Lot 21 | 12 July 2020


LOT 21


B. China, 1906 – 1991


Signed in Chinese and stamped with seal on upper right

Chinese ink on paper

55 x 69 cm

Provenance Private Collection, Singapore

RM 40,000 – RM 75,000

Though working across myriad mediums, it was in Chinese ink that some of the most exceptional works by Chen Wen Hsi were found. When working with this medium, Chen Wen Hsi experimented with a repertoire of natural subjects such as chickens, herons, carps, squirrels, as well as gibbons, his most favourite subject.

Squirrels, which are elusive in nature is portrayed in an ephemeral moment, frozen in time. The brilliant execution of this work showcases that Chen studied these squirrels down to the minutiae and captures its appearance and motion, like a picture.

Chen Wen Hsi was born in Guandong, China, and developed his traditional ink painting techniques at the Shanghai College of Art and the Xinhua College of Art. Renowned for his avant-garde Chinese ink works, he continued to engage with ancient Chinese painting history throughout his life. Also experimenting with oil painting and a diversity of Western styles, Chen Wen Hsi is recognised alongside Cheong Soo Pieng, Liu Kang and Chen Chong Swee as one of the pioneers of the Nanyang art movement.