Lot 20 | 28 August 2022




LOT 20


B. Kuala Lumpur, 1946

Rubber Tappers at Work

Signed “Kwan Chin” on lower right


75 x 48 cm

Private Collection, Canada

RM 3,500 – RM 7,000

In warm, vibrant shades Kwan Chin yet again brings about his favourite subject — rubber tapping. This piece and the lot that follows is historically important, for it encapsulates a period of time that the younger generation isn’t familiar with and when there was a huge demand for rubber. Fun fact: For many years tin and rubber were Malaysia’s primary exports. By the 1930’s, Malaysia produced half of the world’s rubber. It is notable that Kwan Chin has a penchant for the ordinary kampung life, showcasing the rural life in lively colours and convoluted details – both of his art and batik. In this batik work, the artist’s meticulous eye for attention included the portrayal of scoring of the tree, slanting at an angle to extract the milky liquid known as latex. Making the scene even more nostalgic and endearing is the warm orange-coloured, crackling lines at the centre of the work, on the backdrop of the trees to symbolise dawn and sunrise, when rubber tappers would be well on their way through the job.