Lot 069

b. Selangor, 1918 - d. 2013


Signed and dated 'Yow Chork 92' (lower right)
Oil on canvas
56cm x 122cm

Private Collection, Penang.

ESTIMATE  RM 12,000 - 18,000


A charming depiction of a bustling local market scene painted in an Impressionist manner. Large in dimension, the panoramic view illustrates vibrant representation of figures amidst baskets of fresh produce in rich hues. A self-taught artist, Fung Yow Chork was dubbed the ‘Cezanne of the Melati Flats’ in the Pudu area of Kuala Lumpur.

Fung Yow Chork was only 13 when he picked up the finer points in art from an artist in China who had studied Impressionism in Japan. In 1933, his family migrated to Singapore and there, he forged a friendship with Professor Zhong Paimu, a lecturer of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts who occasionally guided him on painting in oils, even when he (Pai Mu) had returned to Hong Kong. After moving to Kuala Lumpur in 1934, he worked as a salesman, shop-assistant and typesetter with a Chinese newspaper, painting only on Sundays and during holidays and more so after he retired in 1977. In 1957, he won a prize in the Merdeka Independence Trade Fair Art and Photographic exhibition. He held his first solo exhibition at Chin Woo Art Gallery in 1981. In an interview published in The New Straits Times in 1981, he described landscape to Halinah Todd: “The landscape thinks itself in me and I am its consciousness.” The news of the demise of the great outdoor painter Fung Yow Chork late last year brought grief to the local art scene. Fung Yow Chork would go on alfresco painting excursions with his artist friends, favouring the out-of-the way places of disused tin mines, barren open land, fringe of forested areas – generally any landscapes with a painterly view and all the prerequisite elements of light, contrast, colour, character and peculiarities.

Pioneers of Malaysian Art, Dr. Tan Chee Khuan, The Art Gallery, Penang, 1994.
200 Malaysian Artists, Dr. Tan Chee Khuan, The Art Gallery, Penang, 2002.