Lot 122

b. China, 1913 - d. Penang, 1974

DANCER, undated

Signed and dated 'LEE CHENG YONG LeeCY' (upper right)
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


The uber-talented artist and sculptor Lee Cheng Yong was one of the most experimental painters of his time. Presented here is an abstract piece featuring a single traditional female dancer – distinctive through the figure’s curves and posture - executed in the style of Cubism. The colours of Kandinsky are applied creating a jubilant atmosphere inviting the viewer to celebrate the merriment with a dance, an impressive feat for an image that is depicted with complete departure from the accurate representation of subject matter. Objects are analysed, broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context.

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. He was honoured with the Lee Cheng Yong Memorial exhibition by the Penang State Art Gallery 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.