PHUA CHENG PHUE
B. Singapore, 1934 – 2004
Two Sisters, 1982,
Satay Seller, 1981
Inscribed and signed, with seal of the artist on lower right Chinese ink and colour on silk 14 cm (diameter) x 2 pieces
Colour on silk
14 cm (Diameter)
Provenance Private Collection, Singapore
RM2,000 – RM5,000
All these come alive in this painting of the ‘outline and wash’ method or shuang-gou-tian-cai. This involves first outlining all the elements to be depicted in ink with a Chinese brush, freehand. It is then “washed over” with a flat wash of light colours. One is amazed by Phua’s ability to go into very fine details.
We can clearly see the influence of Singapore’s pioneer artists in Phua’s work. Two of his other paintings displayed in Somerset Liang Court’s Residence Lounge depicting girls in ethic dress, bear the marks of his teacher Cheong, one of four artists often regarded as champions of the Nanyang Style, which flourished when the four made a milestone painting trip to Bali in 1952. Regardless of the technique employed, these artists invariably chose subject matters related to the Nanyang or Southeast Asia region. Thanks to this approach, images of yesteryear of this region still live on today, even though the real objects and the life styles have long passed.