TEW NAI TONG
B. Selangor, 1936-2013
Portrait of a Lady, 1990s
Signed “NAITONG” on lower right
Oil on board
48.5 x 34.5 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
RM 6,000 – RM 9,000
Tew Nai Tong’s significant “squinty eyes” expressions on his subjects in all his artworks depict the importance of having a good family relationship that creates peaceful and harmonious environment. It is said that his interpretation of the squinty eyes see the importance of working hard without grievance and living life to the fullest with love and happiness. This also brings about a mood that is serene, joyous and all about contentment.
Tew Nai Tong, most renowned for being a distinctive figurative artist, was born in his hometown in Klang in 1936. He attended the Peng Hwa Chinese School when he was seven years old. He was 18 when he chose to pursue the path of his dream of becoming an artist. He went to Singapore and attended the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) for two years and
graduated in 1958 at the age of 22. During his early stage at NAFA while focusing on sketching ,watercolour and landscape painting, Nai Tong with the rest of his contemporaries, became part of the watercolour movement of Malaysia.
He attended Ecole Nationale Superieure Des Beaux-Arts de Paris for 2 years, where he obtained the skills to paint using oil colour, enabling him to establish a solid foundation for his future advancement. During his stay he plunged into the realm of arts and culture in France and across Europe, visiting art galleries and museums, seeking inspiration and fresh ideas to unfold.Paris brought Tew Nai Tong a newly discovered inspiration which he efficiently used through his experimental phases on forms, compositions and colours, giving him a unique style of his own. With his art being described as the embodiment of the new Nanyang style, Tew Nai Tong may also be on of the few (2nd generation) individuals that carried the old Nanyang art style.