Chen Wen Hsi
B. China, 1906-1991
Sparrow & Cicada
Inscribed and signed, with seal of the artist on the middle left
Ink and colour on paper
26 x 33 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
RM 10,000 – RM 18,000
He was the younger of two sons of scholar Chen Ji Kuan. From a young age, Chen was interested in the small animals that he saw in his village and around his home. For example, he enjoyed watching sparrows in the courtyard as well as the chickens, ducks and geese reared by his family.
Contact with these small animals at an early age instilled in him a great love for pets and animals, and this love has been brought forward in pieces such as this. Gracefully and thoughtfully painted, it shows a sparrow perched on a branch, ready to take flight.
Chen Wen Hsi was born in 1906 in Baigong, Guangdong. He moved to Singapore and was based there until his death in 1991. Despite his uncle’s objection during the early years, Chen decided to pursue fine art at the Shanghai College of Art before transferring to the Xinhua College of Art in Shanghai where his mentor was Pan Tianshou. For his contributions to the fine arts in Singapore, he was awarded the Public Service Star in 1964. He also founded the Chun Yang Painting Society in Shantou.