LEE MAN FONG
B. China, 1913 – 1988
Portrait of a Balinese Lady, 1954
Signed and dated “M Fong 1954” with artist’s seal on lower right
Pastel on paper
45 x 61 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Singapore
Formerly in the Private Collection of A Distinguished Collector in Jakarta, Indonesia
RM 20,000 – RM 35,000
Lee Man Fong was born in China in 1913 but settled down in Indonesia. During his days in the borneo country, Lee Man Fong was awarded a scholarship from the Dutch government and in these seven years abroad in the Netherlands, he fully immersed himself in studying Western art. This present piece is an up close portrait of a Balinese lady using pastel on paper, with immaculate details of the lady’s face and hair. Every curve and crevice on the lady’s face is artistically highlighted in this artwork, including every strand of hair that’s tucked into a ponytail.
Lee, who had a flair for depicting the Indonesian rural life favoured woman as his subject matter, celebrating the female archetype throughout his illustrious career. Works of similar subject matter, the Balinese women, have been sold at the Christie’s Asian 20th Century Art (Day Sale) Hong Kong on 28th May 2017, the painting entitled, ‘Balinese Woman With Offering’ for HKD 437,500 (RM 241,300). At another Christie’s Asian 20th Century Art (Day Sale) in Hong Kong on 31st May 2015, Lee Man Fong’s Balinese Weaving Girl was sold for HKD 437,500 (RM 241,300). A similar work by the artist named ‘A Balinese Woman Weaving’ was auctioned off at Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings Sale, on 6 October 2014 for an astounding HKD 875,000 (RM 482,557).