Lot 097

b. Perak, 1911


Signed and dated 'Paimu 49' (lower left)
Watercolour on paper
32cm x 44cm

Private Collection, Australia;
Private Collection, Penang.

Eight Pioneers of Malaysian Art, Second edition, Dato’ Dr. Tan Chee Khuan, Marshall Cavendish, Singapore, 2014, illustrated on page 78.

ESTIMATE  RM 5,000 - 8,000


A first appearance at Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers auction, Zhong Pai Mu is one of the important educators at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) in Singapore. One of his illustrious works is a stilllife oil painting depicted in an Impressionist style titled Fish. Executed in 1949, the same year as this watercolour piece featured here, Fish is in the collection of the National Museum of Singapore, which has been recently displayed in an exhibition called A Changed World, Singapore Art 1950s – 1970s. On offer here is the artist’s illustration of a kampong house in rural Malaya demonstrating his adeptness in controlling the translucency of the watercolour medium.

Zhong Pai Mu studied at Xin Hua Art Academy in Shanghai and later moved to Nanjing to learn from the masterful Xu Beihong whom at the time returned to China to lead the Art Academy at Central University. Upon graduation, Zhong returned to Ipoh and was invited by Kuo Ju Ping to teach oil painting in Penang. He then moved to Singapore and taught Western art at NAFA for a few years before migrating to Hong Kong. During his time in Singapore, he had also offered guidance to painter Fung Yow Chork.

Kuo Ju Ping Memorial Exhibition, Penang State Art Gallery, 1997.