Lot 51 | Auction XV

LOT 51

(B. Singapore, 1945)

Singapore River, 1979

Signed and dated on lower right
Watercolour on paper
71 x 51 cm

Private Collection, Kelantan

SOLD – RM 37,670

For a masterpiece to come alive, there has to be a special connection between the artist and the subject. In this breathtaking painting the Singapore River, Ong Kim Seng captures the depth, the contours, the shadows and the beauty that is the natural scenery of the world. It is stunning, and although simple in its execution, it shows the meticulous and methodical use of fine brush strokes and skills.

Ong said, “I have to feel a place before I paint it. If I have good feelings for a scene – just as I may have good feelings for someone I meet – I know I’ll have the will to paint it well. For me, and for all painters, I believe, inspiration comes naturally when there’s a link between the artist and his subject.”

This is a very sought after subject by collectors in Singapore along with the Nepal series by the artist. This is by far the oldest Ong Kim Seng artwork featured in our auction.

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, making him the first and only Singaporean to have been admitted into AWS and subsequently win six awards from them. The National Heritage Board of Singapore has over 95 pieces of Ong Kim Seng’s artworks, and some landscape pieces similar to this one.