Lot 17 | Auction XXXIII


LOT 17


B. Singapore, 1939 – 2005

Crossing the River

Signed “Bak Koi” on lower left

Watercolour on board

21 x 12 cm Provenance

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur

RM 2,500 – RM 6,000


The lines between fantasy and reality are often blurred when it comes to works done by Tay Bak Koi. He incorporates that idyllic and dream-like quality into his paintings and made it his signature. In fact, he is known for merging fantasy with realism. For instance, his realistic sceneries and landscapes are often injected with fairytale-like interjections. This emphasises the hybridisation of reality and perception, as seen in this piece.

Tay Bak Koi was an artist renowned for his portrayals of fishing villages, kampung scenes and urban landscapes. He specialised in oil and watercolour and his works have been exhibited extensively in Singapore and various other countries, including Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Germany and the United States. Tay’s talent for drawing was discovered by his father’s friend, who subsequently enrolled him in the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1957. His teacher, the late Cheong Soo Pieng, taught him to appreciate existing works of art in new ways and to challenge conventional art forms.