Lot 071

b.China, 1913 - d. Penang, 1974


Signed 'LEE CHENG YONG' (lower left)
Oil on board
60cm x 50cm

Private Collection, Penang.

Lee Cheng Yong Retrospective, Penang State Art Gallery, 1996; illustrated on exhibition catalogue page 36.

ESTIMATE  RM 22,000 - 30,000

In Composition, Lee Cheng Yong experimented with the De Stijl movement (The Style in Dutch) whose proponents namely Piet Mondrian (1872 – 1944), advocated pure abstraction and universality by a reduction to the essentials of form and colour by simplifying visual compositions to the vertical and horizontal directions and used only primary colors along with black and white. Here, Lee Cheng Yong has inserted colours in cubes of varying sizes and directions to create a harmonious abstract composition which has inadvertently formed the numeric ‘1’.

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. The Penang State Art Gallery honoured him Lee Cheng Yong with a Memorial exhibition 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.