Lot 39 | 7 February 2021



LOT 39


B. Singapore, 1939 – 2005

Malay Figures in Boat beneath Trees, 1981

Signed on lower right and comes with certificate signed by Della Butcher, the proprietor of the Fine Art Gallery, Singapore issued on 31st December 1981

Watercolour on rice paper

60 x 98 cm

Private Collection, UK

RM 18,000 – RM 36,000

Second-generation Singaporean artist, Tay Bak Koi is fondly known for his illustrations of urban landscapes, fishing villages and ‘kampung’. He was born in 1939. His artistic beginnings came from an innate talent and potential, which was later recognised by his father’s friend, who subsequently enrolled him in the prestigious Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) in 1957.

To date, his works have been featured in numerous exhibitions around the world, including Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Japan and the United States. One can discern that Tay’s artistic career has gone through a distinct evolution. When he began in 1964, his works

emanated a strong resemblance to his mentor, Cheong Soo Pieng’s. Then, as Tay gained experience and grew in experimentation, his art started to come to life in a unique way.

The Singaporean landscapes in Tay’s paintings thrive on a palette dominated by neutral colours. Their complexity and richness both in texture and form far surpass those of his earlier paintings. Progressing from the bold and abstract, Tay’s works subsequently embodied a dreamlike quality, often blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, emitting a sense of tranquillity, and even timelessness.