Lot 121

b. Johor, 1936 - d. Kuala Lumpur. 1990


Signed and dated 'Yu Chian 1969' (lower right)
Oil on canvas
76cm x 51cm

Private Collection, Penang.

ESTIMATE  RM 18,000 - 30,000


A still life is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter typically commonplace objects which may be either natural such as flowers or man-made for example vases. With origins in the Middle Ages and Ancient Graeco- Roman art, still life painting emerged as a distinct genre and professional specialisation in Western painting by the late 16th century and has remained significant since then. Still life gives the artist more freedom in the arrangement of elements within a composition than do paintings of other types of subjects such as landscape or portraiture. The rise of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters resulted in the triumph of technique and color harmony over subject matter. It was during this period that still life was once again avidly practiced by artists most notably Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890) with his infamous Sunflowers or Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers (1888). Employing his Western style technique, Chia Yu Chian pays homage to the classic subject matter of flowers in a vase with this charming piece.

Chia Yu Chian attended Pei Wah Primary School in Johor followed by secondary education at Singapore Chinese High School. He was then enrolled to Christ Church English School in Singapore and later learnt French language at the Alliance Francaise de Singapour in Singapore before attending art school in Paris. He obtained an Academic Certificate in February 1959 certified by Jean Aurillac, the French Consular General to Singapore since May 1958. The certificate which was written by then Director of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) attested that the student Chia Yu Chian had even while studying painting over the course of two years, held exhibitions of critical acclaim. The recommendation enabled him to enroll in the second year of Western painting at NAFA where he studied under Chen Wen Hsi and Cheong Soo Pieng, both pioneer masters in the Singapore art scene. Chia received a French government scholarship with this certificate to study in the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts de Paris from where he graduated in 1962. He was the first artist from the Straits Settlements to have been granted such prestige. In the following years, such scholarships had only been given to some of the more renowned artists from the Indian subcontinent and also China. During the span of his illustrious career, he had held a significant number of solo exhibitions in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India and in Europe namely in France, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain. He had also participated in many regional and international group shows. His works are in the collection of private individuals and institutions around the world. He had produced a grand mural titled Life in Malaysia for the Malaysian Embassy in Paris and portraits for various Malaysian government and political luminaries.

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