Lot 21

LOT 21

(B. Singapore, 1945)

Heritage Buildings – Nepal Series, 2008

Signed and dated “Ong Kim Seng 10.05.08” on lower right
Watercolour on paper
38 x 28 cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur

SOLD – RM 4,480

Through Ong Kim Seng’s incredible skills and expertise in capturing the most picturesque of places, we are granted the opportunity to gaze into what other people would normally brush off – a passageway. To plain eyes they may seem nondescript and lack the appeal that would pass for a masterpiece, but Ong Kim Seng has managed to change the perception of even such a common setting such as that.

It becomes a mesmerizing piece, holding the viewer’s attention and eyes captive for long moments as if one could experience the piece itself, and feel the connection the artist himself had with the place – the walls, the cobblestone pathway and the heat of the sun as well as muted chatter of the people in the distance. After all, it was Ong himself who said that in order for a masterpiece to come alive, it needs to have been born out of a special connection between the artist and the setting. As such, the piece becomes spectacular due to the way Ong expresses the beauty and atmosphere of the setting’s simplicity.

Ong Kim Seng was born in Singapore and has been a full-time artist since 1985. Among the awards that he has won from the American Watercolour Society are the Paul B. Remmy Memorial Award in 1983, the Lucy B. Moore Award in 1988 and the Clara Stroud Memorial Award 1989, just to name a few. The National Heritage Board of Singapore has over 95 pieces of Ong Kim Seng’s artworks.

His collectors include Queen Elizabeth II of England, the Prime Minister of the People’s Republic Of China, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, President of the Republic of Korea, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, the President of the Republic of the Philippines; the Prime Minister of Japan, the Prime Minister of India; the Governer of Hokkaido; Singapore Arts Museum; Singapore, Maritime Museum, the Agung Rai Museum and Neka Museum in Bali, Indonesia ; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters, Foreign Missions and Embassies of the Republic of Singapore.