Lot 001

b. Terengganu, 1959


Signed 'F.M.CHANG' with Chinese seal (lower right)
Watercolour on paper
17cm x 12cm

Private Collection, Penang;
acquired directly from the artist.

ESTIMATE  RM 4,500 - 6,000

When Chang Fee Ming first made headway in the early 1980s, he captured what he fancied with spontaneous strokes on the spot, then both as a diversion and to hone his skills. His swift Impressionist style works reveal a sophistication of approach and experience. Here, it is the beauty of the blooms that must have captivated Fee Ming most. The work borders on the abstract, with the confetti of the paper-thin flowers and bracts reminiscent of Wu Guan Zhong, for colour and movement and a sense of musicality. With its short, thick stump, the bougainvillea looks like the bonsai variety. The flowering plant is versatile, grown in abundance in Malaysia where there are more than 100 hybrids, and it is even the official flower of Ipoh city. Native to South and Central America, it can grow as large as a tree and in various forms – shrubs, in pots, as overhanging potted plants or on window ledges. Because of its veinous sproutings, it also makes good natural fences.

Chang Fee Ming is an accomplished watercolourist known for his unique renditions and interpretations of peoples, traditional societies and cultures. He goes deep into the interiors, to the eart of isolated, marginalised traditional communities, to the off-the-beaten track areas in Indonesia, Africa, Myanmar, Cambodia, Nepal and tracing the mighty Mekong right up to its source in Tibet – with the zeal of an anthropologist, the insight of a social scientist and above all, the great spirit of an artist. Since his first foray to Bali in 1985, he has etched his place in Indonesian art history, especially in Bali.

The World of Chang Fee Ming ,
Ooi Kok Chuen, Edited by Garrett Kam, 1995.
The Visible Trail of Chang Fee Ming,
Christine Rohani Longuet, 2000.