KHOO SUI HOE
(B. Kedah, 1939)
Face in Gold, 1996
Signed “SUI HOE” on lower left
Signed, titled and dated on verso
Oil on canvas
90 x 90 cm
Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
SOLD – RM 29,120
Straightforward and succinct, mysterious and dream-like are telltale signs that this most definitely is a Khoo Sui Hoe. Simplicity at its best, Khoo Sui Hoe focuses on Primitivism here, opting for only a limited palette. A figure is gazing back at the viewer with an unfathomable yet intense expression, and it gives off the impression of a cross between royalty and a sentry, gaze unwavering from all directions.
Khoo Sui Hoe works have the ability to transcend the unconscious as seen in this piece, and despite it being primitive, it is also fresh and modern at the same time, topped with an air of surrealism.
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.