Chen Chong Swee (Singaporean, 1910-1985) Fruits, 1951

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Lot 21
Chen Chong Swee
(Singaporean, 1910-1985)
Fruits, 1951

Sold for HK$ 38,125 (US$ 4,918) inc. premium
Chen Chong Swee (Singaporean, 1910-1985)
Fruits, 1951
signed and inscribed "佳果 辛卯 陳楷 於星洲" and stamped with two seals of the artist, upper right; stamped with another seal of the artist, lower left.
ink and colour on rice paper
160 x 36 cm (63 x 14 1/8 in.)

Footnotes

  • 陳宗瑞 佳果 彩墨紙本 一九五一年作


    Art in Post-War Singapore: A Dialogue with History and the Present

    The second generation of Singapore artists have distinguished themselves from their predecessors by pushing the creative boundaries of the established Nanyang style while retaining its essence through the employment of non-conventional materials and mediums in their works. Born in the 1930s and 40s, these artists came into their prime in the 1960s and 70s, working against a backdrop of turbulent times of political and social changes. The zeitgeist of the post-war era challenged these artists to break away from the conventional to find new ways in representing Nanyang style, and to forge new aesthetics that represent the country's social and cultural identity. These artists' resilience and zeal propelled them to venture into lesser used mediums such as batik, aluminium and woodcuts, to capture and express the conditions of their time.

    Multiple lots by some of the most well-established second-generation artists are presented at Bonhams this season to represent the diversity of artistic practices that were present in Singapore in the post-war era. Batik and woodcut were used as a new field of art to figuratively portray romantic scenes and colours of the Nanyang landscape and way of life by See Cheen Tee (1928-1996), Chieu Shuey Fook (b. 1934), Seah Kim Joo (b. 1939), and Tay Chee Toh (b. 1941). Aluminium, on the other hand, was employed by Vincent Hoisington in his metal relief work, to mould a new visual language to echo the nation's industrialisation and urban development. Abstraction as a visual style was adopted by Vincent Hoisington (1924-1972), Tay Bak Koi (b. 1939) and Thomas Yeo (b. 1936), as these artists departed from the figurative narrative to convey the mood and atmosphere of the time.

    The Nanyang Style cultivated by the first-generation artists was both encompassed and resisted by these second-generation artists. The collective efforts of these artists to explore and innovate in the post-war era hence further the historical dialogue of the Singaporean artistic identity that they were grappling with.
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