CHUAH THEAN TENG, DATO’
B. China, 1914 – 2008
Lady in Blue, 1983
Comes with a certificate “Lady in Blue, 1983 Batik 89 x 61 cm” by Yahong Art Gallery, Penang
89 x 61 cm
Private Collection, Singapore
RM 30,000 – RM 75,000
When it comes to the artist’s landscape works, there is an undeniable charm. His perceptive mind and keen eye saw the extraordinary in the ordinary which he translated brilliantly onto batik.
Everyday events that others are jaded with suddenly take on a new dimension and emotion; children playing, women toiling in the paddy fields, farm creatures, picturesque fishing villages, men at work, all sorts of homely scenes. His lines are bold and sure, his figures sometimes flat and one-dimensional and flooded with mystical graduations. Teng’s landscape illustrations are simple, honest with no pretensions of grandeur and exhibit the subjects’ daily antics.
His draftsmanship acquired sweep and rhythm; colours flared from his artwork. His themes opened up new vistas of Malaysian life, not only the scene but the people and all their daily activities. Women feeding chickens, children playing, farmers gathering the harvest — all warm human, simple and everyday subjects no other Malaysian artists seemed to have tackled with such relish before.
His paintings run the gamut from playful, touching, dramatic to personal and intimate. He hardly strayed from his beloved kampung scenes where he spent so many happy hours and languid afternoons. It takes a true master to reflect affection, perception and empathy on his medium. Through his paintings depicting rustic scenes of Malaysian folks going about their simple way of life, Teng’s works helped put Malaysian batik in the annals of batik history that could be traced as far back to the 8th century.