Lot 005

b. Ipoh, 1929


Signed and dated 'jinleng 95' (lower right)
Acrylic on canvas
30cm x 22cm

Private Collection, Negeri Sembilan.

ESTIMATE  RM 5,000 - 8,000

As one of the country’s pioneering abstract artists, Yeoh Jin Leng’s style of painting has gradually evolved and matured since his celebrated masterpiece Sawah Padi, Dusun, Bukit, Langit created in 1963. An abstract landscape painter, Jin Leng favours the openness of the paddy field as a subject of interest. Professor Madya Dr. Zakaria Ali wrote in his essay 16 Malaysian Landscape Paintings describing the artist’s technique in the 1963 work: “ apply the modernist idiom of reductionism, rendering with the minimum number of paints. Here, he lets yellow and ochre dominate, with the strands of blue in the background. Even so, he still retains the quality of spaciousness, which is really the essence of any landscape painting.” The same description can be applied in this piece in terms of the ‘reductionism’ manner and ‘the quality of spaciousness’ although the composition in Paddy Field is heavily subtracted with gestural and instinctive blocks and layers of minimal paint exposing the canvas instead of employing long, successive strokes covering the entire canvas with paint. The brilliant balance of colour, form and composition that shines through the work, though of smaller dimension, makes it no less masterful and complete than his larger pieces.

Yeoh Jin Leng attended the Malaysian Teachers’ College, Kirkby, Liverpool in 1952 and was enrolled to the Chelsea School of Art from 1957 to 1961 as the First Malaysian Federal Scholar for Art. upon graduation, he attended the London Ministry of Education at London University until 1963. As one of the key drivers in the development of art in Malaysia, he has held various positions in art education and organisations such as Lecturer in Art Education at the Specialist Teachers’ Training Institute, Kuala Lumpur (1963 - 1968); President of Society for Art Education (1974 - 1983); Founder-Member and Vice-President of the Malaysian Artists’ Association (1982 – 1984); Dean of Studies at the Malaysian Institute of Art, Kuala Lumpur (1984 – 1994); and Member of the Board of Trustees, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur (1989 - 1991, 1992 - 1997). He held his first solo exhibition at the British Council, Kuala Lumpur in 1965 and was honoured with a retrospective exhibition by the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur in 1996. he held a mini post-retrospective exhibition titled Ten Years On – A Review of Jin Leng’s achievements from 1997 to 2007 in Kuala Lumpur. He has participated in a number of group shows locally and abroad namely the Malaysian Traveling Art Exhibition to Hamburg, Rome, St. Etienne, Paris in 1967, the Young Contemporaries Biennale in Tokyo, the Malaysian Art Exhibition at the Sao Paolo Biennale in 1969 and Transformations 6 Malaysian Artists in Singapore (2000).

Imagining Identities: Narratives in Malaysian Art Volume 1
, RogueArt, 2012.