Khoo Sui Hoe
B. Kedah, 1939
Signed and dated “SUI.HOE 64” on lower left
Oil on canvas laid on board
73 x 64 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
Illustrated on page 22 of “The Painted World of KHOO SUI HOE” exhibition book
Published in 2007 by Penang State Museum & Art Gallery
RM 18,000 – RM 36,000
An illustration of a family tree has never been done in a more surreal, dreamy manner. True to his nature of having an inclination towards concepts of the simple and the unsophisticated, Khoo Sui Hoe is direct in his message in this piece – it is a depiction of a woman with her child atop, and branches are proliferating out of her. It is, quite literally, a family tree.
The play of colours lends to the mystical, escapist and aesthetic appeal of this piece. It is quiet bliss, peaceful and packed with warm love. No doubt, there is a certain kind of mystery to it, as well. Perhaps it is the mist-like appearance of whites and pale greens around the canvas, but dream-like paintings have always been Khoo Sui Hoe’s signature style.
Born in 1939 in Baling, Kedah, he studied at Singapore’s prestigious Nanyang Academy of Art and then at the Pratt Graphic Center in the US. He was one of the earliest and courageous people who took the plunge of becoming a full-time artist. Through his Alpha Singapore Gallery and Alpha Utara Gallery in Penang, he has helped promote other artists. Khoo Sui Hoe has also won a lot of awards, among which are the First Prize for the 1965 Malaysian art competition, an Honourable Mention in Salon Malaysia 1969 and the Asian Arts Now Awards (twice) given by the Las Vegas Museum.