CHEN WEN HSI
(B. China, 1906-1991)
Signed with seal on upper left
Ink and colour on paper
44.5 x 32.5 cm
Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
RM 14,000 – RM 22,000
Chinese classical paintings are very beautiful in their simplicity and the subsequent complexity of the techniques used to create artwork so simple. Essentially using the same techniques as calligraphy, the brushstrokes are used meticulously and delimits details very precisely.
Famous Chinese ink painter Chen Wen Hsi was especially adept at painting the human figures and animals, but the ones that stand out and happen to be his favourite were his paintings of gibbons, and at other times, ducks. As in this painting, it shows that there is always beauty in uncomplicatedness, how Chen Wen Hsi effortlessly paints on floating ducks, with slashes of black lines and coloured ink blobs representing the flowers and plants that surround a pond. It is easy on the eyes due to the pure, modest colours and the amount of space gives it an air of serenity and of peace.
Chen Wen Hsi was born in 1906 in Baigong, Guangdong. He moved to Singapore and was based there until his death in 1991. Despite his uncle’s objection during the early years, Chen decided to pursue fine art at the Shanghai College of Art before transferring to the Xinhua College of Art in Shanghai where his mentor was Pan Tianshou. For his contributions to the fine arts in Singapore, he was awarded the Public Service Star in 1964. He also founded the Chun Yang Painting Society in Shantou.