his next was by the Penang State Art Gallery in 1994. The Penang State Government awarded him ‘Dato-ship’ in 1998 and the ‘Live Heritage Award’ in 2005. In 2008, the NAG again offered recognition to Teng, this time billing it a “tribute” exhibition. His major works are on show at his Yahong Art Gallery in Batu Ferringhi in Penang, which is a veritable museum of his art. Yahong also showcases the works of Teng’s three sons and two grandsons who have all followed his creative footsteps.

Chuah Thean Teng Retrospective, Penang Museum and Art Gallery, 1994.
Teng Batik, Yahong Gallery, Penang, 1968.
Teng: An Appreciation, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, 2009.