YEOH JIN LENG
b. Ipoh, 1929
FROM THE PLATEAU OF GUNUNG TAHAN, 1995
Signed and dated 'Jinleng 95' (lower left)
Acrylic on canvas
23cm x 30cm
Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur.
ESTIMATE RM 5,000 - 8,000
PRICE REALISED RM 19,040
|When Yeoh Jin Leng returned home from United Kingdom for the second time in the 1960s, he recalled his experience traveling in a taxi from the airport in Kuala Lumpur to his hometown in Ipoh observing the tropical landscape with the same “immense joy” as he had recounted in 1955 though this time, his perception towards nature had been rejuvenated and he felt the urge to create a fresh pictorial language. An excerpt from his thoughts is read: “...What struck me was the intensity of the green and gold and the pink. I started to rethink as to how I should paint what was in my environment. The varied shapes, forms and colours that I had learnt about in London had to be revised, perhaps reduced.” This contemplation resulted in the creation of a pivotal piece titled Ricefields in 1963. Three decades later, his reduction method reached its pinnacle with gestural brush marks in minimal palette is applied across the picture plane to illustrate his thoughts and expressions on Gunung Tahan.
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).
Yeoh Jin Leng: Art and Thoughts 1952 – 1995, T.K. Sabapathy, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, 1996.
Imagining Identities: Narratives in Malaysian Art Volume 1, RogueArt, 2012.