Lot 72 | Auction XVII

LOT 72

(B. Singapore, 1939-2005)

Boats, Undated

Signed “BAK KOI” on lower right
Acrylic on paper
13 x 22 cm

Private Collection, Kelantan

RM 3,500 – RM 6,000

“My aim is to give people something beautiful to remember and cherish; something that they are familiar with but have forgotten. My subjects may look ordinary enough, but each has its own meaning. I paint from what I see, from my memory, and then use my artistic license to beautify them.”

Tay Bak Koi’s works carry that idyllic and dream-like quality, the lines between fantasy and reality usually blurred. As a matter of fact, it is signature – his dexterity in merging fantasy with realism. For example, when portraying landscapes, he had a propensity for disrupting realistic sceneries with fantasy and fairytale-like interjections that emphasized the crisscrossing of reality and perception, as seen in this piece of a lady with her children taking shade under a tree. Although he emphasized on the observable reality, he engaged in a process of exclusion and distortion in order to reduce complex forms to their basic shapes. As a result, there is a keen appreciation and presentation of the two-dimensional aspects of his pieces.