Lot 114

b. China, 1913 – d. Penang, 1974


Signed and dated ‘Lee CY 56’ (lower right)
Oil on canvas laid on board
50cm x 40cm

Private Collection, Penang.

Lee Cheng Yong Retrospective, Penang State Art Gallery,
1996; illustrated on exhibition catalogue page 25.

ESTIMATE  RM 16,000 - 25,000
A vibrant portrait of a young woman, her features are outlined by bold streaks of black paint. Known for his experimentation in various painting techniques, here he fills the entire canvas with multi-coloured lines of varying degrees and shades that serve as shadows for his imaginative play of light. The lines accentuate her sharp nose, cheekbones and jaw line. Her short wavy hair is dark on the base with strips of yellow, red, blue and green strokes applied sporadically.

Lee Cheng Yong studied at Sin Hwa 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 a 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, Penang, 2001.
Eight Pioneers of Malaysian Art (With Supplement on Peter Harris)
, Dato’ Dr. Tan Chee Khuan, Penang State Art Gallery, 2013.