YEOH JIN LENG
B. Perak, 1929
Human Rot, 1969
Signed and dated on lower right
Gallery label from Valentine Willie on verso
Exhibited in the National Art Gallery in 1996 and illustrated in the Retrospective exhibition book on page 53 and 136.
Oil on canvas
100 x 100 cm
Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
RM 120,000 – 220,000
The Human Rot is certainly one of the most interesting paintings that have ever been made by Yeoh Jin Leng. It was during his visit to London in 1965 when, while walking around Charing Cross, he stumbled upon a book about the devaluation of ethics and morality. The book piqued his fascination with the concept and, inspired by what he read, he went on to paint The Human Rot. It was completed in 1968.
A year later, in 1969, the 13th May incident occurred. “I was surprised that it happened. This region has been contaminated by Western capitalism and materialism, and we adopted capitalism because we thought it would bring progress. Instead, it brought about materialism. The social-political upheaval and a greed for power and money were the catalysts that started the riots. The value of ethics has become rotten in many sense of the word,” Jin Leng said.