Lot 005

b. Penang, 1930 - d. 2010


Signed and dated ‘CHOON GHEE 1989’ (lower right)
Watercolour on paper
38cm x 57cm

Private Collection, Penang.

ESTIMATE  RM 8,000 - 12,000


Throughout his lifetime, Tan Choon Ghee had sought inspirations from the streets of Penang, creating a body of work that captures the livelihood and daily activities of life on the island. His captivating streetscapes display diversity in a multicultural society distinguished by the figures’ attire, occupation and dwelling. This scene illustrates trishaw riders resting while waiting for customers in front of street hawker stalls which are located at the façade of a row of shop houses. A woman in baju kurung is depicted with her back facing the viewer, carrying a baby in her arm and a young child next to her perhaps waiting to be seated for a meal at the fully occupied food stall.

Tan Choon Ghee completed his secondary education from Chung Ling high school in 1948 and graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art in Singapore in 1951. He then attended the Slade School of Fine Art in London from 1957 to 1959. He had received a German government painting scholarship and an Australian government television set design scholarship. He had worked for TV Singapore and TV Broadcast Ltd in Hong Kong prior to becoming a full-time artist. He had held numerous oneman shows with his first in 1956 at the Hooi Ann Association, Penang followed by in 1958, 1962 and 1963 organised by the British Council, Penang; National Library in Singapore (1962 and 1970); Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur (1983 and 1993) among others. Tan had also been honoured with two retrospective exhibitions in 1996 and 2000; a tribute show in Kuala Lumpur (2009) and a recent posthumous solo exhibition titled A Lifetime of Drawings showcasing his sketchbooks and paper works at the Penang State Art Gallery (2014).

Tan Choon Ghee Retrospective (1957-1992), Penang State Art Gallery, 2000.