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Lot 013

b. Johor, 1936-1991


Signed and dated ‘Yu Chian 1987’ (lower right);
titled ‘Gained by labours’ (reverse)
Oil on canvas
46.8cm x 60.4cm

Collection of the artist’s family, Kuala Lumpur.

ESTIMATE  RM 18,000 - 22,000
It was a family vacation in 1977 to commemorate the opening ceremony of the Chia Clansmen Association, but what followed the two-day visit to Pulau Ketam were a few dozens of sketches of the glimpses of residents at work and the landscape of the small island captured with the nib of a pen. This work, painted in rich impasto, is a result of the trip and shows goods being loaded onto the boat directly from the stilt, thatched-roof houses with short makeshift platforms. As the title suggests, it is a laborious activity but it is a show of endurance and a page of human economic life until the late 80s.

Born in Johor, Chia Yu Chian graduated from Nanyang Academy Fine Arts, Singapore in 1958. He was the first artist from Straits Settlement to receive a French Government scholarship at Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris (1959-1962). He was commissioned to do a mural painting Life in Malaysia for Malaysian High Commission in Paris. Yu Chian received the awards of Honourable Mention, Salon des Independent and Societe des Artistes Francaise, Paris.

Chia Yu Chian Memorial Exhibition, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, 2002.
Contemporary Artists of Malaysia, Doleres D. Wharton, 1971.
Chinese Art of The 20th Century, Dr. Michael Sullivan, England, 1965.
Who’s Who In Malaysia 1975-76, J. Victor Morais.
Modern Artists of Malaysia, T.K. Sabapathy and Redza Piyadasa, Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka, Kuala Lumpur, 1983.