Lot 50 | Auction XV

LOT 50

(B. Singapore, 1945)

Aerial View of Singapore, 2008

Signed and dated “Ong Kim Seng 08” on lower left
Watercolour on paper
52 x 63 cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur

SOLD – RM 18,800

Ong Kim Seng’s style is described as being “naturalist cum impressionistic” and “a combination of post-impressionist colour and the outlook of the American realist masters”. He paints en plein air and has stated that in order for him to paint a place; he has to feel it first. “I believe that inspiration comes naturally when there’s a link between the artist and his subject.”

He focuses on inanimate objects, architectural form, masonry, foliage and landscape and as seen in this piece he captures the scenery in Nepal brilliantly, and the results are better than real. From the complexity and the minute details of the buildings to the realistic play of light and shadow, his exemplary use of watercolour and the balance between subject and space truly make his work a gem. 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.