Lee Cheng Yong
B. China, 1913 – 1974
Still Life, 1970
Signed and dated “CY 70” on lower right
Pastel on paper
26.5 x 36 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Kelantan
RM 2,000 – RM 3,500
A notable feature of Cheng Yong’s style was his subdued tonality, where in spite of the ‘dull’ colours, he was able to show most successfully, the brilliance and warm sunshine in his paintings. His works were mostly oil painted after the Post-Impressionist tradition of Gauguin and Van Gogh. The subjects of his paintings were varied and included portraitures, landscapes, still life, as well as semi-abstract works. In this piece however, he captures the subject matter of still life, in the form of a crab.
Lee Cheng Yong was born on 26 March 1913. He studied art at the Sin Hwa Art Academy, Shanghai (Shanghai Academy of Fine Art) and was a teacher at Chung Ling High School, Penang. On his return from Shanghai, he held a one-man show at the Philomatic Union, Acheen Street in 1934. In 1936, the Chinese artist in Penang came together and formed the Penang Chinese Art Club which was one of the first local art societies in Malaysia. Lee Cheng Yong was elected President. Lee Cheng Yong specialised in oil painting although he was also competent in watercolour, gouache, oil pastel and design. He also did sculptural works and was renowned for his burst of Tunku Abdul Rahman, entitled “Father of our Nation”.