Chen Wen Hsi
B. China, 1906-1991
Pomegranates & Sparrow
Inscribed and signed, with seal of the artist on the middle right
Ink and colour on paper
32 x 33 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
Exhibited in the “Paintings by Pioneer Malaysian Artists” exhibition and illustrated in the exhibition brochure (2 June – 3 July 1994) held at Galeri PETRONAS
RM 12,000 – RM 20,000
Chen, together with his colleagues at NAFA, such as Lim Hak Tai, Liu Kang, Cheong Soo Pieng, Chen Chong Swee and Georgette Chen, were Singapore’s pioneer artists.
Their works incorporated elements of both traditional Chinese painting and Western art, particularly the School of Paris (a term referring to the styles and techniques used by Parisian artists in their paintings between 1880 and 1910), and this confluence of elements became known as the Nanyang style. The works by these Nanyang artists were said to mark the first modern art achievement in Singapore.
Chen painted both Western and Chinese paintings. To observe the characteristics and movements of the animals he painted, Chen bought and reared gibbons, fish, birds, squirrels, egrets and peacocks, and he was said to have a “miniature zoo” in his backyard.